Match report: Birmingham 2-1 Middlesbrough

Birmingham City scored a late winner on Friday night to move into the top half of the Championship table before the weekend’s games, leaving Middlesbrough down in 20th.

The Blues deserved their three points but didn’t get them until 19-year-old Odin Bailey scored in the 89th minute, just two minutes after the visitors had equalised.

Bailey headed home from close range shortly after Daniel Ayala had bundled home Middlesbrough’s equaliser.

Birmingham had dominated the possession and territory for much of the game, as well as creating a number of chances. They took the lead in the 33rd minute through defender Fran Villalba but failed to double it at any point.

The Blues’ dominance of the game is best shown on the shot count: 26 to the home side compared to Middlesbrough’s five in 90 minutes.

Darren Randolph, last season’s Championship Team of the Year goalkeeper, pulled off a number of excellent saves for the visitors but couldn’t prevent his side coming away from St Andrew’s with no points.

The Republic of Ireland international couldn’t do anything about Odin Bailey’s finish from close range after being set up by Dan Crowley’s cross to the far post.

Victory ends Birmingham City’s run of three consecutive defeats in the Championship as we head into the international break. The Blues return to face Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday 19 October.

Middlesbrough have now taken just one point from their last four league games and could be just one point above the drop zone if results on Saturday go against them.