January 19, 2014 by Shane Ireland
Birmingham City 0 – 2 Yeovil Town
Brian Howard’s solid debut was one of few positives to take from Saturday’s match as a James Hayter brace bagged all three points for relegation contenders Yeovil.
The Glovers, on their first visit to St Andrew’s, left Lee Clark’s side still searching for their first home win since October.
It was after just 12 minutes that the visitors were ahead.
Hayden Mullins, fresh from a man-of-the-match performance on Tuesday night, disastrously under-hit a backpass meant for Darren Randolph and Hayter was quickest to react, chipping the ball over the on-rushing Randolph.
Moments later Gary Johnson’s side nearly doubled their lead in front of a stunned St Andrew’s.
Glovers’ midfielder Joe Ralls unleashed a low drive that Randolph did well to keep out, before Kieffer Moore was denied by the Irish goalkeeper.
But Yeovil did add a second after 19 minutes.
Ralls again was involved, swinging in a dangerous front-post cross that was met by Hayter and the former Doncaster striker had his name on the scoresheet for a second time.
The action turned to the other end of the pitch as Blues mustered some attacking efforts of their own.
Brian Howard’s flick-on was met by Lee Novak, who’s header beat visiting ‘keeper Marek Stech, but not the crossbar. One of Blues best performers of the afternoon Reece Brown then tried his luck, but Stech was equal to his powerful drive. The 23-year-old stopper was then called upon again, this time to deny Olly Lee.
Paul Robinson was Birmingham’s saviour just prior the break, as the veteran defender executed a sublime challenge on Kieffer Moore before Randolph saved the following effort from Grant.
On 68 minutes, the save-of-the-match denied Brian Howard a debut to remember.
Following a low ball in, debutant Howard poked an effort at goal but a sprawling Stech kept out the former Barnsley midfielder’s shot.
Despite some late pressure, Blues’ couldn’t find the goal to get the back in game and Lee Clark’s side are now winless at St Andrew’s since the 4-0 victory over Millwall on 1st October.
Birmingham assistant manager Terry McDermott:
“To say we are disappointed is an understatement.
“We actually played quite well in the first half when we created a lot of chances.
“The second half became more difficult. When you park 10 men behind the ball it is difficult to break. We should have dealt with the two goals and we paid the penalty.”
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson:
“We are still battling and the boys showed a great spirit. That spirit will keep us in the hunt for a big part of the season. I was very proud of the boys’ effort and performance.
“James Hayter has been a super striker for a long time.
“When he gets himself in those positions he is a very good finisher. He doesn’t panic and he took his goals extremely well.”
Randolph, Caddis, Mullins, Robinson, Hancox, Brown (Elliott 68), Lee, Burke, Howard (Shinnie 79), Novak, Zigic (Ferguson 61)
Subs not used: Doyle, Packwood, Reilly, Gray
Man of the match: Brian Howard