Stoke 0-1 Birmingham

Last updated : 01 January 2010 By Dan Buxton

City's proud home record took a huge blow as Birmingham defeated the Potters at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters dominated for long periods, and should have had the game sewn up by half time, but failed to find a way past England hopeful Joe Hart in goal.

Birmingham forced the first corner of the game but the City defence held firm and soon had a corner of their own, won by Etherington, that saw Lawrence's delivery nodded across goal and out for a goal kick by Shawcross.

Turkish star Tuncay was lively and was inches away from the opener on eleven minutes as Beattie flicked on a Whitehead chipped pass and Tuncay slide just evaded the ball. The hosts were all over the visitors and, although Brum looked lively on the break, it looked like it was just a matter of time until the Potters scored as Etherington blazed over, Shawcross missed a simple tap in at the far post and Birmingham struggled to deal with Delap's throw ins.

City continued to press as the first half with Shawcross and Beattie heading over and Tuncay saw a goalbound effort blocked by a despairing defender whilst a spot of pin ball nearly gave Birmingham the lead at the other end before Tuncay and Sorenson combined to thwart the visitors taking an undeserved lead.

That lead did arrive just after half time though as a mishit shot was going well wide until it deflected off Shawcross straight to Jerome. The hitman turned and hit a scuffed effort at Sorenson, the ball bobbling along the floor before bouncing off the keeper and in off the post for a flukey strike.

City hit back straight away and Whitehead had the ball taken off his head by the fist of Hart before Etherington volleyed goalwards, Hart producing a world class stop to preserve his sides lead. Two more efforts quickly followed as Whitehead's screamer was blocked on its way to goal and then Faye nodded into the bottom corner from a corner kick, only for Hart to fly to his right and knock the ball away, another world class save from the in form keeper.

City seemed to get frustarted from here on in as Birmingham regrouped and sorted themselves out to be a real solid defensive unit and only Faye, with a header from an Etherington corner, went close to levelling the scores.