Football: Bliss before misery for Peschisolido

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Birmingham City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

West Bromwich Albion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

PAUL PESCHISOLIDO, Birmingham City's Canadian international striker, scored the goal which sealed yesterday's West Midlands derby - before being taken to hospital.

Peschisolido put the game out of Albion's reach after 41 minutes when he turned home a low cross from Danny Wallace for his ninth goal of the season. A minute later, though, he was carried off with his legs strapped together after a late challenge by the former Blues defender, Paul Mardon.

The match was often ill-tempered and City were reduced to 10 men when Dave Barnett was sent off in the 70th minute for bringing down Bob Taylor.

Albion's goalkeeper, Tony Lange, made crucial saves to deny Gary Cooper and Andy Saville but he handed City the lead when he hauled down Wallace after mis-controlling a Daryl Burgess back pass. Saville scored from the spot.

City's new manager, Barry Fry, gave a debut to his pounds 325,000 goalkeeper, Ian Bennett from Peterborough, and he made a superb reflex save to keep out Ian Hamilton's header as his side held on to move above their local rivals in the First Division table.

Birmingham City: Bennett; Barnett, Cooper, Parris, Whyte, Dryden, Wallace (Smith, 75), Lowe, Saville, Peschisolido (Shutt, h-t), McMinn. Substitute not used: Miller (gk).

West Bromwich Albion: Lange; Burgess, Lilwall, Mardon, Raven, Ashcroft, O'Regan, Hamilton, Taylor, Garner (Donovan, 69), Coldicott. Substitutes not used: Reid, Naylor (gk).

Referee: K Hackett (Sheffield).