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Birmingham City 1-2 Manchester United
(29,548) (LgPL) (15:00)
Lineup: Carroll, NevilleG, Silvestre, O'Shea, BrownWs, Djemba-Djemba, FletcherD, Scholes, Saha, Solskjaer, Giggs
Goals: Ronaldo1 Saha1 Grainger(39)
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| The Blues of Birmingham & We Want Our Charlie Back
| by Barry
Click for pics by Barry
Personal Birmingham City Report by Webmaster Barry Leeming at www.red11.org
Dateline Saturday 10th April 2004
PHOTOS related to this report are here:
A RED pilgrimage to St. Andrews with my father Jack at the helm and a famous Paddy in our back mirrors. I had not seen the REDS since last summer so a special occasion for me, The Maddane. I do not often attend games due to both my financial and geographical situation in Northern Denmark so here is my attempt at a match report although I cannot live anywhere near the heights of Red Kelly's reporting!!
The day started in Dorchester 8am when Birgitte & I began our 3 hour trek by motorway to Birmingham via M5 & M42. The journey through the countryside went fine we saw 4 or 5000? empty cars standing in a parking lot near Bristol and an ENORMOUS corn model of a warrior near Glastonbury, was it a mascot for the festival? We stopped only once for a quick snack as we had arranged to meet my Dad in Solihull. We could then park "safely" and cab it on to The Royal Oak Pub for lunch where we were to meet the London Reds, then on to St.Andrews around 2pm. Maybe I should mention the cab driver, a non-football Brummie, who predicted a 2-1 Manchester United win!
Dad [born and bred a RED in Middleton,Manchester in 50's & 60's] was waiting in Solihull & after a chat we found ourselves at The Royal Oak for lunch with Mike Dobbin & The London Supporters Club members. We chatted about this season, other season's and bits & bobs of old, Jack told stories going way back to Duncan's days & when on to the subject of naming famous matches, we mentioned Partizan Belgrade European Cup 1966 where Mike chipped in with "That was the one where Crerand was sent off!". We had a relaxing/drinking lunchtime with our fellow Reds in a very comfortable pub in the town center well away from the ground and Brummie clamour. Cab's were readily available as well!
2 o'clock came around and we had to leave early as my fathers legs are not what they used to be. 20 mins later we pulled up near Railway Stand? The cabdriver had said this was as far as he was allowed to drive - it turned out to the wrong corner of the ground but the right end! We walked up to St Andrews hoping that we would be able to cross under the stand "inside" the ground. SUDDENLY I saw a famous face! "PADDY" I shouted and grabbed hold of poor old Paddy Crerand who was casually walking up the road ready to do MUTV's live comm's on TV. Paddy laughed as I called myself Maddane and introduced my Dad Jack from Middleton. I told Paddy that we had talked about him down the pub due to Partizen Belgrade & the sending off & of course he remembered that alright :)) "Birgitte take a picture quick" and Paddy & I posed for a quick photo.
You may not believe me now but as I left I quipped in Paddy's ear as we left Birmingham will score first and it will be 2-1 to us! :)) Not a difficult prediction if you think how often we go behind before winning games. Still I'm proud of it especially as I did the same with Alex before 'Boro in November 2000 only that time I said 3-1. It was 0-1 at HT and we won 2-1 on that occasion as well! [a goal had been disallowed for offside in the last minute that day!] The report of that one is still on the Red11.org Boro report from Nov 2000.
On we went to the ground and as I purchased two programs, we asked the easiest way over to Railway Stand on the opposite corner where 3500 REDS would be standing. We were asked to speak to the gate steward as it would be a long walk by road. I told her about my father and surprisingly "very politely" she asked for out tickets & then proceeded to lead us through some tunnels and up on the other side of the ground! 1 up to the Brummies for helpfullness I thought. We climbed the stairs to our position top left behind the goal of which we were about to see all three goals right in front of us :)).
