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St Andrews Stadium (ATT 15,330) 27th January 2009 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: G Salisbury

Birmingham Birmingham City vs Derby County Derby

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Derby 0

Blues back to winning ways

Carsley sees off unlucky Rams

Last Updated: 27/01/09 10:13pm

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Carsley: Match-winner

Carsley: Match-winner

Birmingham got their promotion bid back on track with a narrow 1-0 win over Derby at St Andrews.

Lee Carsley was the hero for Alex McLeish's side as he scored the only goal of the game to help them bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Blackpool.

The defeat was harsh on Derby as they dominated the game for long periods, but had nothing to show for their efforts.

Derby could have taken the lead after just two minutes as Maik Taylor failed to hold onto Gary Teale's corner, but Kris Commons blasted over the bar from four yards.

Teale himself twice tested Taylor from distance shortly after as the home side failed to enjoy any real possession during the opening 10 minutes.

Struggling

The home side were struggling to build any early momentum but the home faithful among the 15,330, the lowest attendance of the season at St Andrew's, were being kept busy by the regular boos aimed at former midfielder Robbie Savage.

Matters could and should have got worse for Birmingham in the 18th minute as Martin Taylor failed to connect properly with his intended backpass and instead laid the ball straight into the path of Rob Hulse who had a clean run on goal.

But goalkeeper Taylor came to his defender's rescue and palmed the goalbound effort to safety.

Nacer Barazite blasted wide from 25 yards with Derby almost camped in the home side's half and Rams keeper Stephen Bywater a mere spectator at the other end.

Recharged
McLeish opted not to make any changes at the interval and instead sent out a recharged Blues side who looked sharper without being spectacular.

But they were starting to create chances and should have taken the lead had James McFadden put more weight on a pass to the waiting Kevin Phillips, who was bearing down on goal in the middle of the penalty area.

But Blues did not have to wait much longer to break the deadlock as Carsley headed in his second goal of the season.

It could have been 2-0 just minutes later as an inswinging free-kick bounced off Bywater's left-hand post with a Rams defender appearing to get the final touch amid a mass of bodies.

Taylor tipped Hulse's header over the bar in the 78th minute as Derby pressed for an equaliser but it was not to be their day as Carsley then cleared Miles Addsion's effort off the line.

Substitute Scott Sinclair wasted a great chance to settle some nerves late on but Birmingham held on for victory.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 44 96
2 Burnley 44 89
3 Derby County 44 81
4 Queens Park Rangers 44 76
5 Wigan Athletic 43 70
6 Reading 44 67
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 44 66
8 Nottingham Forest 44 65
9 Ipswich Town 44 65
10 Blackburn Rovers 44 64
11 Bournemouth 44 63
12 Watford 43 60
13 Middlesbrough 44 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 44 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 44 53
16 Leeds United 44 53
17 Huddersfield Town 44 50
18 Charlton Athletic 43 45
19 Doncaster Rovers 44 44
20 Millwall 44 44
21 Birmingham City 43 43
22 Blackpool 44 43
23 Barnsley 44 39
24 Yeovil Town 44 37

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