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.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering