The pressure on Mick McCarthy increases as Chris Hughton's men run out worthy winners, inflicting more misery on their Midlands counterparts at Molineux
Birmingham City produced a slight shock at Molineux on Wednesday night, beating a poor Wolves 1-0 to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup.Following a dour 0-0 draw at St Andrews over a week ago, this replay followed suit in an encounter where chances were at a premium as both teams lacked cutting edge.
However, Wade Elliott made the all important breakthrough deep into the second half as the Championship side extended Wolves' poor run to no win their last eight matches in all competitions.
Following a sluggish opening, the first clear-cut opportunity fell to the hosts as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake failed to direct a close-range header on target from Adam Hamill’s cross.
The visitors, who beat nine-man Millwall 6-0 at the weekend, were temporarily reduced to nine men themselves when Jean Beausejour and David Murphy were both withdrawn from the pitch to receive medical treatment following a nasty clash of heads, but Wolves couldn't capitalise.
As play restarted following a lengthy delay, Birmingham gained the ascendancy and Adam Rooney missed a golden chance to break the deadlock.
The Irish striker pounced on a dreadful defensive error from Christophe Berra to through on goal, but he failed to pull the trigger at the vital moment as Dorus De Vries eventually retrieved the ball.
Moments later, they came even closer when Jordan Mutch’s delightful in-swinging free-kick was flicked on by Curtis Davies, but De Vries produced a fine reaction save to palm the ball to safety.
Jonathan Spector was also unfortunate to see his crisp long-range effort sail narrowly past the post as the first period ended goalless.
The game carried on in the same vein after the break as both teams were restricted to shots from distance.
Mutch’s 30-yard effort had De Vries scrambling and Eggert Jonsson replied at the other end with a powerful strike that Colin Doyle saved down to his right.
Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura then instantly ripped an effort narrowly past the upright for the hosts, but still neither side could break the deadlock.
With the Wolves strikeforce looking drained of confidence, Mick McCarthy introduced top scorer Steven Fletcher into the proceedings on the 70 minute mark in search of the vital breakthrough.
However, Birmingham instantly responded to the change by opening the scoring themselves, as Elliott scrambled the ball home in the midst of a goalmouth melee after Mutch’s corner caused havoc in the home defence.
Beausejour nearly doubled the visitors' advantage soon after with a side-footed effort that was tipped away by De Vries before Stephen Hunt came a whisker away from equalising in the dying embers of the game.
Wolves huffed and puffed towards the last seconds, but they failed to find a goal as the final whistle was greeted by a chorus of jeers from the home contingent.
Chris Hughton’s side will now travel to League One high-flyers Sheffield United in the next round of the competition.
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