Match 02
21st August 1991
Football League Cup 1st Round 1st Leg
Birmingham City (home)



Birmingham manager Terry Cooper returned to his old club and received a standing ovation before the kick-off from Birmingham and Exeter fans.

After five minutes, Exeter defender Scott Hiley beat a Birmingham defender on the right wing and managed to get a good cross into the penalty area, but sadly saw it headed away by the Birmingham centre back Martin hicks, for a corner of which nothing came about. After 10 minutes, Gary Marshall picked up the loose ball in midfield and had a good run up the left wing after beating two defenders he then let himself down with a poor ball wide of goal. Referee Paul Scoble from Portsmouth made Jonathan Brown his first name in the book after a quarter of an hour for a bad tackle.

Birmingham took the lead and scored the only goal of the game on 28 minutes with a well struck shot from just outside the area by lan Rodgerson which took a slight deflection en route to goal, but had Kevin Maloy well beaten. Darran Rowbotham was booked on 30 minutes and soon was substituted by Alan Ball, seemingly due to picking up injury. He was replaced up front alongside Steve Moran by Gordan Hobson. After 33 minutes Mark Cooper broke through the Birmingham defence and was unfortunate to see his shot saved by the feet of keeper Martin Thomas.

Eamonn Dolan was sent off early in the second half for receiving his second booking of the night, and Birmingham were reduced to 10 men for most of the half. Mark Cooper was agin sorry to see a shot of his saved by Birmingham goalkeeper Martin Thomas after 71 minutes, despite having power behind his shot.

On 80 minutes, Steve Moran played the ball out from the midfield to Scott Hiley who was on the wing, he carried the ball to the byline and crossed a good ball by Gary Marshall headed over the bar from close range. Marshall had a shot again from 35 yards on 82 minutes but Thomas saved again at the foot of the left hand upright. Steve Moran had an effort scrambled off the line on 84 minutes. Tom Kelly was also booked on 88 minutes. Despite a late challenge by Exeter, Birmingham held off the challenge and take a 1-0 lead with them back to St.Andrews for the return leg next week.



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