since 1878

Birmingham City (1) 4 - 1 (0) Ipswich Town

League Cup Semi-Final, 2nd Leg 2000-01

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Referee: J Winter

Manager: Unknown

St Andrews

Attendance: 28,624

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2888




AdebolaA Johnson








M Johnson










A Johnson



Match Report

Town miss out on Cardiff final

BIRMINGHAM 4, IPSWICH 2. That just about say's it all.

Another sorry away performance ended Town's hopes of progressing through to the final of the Worthington Cup. Town finally went out 4-2 on aggregate, after extra time. After ninety minutes, a score line of 2-1 to City on the night meant the tie would go into extra time. It was this final half hour where Town lost out, going 3-1 down, and in the final minutes, just to add insult into injury, Richard Wright had to suffer a classic ‘Bryan Gunn' moment. In the first half, there was not much between the teams. After Birmingham's initial onslaught, the game balanced out with neither teams creating any real cut chances. In fact Town fans were left wondering how they had not gone 1-0 up, after Hreidarsson shot agonisingly wide from close range. But it was the Brummie's who drew first blood, when Grainger headed home after a defensive blunder from Gary Croft. The ball bobbled before he swung at the ball, and his attempted clearance looped into the path of Grainger. It was a bitter blow for Town, just as they had taken the sting out of City's attack. Again we had conceded a goal just at the wrong moment. Birmingham started the second half started with their tales up, and pushed hard for the second goal. They got it in the 56th minute, when Venus stumbled on the terrible pitch. He could only help the ball into Horsefield's path, and watch as the striker' luck held out. Wright initially made a great block, but typically the ball rebounded back to Horsefield, who buried the ball into the back of an empty net. But Town struck straight back. After a classic counter attack, Scowcroft fired home a rebound after a Marcus Stewart shot. The goal gave us new hope, knowing we had scored an away goal. The game became very tense towards the end of normal time, with both clubs knowing any mistake would see them out. Extra time started in the same manner that normal time had ended, with neither teams stamping their authority. But disaster struck in the 114th minute, when Birmingham took the lead through Horsefield. An unmarked Sonner fed a good ball through that left the defence flat footed. Horsefield made mistake this time, and finished at the first attempt. The Town players looked very drained at this point, and were unable to muster any final comeback. There were a couple of attacks, but nothing of any note. The result was sealed a couple of minutes from time, when Wrighty found out what Bryan Gunn felt like in that infamous derby a few years ago. To be honest, Town didn't do enough to deserve anything from this game. We can blame things like the state of their crappy pitch- it would shame any Sunday league team, and was instrumental in three of their goals- but both teams had to play on it, and the Birmingham players looked much more hungry. No one can deny them their first final for 38 years. Good luck to them. But what is frustrating, is the manner of defeat. We just cannot defend at the moment. To concede three four goals away to Birmingham is an absolute disgrace. We won't beat anyone if we continue to give goals away this easily. But for me, the most disappointing aspect was the way we didn't look like scoring when we went behind in extra time. We've rung circles around the best teams in the country this season, but were unable put three passes together yesterday. It is the 3rd away game in recent weeks we have experienced a 4-1 defeat, and the team is now looking very jaded, tired, and quite frankly, knackered. This game came just at the wrong time for Town, and we now playing the worst football we have produced for a long time. It looks like the tough games of the Premiership have finally taken their toll on the players. We have had a remarkable season, we should remember that. Survival in the Premiership is virtually assured, something, which was the only priority at the start of the season. But it is so frustrating to think we have been beaten by a team as bad as Birmingham, and missed out on the League Cup final. After all the great teams we have beaten! Aaaaah! Don't dwell on it, or it will do your head in!

From The Terrace

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