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  • Birmingham City 2-1 Wolverhampton: Phillips double

    Kevin Phillips came off the bench with two late goals to give Birmingham a 2-1 comeback win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Premier League Black Country derby at St Andrews.

    Irishman Kevin Doyle had pounced three minutes before half-time to give his side the lead over a side that have now only lost once in 15 league games.

    But 16 minutes after coming off the bench Phillips, 36, levelled with a low finish from fellow substitute Craig Gardner's header across goal.

    Five minutes later and with five to play, the former Sunderland and West Brom striker rolled back the years when he hit a brilliant chest and volley into the bottom left after Irish veteran full-back Stephen Carr, looking anything but 33, set him up with a surging run and cross.

    Birmingham stay eighth, four points behind city rivals Aston Villa, while Wolves stay second bottom.

    The hosts had the better of the play in the first half but, despite having fewer chances and less possession, Wolves went in a goal ahead at half-time.

    In a frantic opening, Blues striker Christian Benitez had a goal-bound header cleared off the line by Michael Mancienne, while midfielder Sebastian Larsson sent a dipping volley over the bar and visiting keeper Marcus Hahnemann denied Cameron Jerome after Scott Dann headed a corner towards goal.

    Midway through the half Wolves got back into the game, David Jones sending a well-worked free-kick just over and Carr lucky to get away with a handball when he blocked Karl Henry's shot.

    Ronald Zubar then headed wide from a Matthew Jarvis corner when it seemed easier to score before Birmingham regained control of the match.

    Lee Bowyer was furious that no action was taken against Mancienne when the England U21 defender checked his run as he raced through to support Benitez while, from the corner that followed that move, Dann volleyed against the post after Hahnemann's uneasy punch.

    With four minutes of the half left, Kevin Foley spurned a great chance when he shot straight at Joe Hart with a clear view on goal. It mattered little though as, a minute later, Doyle put the visitors ahead with an opportunistic finish into the roof of the net after Foley's low left-wing cross found him at the near post.

    Birmingham could not believe they had gone behind, and boss Alex McLeish was incredulous at the break when referee Lee Probert missed Zubar clearly shove Liam Ridgewell in the back after the defender went forward for a long throw.

    The second half was a less entertaining affair as Wolves shut up shop while controlling the rhythm of the game and looking dangerous on the break.

    The Blues were restricted to efforts from distance while their deliveries from wide rarely found the intended target: Wolves had the pace and endeavour of Doyle to keep the home defence busy when countering.

    It took until the 77th minute for the first chance of the second period as Wolves sub Adlene Guedioura - a defensive midfielder by trade but lumped up front due to his size - fired just over after a direct run at the Blues defence.

    From the attack that came from the goal-kick that followed, debutant Gardner smashed in a cross-shot that Jerome poked against Hahnemann, with the loose ball put behind for a corner.

    Sixty seconds later they levelled after a sustained spell of pressure culminated in a deep left-wing cross from another sub, Keith Fahey, that Gardner headed across goal for Phillips to rifle in.

    Within five minutes the match was won and it was a trademark strike from Phillips that sent the home fans into delirium, his control and finish from the top drawer although credit must go to Carr for the stamina and drive to create the chance from the right.

    Wolves were spent and tempers frayed at the death as Henry and Barry Ferguson clashed.

    Yellow cards were deemed sufficient by Probert as Birmingham held on to record their 11th league win of the season.
    Reda Maher / Eurosport



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