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Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Saturday, 21 November 2009

Birmingham   1 - 0   Fulham

By Sam Sheringham

Lee Bowyer
Bowyer's goal was his fourth of an impressive season

A clever goal from Lee Bowyer earned Birmingham victory over Fulham as Alex McLeish's men extended their unbeaten run to four matches.

Bowyer latched on to James McFadden's lofted pass before cushioning the ball past Mark Schwarzer for his fourth goal of the season.

Fulham dominated the second half and almost levelled when Clint Dempsey's header was tipped over by Joe Hart.

But Birmingham held firm to inflict Fulham's first loss in six games.

It was another impressive performance from McLeish's side, who have now accrued 15 points from 13 games to sit comfortably in mid-table.

The Scotsman has moulded a side that is difficult to beat and, in McFadden and Bowyer, has players capable of unlocking tight defences.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson left Damien Duff on the bench following his midweek exertions with the Republic of Ireland. Zoltan Gera took his place on the left, with Simon Davies making his first start of the season following an ankle injury at Erik Nevland's expense.

McLeish happy with 'classy' Bowyer

The visitors had the game's first opening when Bobby Zamora found space on the left and, ignoring well-placed team-mates to his right, curled a shot well wide of the post.

Birmingham went close to taking the lead when a McFadden cross was deflected on to Cameron Jerome's chest and into the arms of a grateful Schwarzer.

Moments later, the home side went in front, with McFadden again providing the creative spark.

The Scotland winger spotted Bowyer's well-timed run and lofted a pinpoint pass into his path. The midfielder, still with work to do, reached the ball ahead of the advancing Schwarzer and clipped it past the keeper.

It was a goal reminiscent of Bowyer's prime at Leeds, a late darting run into the box followed by a clinical finish.

In driving rain at St Andrews, Fulham found their feet as the half went on, only to find Birmingham's defence in good working order. Gera found the time in the area to line up a shot which was superbly blocked by Roger Johnson.

Defeat doesn't dent confidence - Hodgson

Fulham made the brighter start to the second period. Zamora cushioned Paul Konchesky's cross into the path of Gera, but the Hungarian's half-volley bounced over the bar.

The Londoners continued to enjoy the majority of the possession and came close the equalising when Dempsey's header from Stephen Kelly's cross drew an acrobatic save from Hart.

It was the kind of stop that will do Hart's chances of making England's World Cup squad no harm.

Hodgson sent on Duff for Kelly after 73 minutes and the Irishman made his presence felt with a low shot from outside the area which whistled past Hart's post.

But Fulham still could not break down Birmingham's impressive back line, and McLeish's men held on for a well-earned three points.


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"We did our very best to score a goal but when we did get an opportunity the goalkeeper was in fine form or someone got in a good block.

"I don't think we could have had more possession, more crosses or corners, it was just a question of the ball not falling kindly enough.

"We had a few players missing but the players who came in did really well."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish:
"I'm delighted because we played a tough game today.

"Sometimes it wasn't too pretty. We've played better than that and lost games but we showed we can win a match with strength and resilience.

"As long as they keep their feet on the ground and show the same level of resilience and application we can have a good season."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Birmingham 1-0 Fulham FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Bowyer 16

