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April 7, 2015 by bluenosebible
AFC Bournemouth 4-2 Birmingham City
Written by: Oliver Osborn
Birmingham City have extended their run to eight away league matches without victory following a 4-2 defeat at Bournemouth on Easter Monday.
The visitors had taken an early two goal lead through Clayton Donaldson and David Cotterill, looking destined to pick up their first league win on the road since December, but the home side fought back to move top of the table.
Two goals either side of half-time sealed the comeback for Eddie Howe’s men, who sit a point clear of Norwich City and Middlesbrough with five games to play.
Blues skipper Paul Robinson was sent off late on for a professional foul on Callum Wilson.
It was Birmingham who got off to the perfect start with two goals in the space of three minutes.
Andrew Shinnie played a well weighted ball over the Bournemouth defense and Donaldson was the first to it before lobbing a shot over goalkeeper Artur Boruc to give Rowett’s side a surprise opener.
A second soon followed through David Cotterill after the winger made a great run from the halfway line and fired home into the bottom left corner for the Welshman’s ninth goal of the season.
The home side responded well and pull a goal back with five minutes to go in the first-half.
Matt Ritchie’s corner was poorly dealt with and defender Steve Cook bundled the ball over the line as Darren Randolph attempted to clear.
The momentum was in Bournemouth’s favour and the Cherries leveled the score just before the break.
Callum Wilson latched onto Yann Kermorgant’s through ball and slotted home from close range.
Birmingham were struggling to cope with Bournemouth’s quality in attack and a third after the break meant they had conceded three goals in only nine minutes.
Striker Kermorgant converted from the penalty spot after Wilson was brought down by Paul Robinson close to the byline with a lunging tackle.
The goal meant Blues had to start looking for a way back into the game themselves and Donaldson fired just wide after Shinnie’s lovely chip over the defense gave the striker a good chance on the volley.
With a quarter of an hour to go Charlie Daniels scored a fourth for the promotion chasers with a shot that looped into the top corner from the edge of the area for his first goal since 2012.
Blues afternoon was dealt one final blow as Callum Wilson was brought down again by Robinson just outside the area and the club captain was given his marching orders.
In their next matches Birmingham face rivals Wolves on Saturday while Bournemouth travel to Brighton Friday evening.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “Credit to Birmingham as they made it difficult for us.
“They’re a tough team to beat, nothing we didn’t expect but the key thing was that we stayed in the game, kept fighting and got those crucial goals before half-time.
“The crowd stayed with us, and our mental strength was key. We know we can beat anyone when we’re at full pelt, and hopefully we can learn from this experience.”
Birmingham manager Gary Rowett: “I said two or three months ago that Derby were probably the best team in the division, now I’d say Bournemouth probably are. They’re probably the most complete team in the division as they work so hard for each other.
“At 2-0 after 35 minutes it was some of the best attacking play we’ve had since I’ve been here. We caused one of the best attacking sides in the league plenty of problems.
“But we’ve got to be stronger mentally and see the half out, rather than coming in at 2-2. That’s the two sides to our team at the moment, we need to see those games out.”
Starting line-up: Randolph; Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds; Davis, Tesche; Cotterill, Shinnie (Thomas 75′), Dyer (Gray 69′); Donaldson (Kiernan 79′)
Subs not used: Doyle, Brown, Novak, Zigic
Man of the match: Callum Wilson