Birmingham City kept themselves in the running for the Play-offs thanks a late 2-1 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford.
The Blues remain in eighth place in the table, but have cut the gap to sixth place from four to just two points with this win, while Brentford slip down into tenth position, and find themselves now five points off of sixth placed Ipswich Town.
In the absence of teenage starlet Demarai Gray, who was talking with Leicester City ahead of a proposed move to the Premier League high-flyers, Birmingham struggled to create, but took the lead nevertheless, when Jon Toral played in Jacques Maghoma, who finished when called upon.
After Alan Judge had spurned a one-on-one chance, the Bees equalised when Phillip Hoffman pounced on a rebound from a long range strike to tap home.
But it was the Blues who came out on top, when Mikael Kieftenbeld scored his first goal in over 1000 days, sliding in at the back post to give Birmingham all three points.
Football League World writer Harry Smith identifies three things that we learned from this match…
1) Birmingham can win scrappy
This game was by no means one to remember, but it was the kind of game that both sides need to start winning if they are going to claim a place in the Play-offs.
Birmingham ultimately came out on top, and the victory showed good passion and guile to come out on top in a scrappy encounter.
2) Brentford need to be more clinical
Judge had one of the most simple chances he will get this season, yet he failed to even hit the target, hammering the ball well over with the whole goal to aim at.
Whilst this may seem harsh, given that Judge is the side’s top scorer this year, he needs to finish those sorts of chances if Dean Smith’s side are to reach the Play-offs.
3) Rowett has shown quality management
Blues boss Gary Rowett shunned speculation that he may be ready to leave Birmingham for greener pastures, and stated that his loyalties laid firmly with the Blues.
And he seems to have made a good choice, as he is clearly onto something here.
His anticipation of Brentford’s approach showed quality management, and that will help the Blues massively in their bid for a top-six place.
Birmingham and Brentford fans… what did you make of the game? Did Birmingham deserve the win? Or did Brentford warrant a point? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!