Before the game there was a decent atmosphere the lads warmed up - no Bellion so no double French strike force as the newspapers had predicted. Tim Howard warmed up Roy with some excellent shooting and the sea of blue seating "The Blues" made a fine setting. The teams came out and the first-half was played although United had forgotten their team plan. Don't get me wrong there were flashes from time to time & good defending but something was missing up front. Towards the end of the half a 30yard free kick was well blasted by sub Grainger, although I thought Roy would get it, the ball had flicked in off Roy's hands & it was 0-1 to Birmingham. We had shot wide & generally wasted oportunity's as the Red Army chanted, "One nil in your cup final" banter to The City fans to our right. There only sound from them had been a real ROAR when the Brummies had scored otherwise they were fairly quiet. Earlier on the Blue's shouted for a fairly innocuous handball and the rest of thre first half was "HANDBALL only handball" rang out from the terraces even though the REDS were happily kicking the ball around :)). Other amusing chants were to be heard "1-0 and were havin' a laf", "You've only come to see UNITED", "This is how it means to be City, this is how it feels to be small, this is how it feels when your team wins nothing at all". Even more banting came as we chanted "Argentina" [blue] & "We saw you run from the Villa". To be truthful Savage had hit the bar & Roy Carroll had well saved from Hughes earlier on. Saha had fired wide for us from a Scholesy pass. We had NOT played well at all otherwise.
The HT whistle was to make a great difference to UNITED as they were to come out and with help from super-sub Ronaldo[55mins] were to change the game! Birgitte & I wandered down to the ladies loo to try & meet up with Allison Watt from IMUSA. Now there are 2 ladies loos under Railway Stand and we were outside the one on the left whilst facing goal. Possibly we chose the wrong one? Still we never met up? btw NO BEER was sold at Brummie-land so in the gents [a'la Red Kelly toilet report] there were several complaints including the comment that here in Birmingham they couldn't take it! hehe
Right at the start of the 2nd half Paul teed up Louis Saha who blasted high & wide over an open goal! The Red Army chanted "What the f'ing hell was that" whilst Louis held his head in anguish!
Now man of the match for me Ryan Giggs burst into action with with 2 sooopurb crosses one from left for Ronaldo to head in and one from the right [right-foot as well] onto Louis Saha's head 2-1!!!!
Calamity in the stands as Ronaldo scored only 5 mins after subsituting Ole Gunnar. Dad was not impressed as slightly younger REDS began to fall over the place! Songs rang out "Country Roads" "Busby Boy's" "I'd rather s*** a bucket with a big hole in it, then be a City fan for just one minute...". We were now on top and we shouted "SSSSHHHHHH" at the silent Brummies to our right! Now towards the end of the game a funny looking tall thin Blue CHARLIE wearing a Bowler Hat was waving and gesticulating to the REDS in a "friendly way" and we as he was jumping up & down and "entertaing" us security took great exception and escorted him out to GREAT BOOOO's from the Red Army which HE acknowledged smiling & generally enjoying himself! They still escorted him out under Railway Stand and we spent a good minute or so amused & chanting "WE WANT OUR CHARLIE BACK" to no avail! :(((
The second half had been genius and there had been shots and headers from Giggsy, Louis & Christiano that went wide & were saved. I should also mention that Wesley, John & Gary were great and that in my eyes Djemba-Djemba & Diego did not impress. In fact the chanting to the Brummies of "We'll only sit down when Forlan scores" did not help the lad? :(
Final score the predicted 2-1 to us - me smiling away. Loads of security on the way out, NO HOT DRINKS in the burger bars - they told us it was sold out! It had been slightly cold in the stands & we all wanted a drink as we waited for the non helpful fuzz to "NOT" tell us which way to walk for a taxi! I bought a Brummie burger and as we walked down to the nearest McDonalds for a HOT drink, Dad quipped "You can't go in there holding a burger!!!!". There was a convienient bar beside Ronald[o]'s and just time to drink 2 Boddies [B&B] & a bitter [Dad] before TWO? cabs turned up!? We had waited 1hour for a taxi now there were TWO! Driving back to Solihull there was no problem with the traffic by now and before departing North [Dad] & South [Birgitte & Barry] we were able to sit in an empty bar in Solihull where they were sold out of Murphy's Ale but obliged with Barry's Boddies + Dad & Birgitte's RED RED WINE. Now remind me somebody, where do UB40 come from?? :))
Over & out from Sunny Denmark
Wednesday 4 days later 14th April after beating Leicester 1-0 last night!
