Defender's late goal gives Birmingham first league away win this season.
Scott Dann headed in a late winner as Birmingham City snatched a 2-1 victory against Blackpool in a pulsating encounter at Bloomfield Road. The defender headed home a set piece after DJ Campbell had equalized Alexander Hleb’s first half opener.
The away side were the liveliest team in the opening stages of an exciting encounter and could have taken the lead in the first minute, when Blues striker Matt Derbyshire should have put his side in front. Liam Ridgewell’s run and cross from the left hand side presented Derbyshire with a golden chance to break the deadlock but the striker was only able to prod wide when it seemed easier to score.
Derbyshire was to turn provider for Birmingham’s next opportunity. This time, the striker slipped in his partner Jerome but with just the keeper to beat, Jerome skewed his shot wide when he should have done better.
Birmingham were almost made to pay for missing their chances. With 14 minutes on the clock, Blackpool countered and Charlie Adam sent winger Matty Phillips through with a pinpoint pass. Fortunately for Blues fans, keeper Ben Foster was able to save the low shot.
The save would prove to be a real turning point in the first half as Birmingham took the lead after some sloppy Blackpool defending. Stephen Crainey’s sloppy pass was intercepted by Alexander Hleb and the Belarusian was able to stroll through the defense and slot past Richard Kingson.
Having taken the lead, Birmingham eased off a bit and let the home side back in. Just two minutes later, Phillips almost headed in another teasing Charlie Adam cross, the winger’s deflected effort drifting agonizingly wide.
Moments later, Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s lob almost caught out Foster before Adam and Phillips combined again. This time, the winger headed over Adam’s cross when he should have hit the target.
And Birmingham almost made them pay on the stroke of half time. Hleb played in Jerome but the striker’s snapshot was well saved by Kingson.
It was the home side who came out of the blocks quickest in the second half. Seven minutes in, Charlie Adam forced Foster into a sprawling save after a surging run and shot from outside the area before Luke Varney spooned the rebound over.
Blackpool were next to come closest with the mercurial Adam again the provider. This time, the Scotsman’s lay off was side footed goalwards by DJ Campbell but again Foster was able to save.
The visitors then came close to extending their lead on two occasions. First, substitute Sebastian Larsson released Jerome but the striker, who could already have scored a hatrick by this stage, saw his clipped shot strike the post and seconds later, a freekick from Larsson again cannoned back off the woodwork.
And Blackpool would make the Blues rue their misses in the 68th minute. Neal Eardley’s cross was headed back by Gary Taylor-Fletcher and DJ Campbell was on hand to roll in his fourth goal in as many games.
It was the home side who were looking more likely to win the game. First, substitute Jason Euell’s tame effort was saved by Foster before Adam’s wonderful surging run and shot struck the far post with the keeper beaten.
Both sides continued to push for those important three points. Birmingham defender Stephen Carr was agonizingly close to latching onto Jerome’s through ball.
The Blues would nick it at the death. Jean Beausejour floated in a free kick and Roger Johnson won the ball in the air. With Blackpool defenders claiming offside, defender Scott Dann nipped in to win the game.For more news on England, visit Goal.com's England section and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!