Lee Camps gifts Fulham the three points at St Andrews


Birmingham were left frustrated after Lee Camp’s error sees them lose to Fulham at home 1-0.

Birmingham City looked to bounce back from their defeat against Cardiff as they took on Fulham this weekend. The Blues made no changes to the XI that faced Cardiff other than Chelsea loanee Jean-Clarke Slater replacing suspended captain, Harlee Dean.

Fulham changed up their XI considerably from the side that lost to Hull City. Rodak came in for Betinelli, Reid came in for Cairney and a single change in defence with Le Merchand coming in for Bryan.

Both sides locked horns in a closely fought encounter at St Andrews. The hosts played clean possession based play, although, it wasn’t enough for them to create clear cut chances.

They attempted to pressure Fulham early on, attacking them in a 4-2-3-1 formation, using triangles to work their way up the pitch. The Cottagers faced their first challenge in the opening five minutes as a shot from Pederson was batted away by Rodik in goal.

The game continued in a back and forth fashion as they both tried to feel each other out. Fulham thought they’d found the break through come the 15th minute, Knockaert found Mitrovic who latched onto the ball after Lee Camp initially denied the first attempt but the goal was chalked off for offside.

Birmingham looked to immediately pounce on the counter with Crowley finding himself in space, but the former Coventry man fired his shot far and above the goal. The hosts found themselves in for two chances that were unanswered but were unable to make it count.

Fulham finally regained control and almost immediately created a chance. Winning the ball in the Blues half, Knockaert played it in towards Reid who was merely studs away from converting.

Following the near miss, controversy struck. Bellingham was involved in a clash with Knockaert, who fell on Bellingham and split his lip. Mitrovic then got into a heated discussion and put his hand across Bellingham’s face which enraged the home support – both Bellingham and Mitrovic were booked for the incident as the half came to a close.

Both teams came out in the second-half unchanged as they continually traded possession, as they looked for the go-ahead strike. Fulham wouldn’t have to wait long to strike the first blow – a cross from substitute Cyrus Christie was fumbled by Lee Camp, who saw Mitrovic pounce on the mistake and slot it home.

The goal gave Fulham momentum as they went onto look for a second. They created two chances with Knockaert and Odoi both firing off shots.

Birmingham introduced recent signing Jeremie Bela to the action, who was greeted with a warm reception by his new supporters. The Frenchman had some bright moments, including a low-cross into the area after he showed clever feet to create the space for himself.

Despite pushing, Birmingham were struggling to create a clear-cut chance to get back into it. Pep Clotet decided to go on the offensive with the addition of Alvaro Gimenez and Jefferson Montero. The latter in particular caused considerable threat to the Fulham defence. His tricky feet and direct approach put them on the back foot, the Ecuadorian played in a teasing ball that was met by Jutzkiewicz but it was tipped over by Rodik.

As the second-half hit the home stretch, Birmingham looked to be running out of time. Despite their best efforts, they struggled to find the killer blow. Fulham almost put the result completely out of the question when substitute Kamara raced through to go one-on-one, only to fire his shot off the post.

That would prove to be the final moment of drama in the match as Fulham retained possession to see out the remainder of the action.

The result sees Birmingham in 13th place, four points off the play-off spots. Meanwhile, the win sees Fulham up into the play-off spots. Birmingham next travel away to Huddersfield whilst Fulham will host QPR – albeit without Mitrovic, whose yellow card sees him suspended.

Birmingham XI: L. Camp, M. Colin, J Clarke-Slater, M. Roberts, K. Pederson, F. Villalba, J. Bellingham, I. Sunjic, D. Crowley, L. Jutkiewicz, K. Mrabti

Fulham XI: M. Rodak, M. Le Marchand, T. Ream, A. Mawson, D. Odoi, S. Johansen, H. Reed, B. Reid, I. Cavaleiro, A. Mitrovic, A. Knockaert


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