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Birmingham City 1-2 Fulham Cham 09 1415 Birmingham Mail

last updated Monday 29th September 2014, 10:55 AM

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Colin Tattum at Birmingham Mail

Birmingham City (1) 1-2 (0) Fulham

It was familiar, painful story for Birmingham City as they surrendered a winning position.

Missed chances and bad defensive play, and also a little dollop of misfortune, was their undoing.

David Cotterill put Blues into the lead just before half-time, in glorious fashion.

And they should have been out of sight before Fulham - who were not great shakes, in truth - drew level and then added another.

It enabled the Cottagers to register their first victory of the season in the Championship after seven defeats in eight outings.

And for Blues, it left Lee Clark wondering where the next win is coming from - and how to stop these Blues giveaways.

Certainly, Blues were the better side for an hour or so and it didn't appear that Fulham were going to find a way through.

But that means little if you cannot see games out, which has become such a trait of Clark's side.

Cotterill dragged a shot just wide after getting in behind the visiting defence before the first real opportunity of the game presented itself.

It came to Fulham, from a deep cross from the right, and Hugo Rodallega tried to smash it home with a spectacular hitched volley.

But he got his timing and angles all wrong and the ball skewed off his shins and went behind.

From then on Blues began to dominate and dictate the play.

Two missed headers - free headers - came before Cotterill fired Blues into the lead.

And in first-half added-time Jonathan Grounds was denied by a decent save making it 2-0.

Blues, with David Davis an increasing influence in the middle of the park, slowly but surely began to turn the screw on Fulham.

In the 27th minute, Clayton Donaldson missed a sitter.

Davis switched the ball out wide to the left and Cotterill cut back onto his right foot and swung over a delicious cross.

Birmingham's Jonathan Grounds (R) in action with Fulham's Lasse Vigen ChristensenBirmingham's Jonathan Grounds (R) in action with Fulham's Lasse Vigen Christensen Dan Burn completely lost Donaldson but he guided his header wide of the post from 10 yards or so.

There was pace on the ball, but Donaldson should have buried it.

Seven minutes later Blues let Fulham off the hook once more.

This time it came from a left-wing corner delivered by Cotterill, with nice whip.

Grounds got free in a packed box but twisted his header wide, just like Donaldson.

They kept on plugging away undeterred and gained reward in the 38th minute.

Cotterill registered a fantastic goal, a curled finish that sailed beyond the 'keeper from the left hand side, about 25 yards out.

The opening came after Demarai Gray drove right at the heart of the Fulham defence and an outstretched foot stopped his progresss.

But Reilly is there in support and slides in to win the loose ball - he wanted it more - and divert it to Cotterill.

He moved inside his opponent and placed a lovely shot into the top corner.

But Callum Reilly was there in support and slid in to win the loose ball - he wanted it more - and divert it to Cotterill.

Cotterill skirted inside his opponent and placed a lovely shot into the top corner.

Blues almost made it 2-0 in stoppage-time.

Grounds won the ball high on the left, took a pass back from Gray and kept going infield.

The Fulham defence was nowhere and Grounds let fly with his right foot, from 20 yards, and the 'keeper made a decent parrying save.

So it was a familiar tale all right in that Blues had played well, been the better side, and held the advantage at the interval.

Could they keep hold of it? The answer, sadly, was no.

But, yet again, the opportunity to gain a cushion was spurned, in the 59th minute, when Blues sprung from defence by moving the ball up to Donaldson.

Gray took over and turned He turned in the centre circle and fed Shea, to his left. He was clear on goal and hit a strong shot but an acrobatic save by Marcus Bettinelli - a fine save, in fact - denied him.

Birmingham City's David Cotterill (right) is congratulated on scoring his team's first goalBirmingham City's David Cotterill (right) is congratulated on scoring his team's first goal In the 63rd minute, Fulham forced a corner after raiding from a Blues corner - and it proved decisive.

From the cross that was cleared, Nikolay Bodurov tried his luck from 30 yards and miscued his attempt.

It went straight to Burn's feet in the area and he helped it back to Tim Hoogland. The Fulham defender didn't connect cleanly and the ball span past Darren Randolph off the leg of David Edgar, who tried to block.

It almost got worse for Blues three minutes after the goal as Ross McCormack took a pass deep in the area and veered into space but Randolph saved his shot, that came straight at him, with the sole of his boot.

Blues lost their composure, their confidence and in the 71st minute allowed Fulham their second with some scruffy play.

McCormack's pass was intended for Rodallega on the left of the area and was off target, but Jonathan Spector made a mess of dealing with it.

The ball fell short of the 'keeper and Rodallega went, getting a first bite. The rebound skewed up and off to the left and Rodallega reacted quickly to lash it in on the turn from a tight angle.

Blues were unable to find any inspiration in response and Fulham could have added to their misery on the counter attack.

Randolph saved from Rodallega and Spector got one away from the goal line as McCormack was teed-up.

A second successive St Andrew's defeat - in similar circumstances - and without a win in seven Championship matches makes for grim reading and has turned up the heat on Clark and his side.

Blues (4-2-3-1/4-4-2): Randolph, Spector (Caddis 90+4), Grounds, Robinson, Edgar, Reilly, Davis, Duffy (Shea ht), Gray (Thomas 72), Donaldson, Cotterill. Not used: Doyle, Gleeson, Hall, Johnstone.

Fulham (4-4-2): Bettinelli, Hoogland, Amorebieta, Bodurov, Burn, Parker, Christensen, Hyndman (Stafylidis ht), Ruiz (Woodrow 66), Rodallega, McCormack. Not used: Kiraly, Smith, Roberts, Williams G, Kavanagh.

Attendance: 14,132.

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