1-0: Villalba (33, struck Colin’s low cross first time and low inside Randolph’s bottom left corner with power)

1-1: Ayala (87, arrived at the back post to force Assombalonga’s deep cross over the line)

2-1: Bailey (90, unmarked to head in Crowley’s back post cross when it seemed it would be a draw)

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Carnforth) – kept his cards in his pocket and allowed the game to flow, without annoying either bench. 7

Bookings: Dijksteel (65, foul); Shotton (72, dissent)

Attendance: 19,703

Entertainment: 2/5

Boro Birm

Shots on 8 3

Shots off 26 5

Corners 11 3

Offsides 2 2

Fouls 18 11

BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-4-1-1): Camp 6; Colin 7, Roberts 6, Dean 7, Pedersen 6; Crowley 7, VILLALBA 8 (Maghoma 77), Sunjic 7, Bellingham 7 (G Gardner 74); Gimenez 6, Jutkiewicz 7 (Bailey 83). Subs (not used): Harding, Clarke-Salter, Stockdale (gk), Davis.


7 RANDOLPH: Made a number of brilliant stops but even then his teammates’ frustrations seemed to rub off on him as the first half wore on;

4 Dijksteel: Didn’t look comfortable and never did anything to help Boro in an attacking sense

5 Ayala: Unable to do enough at the back to keep Jutkiewicz and Co at bay but did score, when he turned in from close range

4 Fry: Is still struggling to find his best after his long lay-off and Jutkiewicz made it hard for him

4 Shotton: Colin exposed him time and time again in the left-back role he doesn’t really like playing;

4 Clayton: Lost out in the battle of the midfielder controllers with Sunjic making more of a mark

5 Howson: Unable to get the ball down and play it like he can and his energy didn’t influence as he wanted

5 McNair: Failed to reproduce the sort of midfield performance that have made him one of the best performers so far and question marks over his defensive role in the winning goal

6 Tavernier: Plenty of energy and tested Camp with one first half free-kick

4 Browne: Not the impact he would have liked after being given his second league start in a row;

4 Assombalonga: Largely on the periphery and certainly not involved enough to threaten until he set up Ayala’s goal


Wing (for Clayton 56): Made Boro think more going forward. 6

Fletcher (for Browne 56): Put himself about a bit. 5

Gestede (for Dijksteel 82)

(not used): Pears (gk), Saville, Bola, Johnson.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Fran Villalba – provided the little bit of extra attacking quality required to inflict another defeat on Middlesbrough.