Shackell unshackles Rams to best Birmingham

Derby County 2 Birmingham City 1

Birmingham City's bid for an immediate return to the Premier League made a stuttering start as the Blues led in their first Championship test at Derby County, but lost.

Chris Hughton's men went in front thanks to defender Curtis Davies' header, but Jason Shackell quickly equalised.

Nigel Clough's side had the momentum and Steve Davies (pictured) fired them in front before half-time and held on for three points against a Birmingham who created plenty of chances but are yet to really gel.

Hughton's side have been weakened by a player exodus this summer which has seen such as Craig Gardner, Ben Foster, Sebastian Larsson, Barry Ferguson and Roger Johnson all leave.

Five of the visitors' starting XI were new faces with the former Inverness striker Adam Rooney on his own up front. Derby had plenty of new recruits too, with Frankie Fielding, in goal, as well as Jamie Ward, Shackell, Kevin Kilbane and Craig Bryson.

Derby started brightly and after Lee Croft went close in the first minute, settled into the game confidently. Birmingham carried a little more threat going forward, though, as Keith Fahey headed wide wastefully from Chris Burke's cross while Jordon Mutch rattled the bar witha header.

The opening goal came in the 19th minute through Davies, the former Aston Villa centre-half heading in Mutch's corner.

Seven minutes later the Rams were level, however, as Shackell headed Ben Davies' free-kick past new Blues goalkeeper Boaz Myhill in the 26th minute. Rooney headed wide in the 28th minute, but Derby snatched the half-time lead, courtesy of Steve Davies, who was given time on the ball before unleashing a shot which beat Myhill from 20 yards.

Fahey and Burke had half-chances for Birmingham early in the second half, but Derby twice came close to extending their lead through Ward and Steve Davies, the former hitting the bar with a header.

Mutch twice fired wide with speculative efforts for the visitors. Rooney had a header saved and was denied a penalty when the striker claimed to have been pushed by Shackell.

Birmingham should have levelled when Burke's foray forward saw him hit the post with a chip, but right-back Stephen Carr failed to get his shot from the rebound on target.

Ward had another chance for Derby as the lively tempo continued and although the Birmingham substitute Chris Wood added a physical presence up front, there was no way back for Hughton's men.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...