SkyBet EFL Championship - 5.30pm Kick off
at Bramall Lane
Sheffield United (0) 1
Leon Clarke 71
Birmingham City (1) 1
Jeremie Boga 38
Admission £24. Programme £3.
Attendance 27,427 inc 2,239 away
The Blades fans are turning out in large numbers, by way of honouring the manner in which Chris Wilder has taken United on a roller coaster ride to the top of Championship, since his side won promotion from League 1 last season.
Whereas Birmingham City's ever impressively sized army of away fans, have been turning up out of stubborn defiance, to a point that is stretching the credibility of the words 'staunchly loyal' almost to breaking point.
Putting things politely, they deserve much better than they've been getting this season, which is at risk of even giving last term's disastrous campaign a run for it's money, in the misery stakes.
John Lundstram tested the visitors keeper David Stockdale and Leon Clarke miscued a shot wide of the post, but it was Cotterill's side who took the lead, with a sublime strike from twenty five yard strike by Jeremie Boga on thirty eight minutes, after United had only half cleared a corner kick from José Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo, or Jota as he is more commonly known.
Just before the interval Birmingham had a great opportunity to grab a second, when Boga played a measured pass down the right to Lukas Jutkiewicz, who took too long on the ball and lost it with Cheikh N'Doye well placed to receive a pass right in front of the Blades goal.
The usually free scoring home side, were being restricted by Blues defensive approach, despite their best efforts to break their hard working and well organised visitors down, but in the seventy first minute Clarke made himself a yard of space inside the Birmingham area and drilled his shot past Stockdale from twelve yards.
Once more, as stark contrasts go, Clarke's strike was his ninth goal in four games for the Blades, whereas Jota's long range strike was only the tenth goal that Birmingham have scored in nineteen league games this season.
Bolton Wanderers remain bottom, three points below Birmingham, after being thrashed 5-1 by league leaders Wolves this afternoon. Wolves are City's next opponents when they visit St. Andrew's a week on Monday, while Sheffield United travel to the new Den to take on Millwall nest weekend.
It's all go in the Championship, innit!?
FT: Sheffield United 1 v Birmingham City 1