Blues back to winning ways
Carsley sees off unlucky Rams
Last Updated: 27/01/09 10:13pm
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.
StrugglingThe 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.
RechargedMcLeish 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.
Sky Bet Championship
Tue 27th Jan
Charlton1 - 0C Palace
Barnsley1 - 2Ipswich
Plymouth0 - 2Bristol C
Sheff Utd0 - 1Doncaster
Swansea4 - 1Preston
Watford3 - 0Burnley
Birmingham1 - 0Derby
Blackpool0 - 3QPR
N Forest2 - 1Sheff Wed
Norwich2 - 2Southampton
Reading1 - 0Wolves
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||44||76|
|7||Brighton and Hove Albion||44||66|