Burton Albion 2 Birmingham City 1: Lloyd Dyer scores against his former club to send Aston Villa bottom
Aston Villa supporter Lloyd Dyer tasted more success against their fiercest rivals to underline Harry Redknapp’s need for reinforcements if his Birmingham City side are to mount a promotion challenge. Veteran winger Dyer, a former Birmingham loanee but a boyhood fan of their near neighbours, netted for the second successive season against his former club to hand Nigel Clough’s Burton a first Championship victory of the season. His goal on 66 minutes completed a spirited turnaround for the hosts and gave him victory in the ‘battle of the exes’ after former Burton winger Jacques Maghoma had opened the scoring for Birmingham on 29 minutes. But that goal was cancelled out just after half-time by Marvin Sordell before Dyer struck the killer blow to again expose Redknapp’s need for new faces. The opening chance came for Burton when Tom Naylor met a Matty Palmer corner with a header that flew too close to David Stockdale in the Birmingham goal. Birmingham and rivals Aston Villa have made stuttering starts to the season Credit: PA Birmingham responded through Jacques Maghoma with the former Burton winger finding space on the left to cross for Lukas Jutkiewicz, but his header gave Burton goalkeeper Stephen Bywater a comfortable save. Maghoma caused further problems moments later, cutting on from the left and squaring for David Davis, but his low effort lacked the power to trouble Bywater. Birmingham continued to make the running with a cross from the right by Clayton Donaldson cleared from the six-yard box by Kyle McFadzean. But Burton failed to make the most of a fabulous chance when a smart turn by Matthew Lund allowed him to find Marvin Sordell eight yards from goal, but he was thwarted by a smart, low save from Stockdale. That stop was rewarded fully moments later when Maghoma punished his former employers with the opening goal. Harry Redknapp has called for reinforcements Credit: PA The pace and power of Clayton Donaldson created the opening and his cross from the right was headed down into the danger area by the towering Jutkiewicz. That caused hesitation in the Burton defence that was seized on by Maghoma, who produced a smart, close-range finish and a subdued celebration out of respect for his old club. Birmingham suffered a momentary scare before the interval when a cross from an unlikely source - centre-back Naylor - looped dangerously towards Stockdale’s goal before landing harmlessly on the roof of the next. But there was little else to concern Redknapp, who had looked anxious in the opening moments but was becalmed on the touchline by the interval. That changed just five minutes into the second half when, after Stockdale had made two smart saves from Matty Palmer, he found himself powerless to deny Sordell the equaliser. Birmingham City's Jacques Maghoma celebrates with team-mate Cheikh N'Doye after scoring Credit: PA The striker turned on the edge of the 18-yard box and fired a sweet shot past Stockdale for his first goal of the season. That signalled a spell of Burton pressure in which Naylor fired wide from an angled Jackson Irvine through-ball before Luke Murphy had a penalty appeal rejected when he tangled with Jonathan Grounds. But the visitors still carried a threat when Donaldson’s acrobatic overhead effort flashing narrowly wide. It was the hosts who claimed the lead, however, when Dyer latched onto a fine backheel from Lucas Akins and finished past Stockdale. Birmingham applied some pressure late on but Donaldson’s header from a David Cotterill cross was saved smartly by Bywater.