August 28, 2016 by Shane Ireland
By Kane Styles
After a frustrating defeat to Midlands rivals Wolves last Saturday, Blues responded perfectly with a clinical showing against Alex Neil’s Norwich.
Blues started on the front-foot, Maghoma wasn’t too far away from putting Blues ahead. The DR Congo international cut inside from the left and blazed his effort just wide of Michael McGovern’ left post.
Less than 90 seconds after that, Norwich had the ball in the back of the net, Howson fired past Kuszczak but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Blues were the better side during the opening 20 minutes, and their pressure was rewarded when David Davis scored his second goal of the season in the 22nd minute. Jaques Maghoma was brought down by Whittaker, the referee played a good advantage which saw Maghoma cut inside and his inviting delivery was met by David Davis’ diving header.
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Blues looked more comfortable than what they were in previous games, Tesche, Kieftenbeld and Davis worked tremendously well together in the absence of Stephen Gleeson. It’s hard to believe that the three of them cost less than £600,000 put together, David Davis has looked superb in the two victories that Blues have registered this season, and it would be fascinating to see how much Maikel Kieftenbeld is valued at given the current market.
During the closing stages of the half, Maghoma tried his luck with a 25-yard free kick which flew narrowly over the crossbar. Che Adams nicked possession down the right-hand-side and played the ball to Kieftenbeld who fired low and wide. At the interval, Blues had a deserved lead.
Moving into the second-half, and Blues picked up from where they left-off. Blues won a corner less than a minute after the restart, and David Davis had a low shot saved by the Norwich ‘keeper just 3 minutes into the half.
Blues should have doubled their advantage in the 60th minute. Che Adams beat the offside track and rounded the Norwich ‘keeper, but his touch was taken too wide which meant the goal-angle was narrowed and his attempt only struck the side-netting.
Just four minutes later, Blues missed the best chance of the game. Donaldson did fantastically well to burst down the wing, Robert Tesche found himself in plenty of space inside the Norwich penalty area but he could only hit the underside of the crossbar after a good low-cross from Donaldson. At this point, Blues fans must have been wondering whether it was to be or not.
In the 67th minute, after a clever lobbed ball from Che Adams, Clayton Donaldson was brought down inside the box by Steven Whittaker and a penalty was given. Donaldson himself stepped up to the spot and calmly sent the Norwich stopper the wrong way to give Blues a 2-0 lead.
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The Canaries could have halved the deficit, Wes Hoolahan got away from Jonathan Grounds but was denied by a smart stop from Tomasz Kuszczak.
But in the 82nd minute, any concerns of a Norwich fightback were crushed as Clayton Donaldson bagged his second of the game to secure Blues the 3-points.
A mix-up in the Norwich defence resulted in Donaldson latching onto a misplaced pass and placing his effort past McGovern.
It was a brilliant afternoon for Blues, not only did they look sharp on the counter-attack, but at times Blues passed the ball well and were constantly threatening.
Now onto a fixture that Blues fans relish, a trip to Fulham on September 10th. But before that, Blues may look to add to the squad with the transfer deadline on the horizon, in addition to what could be an exciting announcement on Monday where the EGM report is expected.