Looking to build upon an impressive start to the 2023/24 EFL Championship, Birmingham City welcomed Plymouth Argyle to St Andrew’s on Saturday. Their opponents have also enjoyed a fine start to the campaign, but suffered a narrow defeat against Southampton last time out after Che Adams’ injury-time winner.
BIR: Ruddy; Buchanan, Long, Sanderson, Bacuna; Anderson, Bielik, Sunjic, James; Miyoshi, Hogan
PLY: Hazard; Kesler-Hayden, Gibson, Scarr, Edwards; Randell, Houghton, Azaz; Mumba, Hardie, Whittaker
Early action in the Midlands granted Birmingham City with a quick lead against Argyle. Miyoshi found himself out on the left flank following a counterattack, dragging a pass back for Hogan – who simply had to slot the ball into the back of the net and send the home fans into a moment of euphoria.
But after an otherwise uneventful first-half, it took until the hour-mark for the next goal to arrive – and it was an equaliser for Argyle. Whittaker’s initial effort was kept out well by Ruddy, but the rebound proved too much for the shotstopper who could only watch as Hardie’s strike flew over the line.
Deep into stoppage time, it was Stansfield that sealed the points for the hosts on his club debut. After a loan spell at Exeter that was reminiscent of his late father’s career on the South Coast, scoring against the Grecians’ bitter rivals would prove to be a great way to kickstart his Birmingham career.
Both Birmingham City and Plymouth Argyle will play host to Carabao Cup action on Tuesday, with Cardiff City heading to St Andrew’s while Crystal Palace make the trip to Home Park.