Written by Barry Leeming The Maddane 2004
| Birmingham 1-2 Manchester United
| by Bill
Birmingham 1 Manchester United 2
Louis Saha kept alive Manchester United's hopes of securing an automatic Champions League spot with a late winner at St Andrews.
The former Fulham player put the icing on a second-half revival by Sir Alex Ferguson's side with a 78th-minute header.
It means Birmingham are still without a win on home soil against the Red Devils in nearly 26 years.
Steve Bruce's side had deservedly led at the interval through Martin Grainger but Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out that effort as United dominated the second 45 minutes.
Robbie Savage had fuelled the flames before the game by claiming that United had some "average players" and had not effectively replaced David Beckham.
And Birmingham were certainly the better side in the opening 45 minutes as United struggled to recapture the form which had seen them dispose of Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final.
Blues had the better chances and could easily have gone in at the interval with more than a one-goal lead.
But it was a different story after the break and the introduction of Ronaldo sparked the visitors into life.
He headed the equaliser within five minutes of entering the action - a goal set up by Ryan Giggs who also delivered the free-kick for Saha's decider 12 minutes from time.
United began promisingly and fit-again Saha had a half- chance on the edge of the penalty area but Matthew Upson was able to block his shot on the turn.
Birmingham suffered a setback after 13 minutes when left-back Stan Lazaridis appeared to catch his studs in the pitch, went down in some pain and was taken off on a stretcher.
The home side then stepped up a gear and twice came close to breaking the deadlock in a 60-second spell.
First United keeper Roy Carroll blocked a powerful effort by Bryan Hughes who had cut in from the left after Mikael Forssell had set up the chance.
But the United keeper was relieved as an effort from the edge of the area by Savage crashed against the crossbar.
Birmingham were on top and United had another escape when an inswinging free-kick from Savage was only half cleared to Stephen Clemence.
But, instead of volleying first time, he waited for the ball to drop and his eventual lob went just over the bar.
Mikael Silvestre had to make a strong challenge to hold back Clinton Morrison after Forssell had headed the ball into his path.
United briefly threatened when a first-time flick from Scholes over the Blues defence almost played in Saha but he was at full stretch and could only divert his shot wide.
Forssell was posing problems to the United defence and a first-time shot was only just past Carroll's right-hand post after Hughes had found him in space.
Then in the 39th minutes St Andrews erupted as Grainger put Blues ahead with a 30-yard free-kick.
Carroll should have done better as he got both hands to the left-footed effort which he parried onto the post only for it to rebound into the net.
It was the first goal Birmingham had scored against the Red Devils in four attempts since returning to the top flight.
Birmingham were forced into a second substitution when injured goal hero Grainger was replaced at left-back by Jamie Clapham who had recovered from a bout of shingles.
Ferguson would have been looking for a positive response after an inept first-half display and Saha wasted a golden opportunity in the first 60 seconds.
Scholes teed up the former Fulham player 15 yards from goal but his shot flew high over Maik Taylor's goal.
Taylor then went down low to hold onto a dipping drive from Scholes but at the other end Carroll had to come racing out of his area to take the ball away from Forssell.
The ex-Fulham keeper produced a superb save to tip over a close-range header from Saha after Silvestre had flicked on a Giggs corner.
But United were not to be denied and after 61 minutes Ronaldo levelled with a header which flew past Taylor following a Giggs centre.
Giggs then screwed a low shot inches wide of Taylor's far post after good play involving Scholes and Saha.
The pressure was mounting and another Ronaldo header was blocked before Giggs set up the winner for Saha.
His inswinging free-kick was perfectly placed and weighted for Saha to send an unstoppable header past Taylor.
Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Martin Taylor, Cunningham, Upson, Lazaridis (Grainger 14), Johnson, Savage, Clemence (John 78), Hughes, Forssell, Morrison, Grainger (Clapham 45).
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Tebily.
Goals: Grainger 39.
Man Utd: Carroll, Gary Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O'Shea, Fletcher, Djemba-Djemba (Forlan 74), Scholes, Giggs (Phil Neville 88), Saha, Solskjaer (Ronaldo 55).
