Championship
Birmingham0Reading1

Birmingham City 0-1 Reading

Birmingham v Reading
John Swift scored his seventh goal of the season

Reading dug deep to beat an out-of-sorts Birmingham and move to within three points of the Championship's automatic promotion places.

Liam Kelly curled against the bar for the Royals and saw a shot denied by Ryan Shotton's block before half time.

The hosts should have led, but Lukas Jutkiewicz stumbled when trying to convert Kerim Frei's centre.

With the game fizzling out, John Swift sidefooted in Jordan Obita's low cross for a third successive victory.

Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola still awaits his first win in charge, and has picked up just three points from a possible 27 since taking over.

It was a first clean sheet at St Andrew's for Jaap Stam's side in 12 league attempts, despite being without defensive players Tiago Ilori, Joey van den Berg and Paul McShane.

Reading had conceded 26 goals in their previous 13 away games, but now have a four-point gap over fourth placed Leeds.

Despite no victory since Gary Rowett's final match in charge on 13 December, the Blues remain in the top half.

Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola: "There is no idea in my mind to give up on this situation. I know can turn this around. I have the anger and determination to do this. At the moment there is no doubt about my position.

"I've been in other difficult situations in my career. It has not always been easy. It is not going to change this time.

"The players are still on board and if I didn't see that I would be stepping back for sure. If there not the spark between the coach and players then you obviously have to do something else."

Reading manager Jaap Stam: "It was a good overall performance. We were aware that Birmingham, with a new manager, were trying to play a different type of football.

"The weather conditions were not good and it made it difficult at times and with the quality Birmingham possess they made it troublesome for us.

"Everyone in the team played well to get the result we wanted. It is difficult in this league to win every game, but we are trying. Sometimes you need to lose a couple of games to be aware of where you need to improve and get results."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 25Cogley
  • 5ShottonSubstituted forMorrisonat 45'minutes
  • 4Robinson
  • 3Grounds
  • 26DavisSubstituted forStewartat 83'minutes
  • 8GleesonBooked at 56mins
  • 12Gardner
  • 14Adams
  • 15Jutkiewicz
  • 21Frei Koyunlu

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 2Nsue
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 7Tesche
  • 20Stewart
  • 28Morrison
  • 33Keita

Reading

  • 26Al Habsi
  • 2Gunter
  • 16Moore
  • 24Blackett
  • 23Williams
  • 38Kelly
  • 6Evans
  • 11Obita
  • 8Swift
  • 12McClearyBooked at 56minsSubstituted forMeiteat 71'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7BeerensSubstituted forMendesat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Mendes
  • 17Wieser
  • 19Meite
  • 25Popa
  • 30Watson
  • 31Jaakkola
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
16,672

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamReading
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home18
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 0, Reading 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 0, Reading 1.

Attempt missed. Greg Stewart (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Craig Gardner with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Yakou Meite (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).

Josh Cogley (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Yakou Meite (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Che Adams (Birmingham City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz with a headed pass.

Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).

Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Joseph Mendes replaces Roy Beerens.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Greg Stewart replaces David Davis.

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

Kerim Frei (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Attempt missed. Kerim Frei (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by David Davis.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 0, Reading 1. John Swift (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Obita.

Attempt missed. Roy Beerens (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Danny Williams.

Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).

Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Yakou Meite (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Yakou Meite replaces Garath McCleary.

Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).

Attempt saved. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.

Foul by Jordan Obita (Reading).

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Kerim Frei (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Che Adams.

Roy Beerens (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Che Adams (Birmingham City).

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Jonathan Grounds.

John Swift (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Gardner (Birmingham City).

Hand ball by Craig Gardner (Birmingham City).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brighton27186343182560
2Newcastle27191754213358
3Reading2917484237555
4Leeds28163939271251
5Huddersfield2715483230249
6Derby2813783021946
7Sheff Wed2813783328546
8Barnsley29135114844444
9Norwich28134114740743
10Preston29118103837141
11Fulham271010744321240
12Birmingham29910103139-837
13Brentford28106123735236
14Aston Villa2881282830-236
15Cardiff29106133443-936
16Wolves2898113738-135
17Ipswich2998122937-835
18Nottm Forest2996144047-733
19QPR2896132739-1233
20Bristol City2884163741-428
21Burton2877142838-1028
22Wigan2767142432-825
23Blackburn2767143244-1225
24Rotherham2944212763-3616
View full Championship table

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