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Sky Bet Championship

St. Andrew's Stadium (ATT 15,149) 18th October 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Bolton Wanderers Bolton

Birm'ham 0

D Randolph (S/O 82)


Bolton 1

M Mills (20)

Sky Bet Championship: Neil Lennon guides Bolton to win at Birmingham

Last Updated: 18/10/14 5:27pm

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Matt Mills: Scores for Bolton against Birmingham

Matt Mills: Scores for Bolton against Birmingham

New Bolton manager Neil Lennon made a typically explosive start to his English managerial career as he was sent to the stands while his rejuvenated side took three Sky Bet Championship points from 10-man Birmingham.

The former Celtic boss took over from Dougie Freedman this week with his new team stuck on the bottom of the table.

However, the Trotters ended a five-match losing streak courtesy of Matt Mills' first-half header and held on for a 1-0 win despite Craig Davies missing a late penalty after goalkeeper Darren Randolph was sent off.

Lennon's name was being chanted by the Bolton fans before his tenure had even begun on the field.

A lively start saw Birmingham winger Koby Arthur's shot deflect wide before Dorian Dervite and Jermaine Beckford both headed wide for Bolton.

Bolton defender Mills was booked in the 14th minute for a timely foul on Demarai Gray. David Cotterill's resulting free-kick clipped the bar, to Mills' relief.

Gray mis-kicked over the bar in the 19th minute but seconds later, the visitors took the lead against the run of play.

Captain Jay Spearing's cross from a corner from the right was perfectly flighted for Mills to power home a header, prompting Lennon to sprint down the touchline pumping his fists.

Birmingham were creating half-chances and came close when Gray was fed by Stephen Gleeson, pushed on and forced a good save by Andy Lonergan with his curling effort just before the break.

Further half-chances came and went for Gray and Arthur before the former dragged a volley wide as Lee Clark's side pushed for a way back into the match. Their profligacy continued as fellow academy product Arthur wildly missed the target yet again.

The effervescent Gray hit the bar in the 78th minute with a superb curling effort, which Lonergan brilliantly tipped onto the woodwork.

It looked over as a contest when Bolton won penalty in the 82nd minute. Blues right-back Paul Caddis played goalkeeper Randolph into trouble with a backpass under pressure from Davies and the Irishman felled the forward to earn himself a red card.

Forward Lee Novak, on as an earlier substitute, donned the goalkeeping gloves and was delighted to see Davies blaze the penalty high into the stands.

Lennon, in the melee, was sent to the stands for an infringement on the touchline.

Birmingham had a penalty shout for handball turned down by referee Mark Haywood during six minutes of added time but that was as close as they came.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 14 26
2 Watford 14 26
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 26
4 Bournemouth 14 24
5 Middlesbrough 14 24
6 Norwich City 14 23
7 Nottingham Forest 14 22
8 Blackburn Rovers 14 22
9 Charlton Athletic 14 22
10 Ipswich Town 14 21
11 Cardiff City 14 19
12 Sheffield Wednesday 14 19
13 Brentford 14 19
14 Reading 14 18
15 Millwall 14 17
16 Rotherham United 14 17
17 Huddersfield Town 14 17
18 Leeds United 14 16
19 Wigan Athletic 14 15
20 Fulham 14 14
21 Brighton and Hove Albion 14 13
22 Bolton Wanderers 14 11
23 Birmingham City 14 11
24 Blackpool 14 6