Subs Not Used: Butt, Howard.
Goals: Ronaldo 60, Saha 78.
Ref: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).
| Last time we met Oktober 2003
| by Barry
2003-10-04 Manchester United 3-0 Birmingham City
Old Trafford (67,633) (LgPL) (15:00)
Lineup: Howard, NevilleG, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Fortune, FletcherD, Keane, NevilleP, Scholes, Giggs, van Nistelrooy
Goals: van Nistelrooy1 Scholes1 Giggs1
The ballroom dancer, the lollipop man Match Report
by Red Kelly
The ballroom dancer, the lollipop man and a load of horse shit
Manchester United 3 Birmingham City 0
Premier League Saturday 4th October 2003
They seem so rare these days - Saturday afternoon kick-offs. It used to be
the norm of course. Everything ran like clockwork. We knew exactly what time
to leave, what time weıd get there, and what weıd be doing when we got
there. But not anymore.
I was travelling up with Karen and Gina who were spending the afternoon at
Karenıs sisters in Stretford. So weıd left pretty early, but the motorway
was packed. It seemed as though half of Birmingham was on itıs way up the M6
to Manchester and they were all travelling in separate cars. I managed to
get a traffic report from the doctor who had left even earlier and he
advised getting off at junction 18 and going the (yes youıve guessed it)
Holmes Chapel route! That might have been a very good suggestion had I not
un-wittingly sped right past the junction, but it proved a fortunate error
as the motorway instantly cleared as the blue half of Birmingham exited at
junction 19. After a food and beverage break in Stretford, Steve arrived and by 2 oıclock
we had purchased a couple of cans and were stood outside Macaris chatting to
a buoyant BDS, who was upset I hadnıt done a Southampton report as heıd been
stood not far from me with young Conaill, otherwise (probably) known as SDS
or Small Daft Sod, as opposed to his father being Big Daft Sod!
The weather had definitely turned. You could feel Winter in the air (no not
him) - it was cold. We were hanging around waiting for a call from Nick and
then we could go. It duly came and we were in the ground with time to spare.
I was in my own seat for the first time this season. Nothing had changed,
all the same faces were still there. In fact only a few faces had changed
since we took up residence at the start of the 1992 season. One of the few
who had moved on was the ballroom dancer, or at least thatıs what his mate
had said heıd gone on to. It seemed a little far fetched, but we had no
reason not to believe him until yesterday that is. For four years weıve had
this running joke about the ballroom dancer and all that time the joke
turned out to be on us! Being a van driver in Carlisle is just not the same
as being a ballroom dancer! No wonder weıd never spotted him on Come
We were shattered by the news, and, to tell the truth, it took away from the
game for a while. It had already kicked-off and, as we wrestled with the
news, all the play was up at the Stretford. Birmingham hardly came down to
our end and poor Timmy was getting lonely and frustrated jogging around on
his goal line. What we did notice was that young Fletcher had started well
out on the right, occupying the space left by whatıs his name - you know -
the one who went to Madrid.
The Brummies up in the corner were very quiet. They had very little to cheer
about. Of course they woke up at a point when weıd gone quiet, and then
suggested they sang a song for us. Oh the irony - although Iım sure it
wasnıt. They also made it clear that they supported their local team,
whereas we thought they supported ³a load of shit.² It all helped to liven
things up, but not as much as the major incident of the first half. Scholes,
Fletcher and van Nistelrooy had all gone close(ish) before Ruud played the
ball through to Scholes. Trouble was, their keeper went for it as well and
was just that teensy bit late. He caught Scholesy and the ref pointed to the
spot and the players tunnel in one brief but magnificent sweeping gesture.
Two sendings off in successive games. At least this time the lads didnıt
have to put up with a snarling warzone. Steve Bruce (whoıd been afforded his
usual welcome as a returning hero) sacrificed Lazaridis (who didnıt look too
happy about it) and brought on the substitute keeper to face Ruud. Meanwhile
Phil Nev had sneaked into the Brummie net and necked the departing keeperıs
drink. Well, I suppose he wouldnıt be needing it! The new keeper stood on
his line as Ruud ran forward. The new keeper dived to his right - the ball
went to his left and we celebrated.
