Seasiders see red as Blues win

Blackpool skipper Barry Ferguson and boss Ian Holloway were both sent off as the Seasiders lost 3-0 at Birmingham on New Year's Eve.

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Davies: Heads Blues in front

Davies: Heads Blues in front

Memories of a Carling Cup triumph, relegation from the Premier League, a host of unwanted off-field headlines, the departure of manager Alex McLeish and subsequent appointment of Chris Hughton as well as a European adventure have all graced the Blues over the past 12 months.

Saturday's 90 minutes may not have provided as much activity, but there was no shortage of action in a rousing Championship encounter.

Returning centre-back Curtis Davies deservedly headed dominant City in front just before half-time before Marlon King minutes after the restart, taking advantage of a second assist from Chris Burke to race clear.

A disappointing afternoon for the Seasiders went from bad to worse soon after as Ferguson, afforded a warm welcome on his return to St Andrew's, saw red for what appeared to be an elbow on Guirane N'Daw, with Holloway following his midfielder down the tunnel for his subsequent remonstrations.

Holloway could have no complaints about the overall result, though, as his side tasted only their second defeat in 10, with Blues - the only unbeaten side on home soil in the second tier - dominating all the vital match statistics and adding a late third through promising teenager Nathan Redmond.

Birmingham immediately started on the front foot although King sent the only chance of the opening stages wide of the target after 12 minutes.

The hosts were looking the likelier of the two sides to break the deadlock, King inches away from connecting with Jean Beausejour's cross.

Pool were indebted to goalkeeper Mark Howard just moments later as Blues again started to turn the screw, the stopper producing a superb double save to first deny Davies and then Nikola Zigic, who looked certain to score from close range.

The visitors remained a threat on the break in what was a free-flowing opening 45 minutes but Hughton's side were far more dangerous, albeit without being able to take advantage of their chances.

Blackpool captain Ferguson twice made great blocks to deny Zigic and Burke before Davies sent a header just wide.

At the other end City keeper Boaz Myhill, who had moments earlier denied Ian Evatt with a great stop as the offside flag went up, produced another fine save to keep out Elliot Grandin.

And just as the hosts looked to have paid the price for their missed opportunities heading into half-time, Davies - who had already twice gone close - connected with Burke's corner to send a header past Howard.

Burke was again the provider just seven minutes after the restart as his throughball sent King racing clear and he converted past Howard for his sixth league goal of the season.

The game's key talking point arrived in the 55th minute as, out of nowhere, Ferguson was shown red for an elbow on N'Daw while also airing his views in the direction of referee Craig Pawson, who subsequently also sent Holloway to the stands for the manner of his touchline disapproval.

From then onwards it was one-way traffic as Zigic's diving header was kept out by Howard, with Murphy, Davies and Jordon Mutch all going close before substitute Redmond made it three from the edge of the area in the 89th minute.

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2 Burnley 43 32 86
3 Derby 43 29 78
4 QPR 43 14 73
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6 Brighton 43 12 65
7 Reading 43 10 64
8 Ipswich 43 6 64
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10 Bournemth 43 -1 62
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13 Middlesbro' 43 9 58
14 Bolton 43 -2 55
15 Sheff Wed 43 2 53
16 Leeds 43 -8 53
17 Huddersfld 43 -9 47
18 Birmingham 42 -11 43
19 Doncaster 43 -28 43
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21 Charlton 42 -24 42
22 Blackpool 43 -27 42
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24 Yeovil 43 -25 37

Updated Sun, 20 Apr 2014

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