Championship
Birmingham1Bolton2

Birmingham City 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

Bolton striker Jermaine Beckford (left) puts his side ahead against Birmingham

Bolton hung on to secure their first Championship win of the season with victory over Birmingham at St Andrew's.

Jermaine Beckford capitalised on a blunder from defender Dan Burn to slot home and give the visitors the lead.

Beckford then headed against the crossbar, before Neil Danns nodded home after Blues keeper Darren Randolph failed to deal with a cross.

Nikola Zigic looped in a header for Birmingham before Bolton survived a late penalty appeal to claim victory.

Midfielder Liam Feeney appeared to block Callum Reilly's shot with his arms in the area but referee David Coote did not point to the spot.

The win will help ease the pressure on Bolton manager Dougie Freedman after his side's poor start to the season.

Birmingham did not help their cause with some crucial mistakes. The first came when centre-back Burn misjudged a clearance, allowing striker Beckford to race through and net his first goal of the season.

The hosts had scored 11 goals in their past three home games, but they struggled for a breakthrough against a stubborn Bolton side.

The closest they came to an equaliser in a scrappy first half was a 25-yard curler from Reilly which keeper Adam Bogdan palmed around the post.

Bolton should have made Blues pay for some sloppy play but a six-yard Beckford header from Feeney's cross came back off the crossbar.

However, when Randolph failed to clear another cross, Danns headed in from close range to double their advantage.

Zigic's goal - his first of the season, following a Chris Burke free-kick - and the late penalty appeal made sure Bolton had to endure a nervous finale, but they held on to move within two points of their opponents.

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman:

"It's not a relief because I strongly believe that if you work hard and you study the game, you get your rewards and that's what we've certainly done here.

"I've tried to stay calm. I've had good support from the chairman in a difficult moment, but we've certainly not been far away having registered five draws.

"You have to go through some bad moments to get your reward and that's what we've done."

Birmingham manager Lee Clark:

"They're just individual errors from two lads who have been brilliant for us all season.

"They're human beings, we all make mistakes. Unfortunately for the two lads, their errors have cost us goals.

"There's no finger-pointing at them. Our general first-half performance, in terms of not being the driving force we have been in our previous three home games, was the catalyst for the result."

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burnley118212171426
2QPR108201221026
3Leicester117221711623
4Nottm Forest116411911822
5Watford1163222111121
6Blackpool11551139420
7Reading115421510519
8Bournemouth115151824-616
9Blackburn104331611515
10Derby114342118315
11Ipswich114341815315
12Huddersfield113531310314
13Leeds114251013-314
14Brighton113441112-113
15Middlesbrough112631718-112
16Doncaster103341012-212
17Wigan8323129311
18Millwall113261223-1111
19Birmingham113171315-210
20Bolton11155918-98
21Charlton10145814-67
22Sheff Wed100641016-66
23Yeovil11128618-125
24Barnsley111281127-165
View full Championship table

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