There were about 10 minutes left of the half, and the Brummies were
animated. When these lovable creatures from a strange land get over excited
itıs not a pretty sight. You strain to understand them at the best of times,
but when roused you have no chance! United, meanwhile were strolling around
as if it was a Sunday afternoon kick-about with the kids. Old Trafford had
gone silent and the Brummies pointed out that we were 1-0 up and still we
didnıt sing. They were absolutely right. Most of our section had either gone
to the bar early or were gathering themselves for the half time foray to the
gents. I was for the latter and was surprised to see a whole soccer (their
word, not mine!) team of Thai teenagers in there. The rest of us had to
queue for ages!
I was back up top way before the teams came out. Our area was relatively
empty, in fact, the (never was) ballroom dancerıs mate appeared as the
second goal was dispatched by Scholesy. Birmingham had actually gone close
before that, but big Timmy had made a superb point-blank save from Clapham.
We were enthusiastically content at 2-0, although the Brummies were upset.
Apart from, ³2-0 to the referee² they seemed to think that every time a
United player touched the ball it was, ³Hand-ball². Several times in
succession in a matter of minutes they shouted, ³Hand-ball². And they meant
it, even though not one of the appeals was anywhere near close to being
hand-ball. It very quickly became a source of great amusement. ³Hand-ball -
hand-ball² we shouted when anyone touched the ball. It didnıt matter if they
chested it, headed it, or kicked it, ³Hand-ball - hand-ball² was the cry
followed by massive mirth. When Nev took a throw-in it was, ³Handball². When
a free-kick was given and the player picked up the ball it was, ³Hand-ball.²
The poor Brummies couldnıt make any sense of it. There wasnıt any sense to
When Giggs scored number three, after a lovely threaded ball from Diego, our
celebrations were much more prolonged. The blue brethren were sat in silence
as we serenaded them with, ³Youıre supposed to be away² and ³Shit on the
Brummies tonight.² They could hardly stand it. We sang, ³Are you Villa in
disguise?² and it was too much for one or two of them who imploded on the
spot. A skirmish broke out and the police waded in. And, oh deary me - one
or two of them came out fighting from the blue corner and found themselves
in BIG trouble. Scuffling with the guardians of the law is not really
permitted, and someone was going to be getting a metaphorical (I have to say
that) thrashing down below. Whether down below meant down below, or down
below stairs Iıll leave up to your imaginations!
The girl on the PA informed them that they would be kept behind for being
naughty boys and girls and they settled themselves down. How she managed to
hold back a titter I have no idea as you could hear her voice trembling as she tried to suppress a snigger. ³Let them out, let them out, let them out²
The football, by this time, was exhibition stuff with Giggs, Scholes, Phil
Nev and Fletcher standing out. We forgot about the blue corner and turned
our attention to the pitch. That was, until this fellah wandered down the
aisle by us and shouted out, ³Get yer lollipops ere - who wants lollipops?²
No - we didnıt understand either, but we all wanted a pint of what heıd been
drinking! Eventually the ref put the Brummies out of their misery and blew
for full-time. they breathed a huge sigh of relief - that is until they
heard the score from Wolves! Wolves had beaten City 1-0 and their day had
gone from extremely bad to almost suicidal, whereas the score was greeted by
more massive mirth from the rest of Old Trafford.
We wandered outside to wait for the doctor. Around by the away section the
Brummies had started to appear. They looked slightly shell-shocked and were
still whining on about anything and everything. There were plenty of police
horses about, and, as you will probably know, horses are no respecters of
place when it comes to relieving themselves. As we sauntered up Sir Matt
Busby Way in close proximity to a particularly mournful group of whinging
Blues who werenıt looking where they were going, one of those large
four-legged creatures lifted itıs tail and deposited itıs considerable load
right in their path. A lone voice sang, ³This is how it feels to be City.
This is how it feels to be small. This is how it feels to win nothing at
all, nothing at all, nothing at all.² A little harsh perhaps? OK - maybe
Copyright Paul Windridge 2003: http://www.Red11.org