    Birmingham

    Substitutes

    Fulham

    Substitutes

    Ref: FoyAtt: 23,659
    BIRMINGHAM
    FULHAM

    Possession

    • Birmingham 51%
    • Fulham 49%

    Attempts on target

    • Birmingham 2
    • Fulham 5

    Attempts off target

    • Birmingham 1
    • Fulham 7

    Corners

    • Birmingham 0
    • Fulham 7

    Fouls

    • Birmingham 7
    • Fulham 9
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:12 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
    • 90:00+2:35 Bobby Zamora gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Carr. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
    • 89:38 The referee gives a free kick against Bobby Zamora for handball. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 88:04 Jonathan Greening sends in a cross, save by Joe Hart.
    • 87:59 A cross is delivered by Jonathan Greening, clearance made by Scott Dann.
    • 85:25 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
    • 83:47 Bobby Zamora is ruled offside. Joe Hart takes the indirect free kick.
    • 81:40 Foul by Stephen Carr on Zoltan Gera, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Paul Konchesky.
    • 80:15 Substitution Chris Baird goes off and Dickson Etuhu comes on.
    • 79:56 Damien Duff takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 77:55 The ball is crossed by Damien Duff.
    • 77:46 The ball is delivered by Paul Konchesky, clearance by Roger Johnson.
    • 77:38 The ball is sent over by Damien Duff, Lee Bowyer makes a clearance.
    • 76:45 Bobby Zamora takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Carr. Clinton Dempsey has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 73:58 Substitution Damien Duff replaces Stephen Kelly.
    • 70:31 Substitution Keith Fahey replaces Christian Benitez.
    • 69:54 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
    • 69:28 Stephen Kelly sends in a cross, Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 67:48 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies, clearance by Roger Johnson.
    • 66:44 Simon Davies crosses the ball in from the free kick, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
    • 66:44 Booking The referee books Lee Bowyer for unsporting behaviour.
    • 66:39 Lee Bowyer challenges Clinton Dempsey unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 65:09 Bobby Zamora is penalised for a handball. Scott Dann restarts play with the free kick.
    • 63:41 Centre by James McFadden, clearance made by Paul Konchesky.
    • 63:09 Chris Baird gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer. Free kick taken by Scott Dann.
    • 62:19 Jonathan Greening gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Christian Benitez. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
    • 60:53 Centre by Paul Konchesky.
    • 60:25 Christian Benitez is caught offside. Jonathan Greening takes the indirect free kick.
    • 58:49 Handball decision goes against Bobby Zamora. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 58:27 Cameron Jerome concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Kelly. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
    • 57:53 The ball is sent over by Paul Konchesky, Shot from inside the area by Zoltan Gera clears the bar.
    • 57:46 The ball is swung over by Simon Davies, clearance by Roger Johnson.
    • 55:37 Zoltan Gera concedes a free kick for a foul on Roger Johnson. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
    • 54:29 The ball is swung over by Aaron Hughes.
    • 52:19 Christian Benitez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 51:22 A cross is delivered by Paul Konchesky, Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 49:44 Centre by Chris Baird.
    • 48:20 The ball is crossed by Stephen Kelly.
    • 47:56 Foul by Lee Bowyer on Simon Davies, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:22 The ref blows to end the first period.
    • 45:00+0:45 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies played to the near post, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
    • 44:04 Outswinging corner taken by Simon Davies, Brede Hangeland has a headed effort from close range and clears the crossbar.
    • 43:32 Simon Davies takes a outswinging corner.
    • 43:26 Stephen Kelly delivers the ball, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
    • 39:15 Brede Hangeland challenges James McFadden unfairly and gives away a free kick. James McFadden crosses the ball in from the free kick, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.
    • 38:19 A cross is delivered by Bobby Zamora, Joe Hart makes a save.
    • Correction - 36:21 The ball is sent over by Paul Konchesky, Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Blocked by Roger Johnson.
    • 36:21 A cross is delivered by Paul Konchesky, Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Carr.
    • 35:58 James McFadden sends in a cross, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.
    • 32:28 Handball decision goes against Clinton Dempsey. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 31:24 The assistant referee signals for offside against Christian Benitez. Brede Hangeland takes the indirect free kick.
    • 30:01 Stephen Kelly produces a cross, Christian Benitez makes a clearance.
    • 29:37 Simon Davies takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Stephen Carr.
    • 28:06 Foul by Barry Ferguson on Zoltan Gera, free kick awarded. Jonathan Greening crosses the ball in from the free kick, Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 27:18 Inswinging corner taken by Jonathan Greening, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Dann by Zoltan Gera. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
    • 26:58 Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Barry Ferguson gets a block in.
    • 25:07 Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 24:22 Lee Bowyer concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Davies. Aaron Hughes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 23:56 The ball is swung over by Stephen Kelly, save by Joe Hart.
    • 21:04 Unfair challenge on Chris Baird by James McFadden results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 16:52 Free kick awarded for a foul by Bobby Zamora on Roger Johnson. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
    • 15:41 Assist on the goal came from James McFadden.
    • 15:41 GOAL - Lee BowyerBirmingham 1 - 0 Fulham Goal scored by Lee Bowyer from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Birmingham 1-0 Fulham.
    • 13:17 Shot from long distance by Cameron Jerome misses to the right of the target.
    • 12:35 The ball is swung over by James McFadden, Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer. Effort from long range by Clinton Dempsey goes wide right of the target.
    • 11:50 Sebastian Larsson fouled by Jonathan Greening, the ref awards a free kick. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
    • 10:56 A cross is delivered by Clinton Dempsey, Header on goal by Zoltan Gera from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 7:22 The referee blows for offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
    • 6:46 Bobby Zamora has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
    • 5:41 The ball is swung over by Clinton Dempsey, save made by Joe Hart.
    • 4:46 Christian Benitez fouled by Brede Hangeland, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by James McFadden from right wing, clearance by Aaron Hughes.
    • 1:17 The ball is sent over by Stephen Kelly.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League results

    21 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Birmingham 1-0 Fulham R
    Burnley 1-1 Aston Villa R
    Chelsea 4-0 Wolverhampton R
    Hull 3-3 West Ham R
    Liverpool 2-2 Man City R
    Man Utd 3-0 Everton R
    Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal R

    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 21 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 13 25 33
    2 Man Utd 13 14 28
    3 Arsenal 12 21 25
    4 Aston Villa 13 8 22
    5 Tottenham 12 6 22
    6 Man City 12 7 21
    7 Liverpool 13 9 20
    8 Sunderland 13 2 20
    9 Burnley 13 -10 17
    10 Stoke 12 -3 16
    11 Fulham 12 -1 15
    12 Birmingham 13 -3 15
    13 Everton 12 -5 15
    14 Wigan 12 -9 14
    15 Blackburn 11 -11 13
    16 Hull 13 -15 12
    17 West Ham 13 -4 11
    18 Bolton 11 -9 11
    19 Wolverhampton 13 -14 10
    20 Portsmouth 12 -8 7


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