Elliott fires Blues to victory

Wade Elliott spared Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle's blushes as his winner earned the Championship side a 2-1 Europa League win against Maribor.

Last Updated: 29/09/11 at 20:36 Post Comment

Burke: Equalised

Burke: Equalised

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Doyle had gifted NK Maribor the half-time lead in their Group H clash when he swung at and missed Jonathan Spector's backpass to allow Dalibor Volas to score a comical opener.

But Scotland winger Chris Burke levelled and then Elliott, a recent signing from Burnley, earned Chris Hughton's side a memorable victory with a classy strike to give his side real hope of making a push for the knock-out stages.

City boss Chris Hughton made several changes for his side's first away group fixture, including the decision to field Doyle in place of regular starter Boaz Myhill.

Maribor coach Darko Milanic, who masterminded Rangers' downfall at the play-off stage, fielded Ibrox goalscorer Volas up front at the Stadion Ljudski.

Both sides were seeking their first points having lost their respective openers but the onus was on the Slovenian champions to take all three on home soil.

Marlon King's early header was held by Jasmin Handanovic and stand-in captain Liam Ridgewell's header just lacked enough power.

Maribor went close when captain Marcos dragged his shot just wide and Doyle then showed superb reflexes to tip away Goran Cvijanovic's point-blank header.

At the other end King had two half-chances either side of Keith Fahey's off-target volley.

When the deadlock was broken, it was in farcical circumstances.

Doyle, so impressive moments earlier, somehow missed Spector's backpass and then seemed to watch helplessly as the ball rolled behind him and Volas gleefully put the ball in the net.

Three Birmingham half-chances came and went in one move as King's shot was blocked, Burke's follow-up was saved and Jean Beausejour's attempt went wide.

The goal briefly quietened the travelling contingent of just over 600 Birmingham fans and Ales Mertelj threatened to shut them up completely when his searing drive from distance whistled over the bar early in the second half.

Ridgewell, booked just before the break, was perhaps unwise to tangle with Dejan Mezga on the touchline while attempting to take a throw-in but referee Tom Harald Hagen decided no action was necessary.

Hughton had strikers Nikola Zigic and Chris Wood stripped and ready to come on when the equaliser came in the 64th minute.

King held the ball up well and flicked it on to Burke, who then showed superb technique to poke the ball around his marker and slot it under the onrushing Handanovic.

Zigic immediately replaced King anyway and he caused Maribor immediate trouble.

Elliott could then have done better with a chance soon after but Handanovic came out deny him.

But Birmingham were buoyant and Elliott soon struck the winner.

A speculative punt forward 11 minutes from time just eluded Morgaro Gomis' control, but when the loose ball was not dealt with, Elliott was alert to the opportunity and drove his right-footed half-volley inside Handanovic's near post.

Handanovic could perhaps have shown more strength to keep the shot out but Elliott did not care as he sprinted away to celebrate in front of the joyous Birmingham contingent.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 11 December 2014
20:05
Young Boys 2-0 Sp Prague  
Everton 0-1 Krasnodar  
S Bucuresti 0-2 Dynamo Kiev  
Fiorentina 1-2 Dinamo Minsk  
Leg Warsaw 2-0 Trabzonspor  
Lille 0-3 Wolfsburg  
Metalist 0-1 Lokeren  
Napoli 3-0 Slovan  
PAOK S'nika 1-2 Guingamp  
Rio Ave 2-0 Aalborg  

Footer 365

Brendan Rodgers: Daniel Sturridge can shine new light on revamped Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers expects the imminent return of "reference point" Daniel Sturridge to help Liverpool push for a top-four place.

Premier League: Arsenal top scorer Alexis Sanchez a doubt for Super Sunday game against Aston Villa

Arsenal could be without Alexis Sanchez for their Super Sunday game against Aston Villa this weekend.

Transfer News: Chelsea look to sell Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg , free up funds for Juan Cuadrado bid

Chelsea are in talks with Wolfsburg for the possible sale of Andre Schurrle in a move to sign Juan Cuadrado.

Mail Box

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company