Birmingham City 1-0 Ipswich Town: Blues lack attacking threat as they go down at relegation-battlers
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Ipswich Town suffered their third-successive defeat as they went down 1-0 at Birmingham.
Jota scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot, after Cameron Carter-Vickers had dragged down Jacques Maghoma in the first half, as the Blues lost their first match since news of manager Mick McCarthy’s summer departure became public.
The Blues didn’t register their first shot on target until the 66th minute as they again failed to find the net, in a game strikingly similar to the loss at Bristol City last time out.
Ipswich played some good football at times and were solid enough defensively, but were beaten by one lapse in concentration and offered little by way of goal threat.
McCarthy stuck with the same side that went down 1-0 at Ashton prior to the international break, with his chosen XI starting brightly as they moved the ball well, especially in wide areas.
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But it was the hosts who had the first real chance as David Davis sent his volley wide from a half-cleared corner, before they took the lead after 20 minutes.
The goal began in the arms of former Ipswich favourite David Stockdale, as the goalkeeper bowled the ball out to Jacques Maghoma who bursts past Carter-Vickers before falling to ground under the challenge of the Tottenham loanee. Ipswich, led by Luke Chambers, wanted a dive but the decision was made, with Jota finding the corner from the spot.
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It could have been two just a few minutes later, as new Poland cap Bartosz Bialkowski made a superb save with an outstretched foot following Che Adams’ deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area.
The opening goal rattled the Blues as they found it harder to move the ball, with poor touches and individual errors seeing them lose possession and invite the hosts on.
Town were able to apply from pressure when Jordan Spence strode forward and was chopped down by Maikel Kieftenbeld, with Martyn Waghorn’s free-kick ultimately ending with a corner that David Stockdale was able to punch clear under pressure from Freddie Sears.
Ipswich had the first chance of the second half as Jordan Spence headed a Knudsen cross wide, before the two combined again a few minutes later with the same result.
Bersant Celina was introduced before the hours mark as Town looked to make things happen, with the Kosovan laying on a chance for Martyn Waghorn which Stockdale palmed away as the Blues had their first shot on target.
The home fans thought Lukas Jutkiewicz had made it two as he shot flew just wide, before the striker had his header tipped over the top by Bialkowski.
Celina’s introduction and the return of Mustapha Carayol from injury gave the Blues some late, forward momentum and Bialkowski went up for a late corner but it was not enough as they left the second city pointless.
Birmingham: Stockdale; Colin, Morrison, Dean, Harding; Jota, Kieftenbeld (Ndoye 81), Maghoma (Lowe 90), Davis; Jutkiewicz (Dacres-Cogley 86), Adams
Subs: Kuszczak, Roberts, Bailey, Boga
Goal: Jota 21 (pen) Ipswich: Bialkowski; Spence, Carter-Vickers, Chambers, Webster, Knudsen; Connolly (Hyam 70), Skuse, Ward (Celina 55); Sears (Carayol 76), Waghorn
Subs: Crowe, Kenlock, Gleeson, Folami