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Birmingham stay in bottom three after being beaten by Josh Bowler’s strike

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Apr 2024

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Birmingham missed the chance to climb out of the Championship relegation zone as Josh Bowler’s 65th-minute goal snatched victory for Cardiff and left the Blues a point from safety.

Gary Rowett’s side had the opportunity to win successive home matches and jump above Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield in the table, but Bowler’s fourth goal of the season instead left them second bottom with just four games to play.

The home side had just one shot on target in the match as they struggled to create many clear-cut chances against their mid-table opponents.

Birmingham chairman Tom Wagner was in attendance after the news on Tuesday that the club plan to leave St Andrew’s for a new stadium by August 2029.

He witnessed an uneventful start to the game before Blues midfielder Juninho Bacuna’s effort deflected behind for a corner after 10 minutes.

That sparked the game into life as Koji Miyoshi’s low strike hit a post for the hosts before Cardiff’s Yakou Meite tested John Ruddy, with the goalkeeper gathering the shot at the second attempt.

Miyoshi’s reverse pass to Bacuna engineered another chance for Birmingham but the midfielder’s effort was comfortably claimed by Ethan Horvath.

Ruddy then had to make another save to deny Meite. Karlan Grant charged up the pitch and Meite took the ball off the winger on the edge of the box and struck a powerful effort on goal, which the goalkeeper pushed clear.

The hosts came close at the other end soon after when Jordan James curled a first-time strike narrowly wide of both the stretching arm of Horvath and the post.

Birmingham started the second half brightly but lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

A well-drilled Cardiff outfit was frustrating the hosts and the Bluebirds looked happy to play on the counter-attack.

That plan duly worked when Bowler fired past Ruddy at his near post from half-time substitute Rubin Colwill’s cross to give them the lead.

The pressure intensified on Blues to get a goal and Rowett made a triple substitution to try and change his sides fortunes, but Ruddy had to deny Grant to stop the visitors doubling their lead.

Grant then saw an effort deflect just over the crossbar.

Rowett threw on two more subs in the closing stages as his side chased a late leveller, but Cardiff held on for all three points.

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