The New Years Eve Massacre

Bennett, Poole, Whyte, Barnett, Daish, Lowe, Cooper, Ward, Donowa, Claridge, Otto.

This line up ought to best suggest one aspect:

Birmingham City FC 7 Blackpool FC 1

New Years Eve, 1994.

With Ian Holloway’s Tangerines journeying Birmingham on New Years Eve, I idea I’d revisit that famous day at St Andrew’s, 17 years in the past…

Despite a extraordinary final gasp run-within the previous season that saw Barry Fry’s Birmingham City move unbeaten for the very last seven games (triumphing five) of the campaign, Blues fell thru the trapdoor to the vintage Third Division (re-branded Division 2) following a 2-1 away victory to Tranmere Rovers at the ultimate day of the season.

Barry Fry became carried shoulder excessive through the Blues fans that had made the journey to the Wirral and become allowed to rebuild his squad for the 1994/ninety five campaign via the Birmingham City board.

Blues were considered the ‘massive boys’ that year in Division 2 and Barry Fry had a large squad which boasted skilled pinnacle division campaigners along with Chris Whyte, George Parris and Mark Ward. They wherein joined by using hooked up Birmingham City stars like Ian Bennett, Paul Tait and Louie Donawa and the promising Jonathon Hunt, Jose Dominguez and Steve Claridge – amongst many others. Competition for a place in the starting line-up become fierce.

Birmingham City have been nicely located as they welcomed Sam Allardyce’s Blackpool to St Andrew’s. They had gained 10 of their preceding 12 fits and knew that a victory these days ought to see them sit proud on the top of Division 2 as absolutely everyone celebrated the start of 1995.

Barry Fry had made 3 modifications from the facet that had gained 1-0 at Cardiff City 3 days in advance with Liam Daish replacing David Howell at centre back, Louie Donowa filling in for Neil Doherty on the wing and a surprise call up for Kenny Lowe, who had now not featured for the reason that Birmingham’s starting day defeat away to Leyton Orient.

Blackpool took to the sector unchanged from their preceding run out and this clash between attack minded groups had the 18,000 fanatics internal St Andrew’s relishing a festive cracker. They have been now not to be disappointed.

Blues began brightly and positioned Blackpool below a few early stress before the site visitors hit Fry’s men on the counter attack and drew first blood within the eighth minute whilst Darren Bradshaw took gain of a unprecedented shielding mistake to shoot beyond a stranded Ian Bennett from close range.

This appeared to galvanise Birmingham who roared lower back and have been on degree terms inside 4 minutes while hero grew to become villain, Bradshaw deflected a tame go beyond his own keeper. This became the second consecutive recreation at St Andrew’s wherein a player had controlled to score for each sides, matching Ricky Otto’s efforts towards Cambridge United on Boxing day.

The recreation have become an exciting and frantic come upon with give up to end motion, earlier than Blues squeezed in advance after twenty-five mins. Louie Donowa beat Blackpool’s full back on the wing to race clear and smash a rising shot from just inside the penalty area into the roof of the combatants net.

With Barry Fry’s team taking control of the sport, they lay siege to the Seasiders purpose and it was no wonder while a superb 30 yard shot from Steve Claridge put Blues 3-1 in advance inside the thirty-7th minute.

Despite regular pressure from Blues, Sam Allardyce’s guys managed to keep the rating at three-1 as they went into the half time c program languageperiod. The Birmingham players left the pitch to a fantastic appreciation from the St Andrew’s trustworthy.

Blues persevered wherein that they had left off after the destroy and peppered the Blackpool aim in their desire to growth the lead. And, it become simply eight minutes from the restart while a Ricky Otto far publish move become cleverly headed returned throughout the goal with the aid of Kenny Lowe and the ball became allowed to drop over the line at the alternative corner of the net.
Blues were now most surely within the ascendency and were strolling rebel, on sixty four mins a cheeky lower back heel from Kenny Lowe rolled flawlessly into the route of Louie Donowa who made no mistake with a simple faucet in to make it 5.

The sport now become a semi-exhibition fit with Blues stroking the ball round and treating the crowd with lovable flick-ons and again heels. One such lower back heel from replacement, Steve McGavin located the ever alert Claridge who deftly chipped the ball over Mel Capleton in goal, who had dived on the strikers feet.

The rout become completed 4 mins from time whilst George Parris poked the ball over the road from close range after a penalty field melee.

The win located Blues at the pinnacle of Division 2 for the first time that season and might in the long run see Barry Fry’s group gain advertising again to Division 1 at the end of the season.

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