Jerome Leaves Robins Reeling; CHAMPIONSHIP ALL THE ACTION FROM LAST NIGHT'S GAMES Bristol C 1 Birm'ham 2

Article excerpt

BIRMINGHAM'S hopes of an immediate Premier League return continue to burn bright.

An own goal from Robins skipper Louis Carey and Cameron Jerome's early strike maintained their thrust at the summit of the Championship last night.

The previously unbeaten hosts, fourth in the table before kick-off, designated this a "must win" game.

Yet Blues' sheer class silenced a near 19,000 crowd at Ashton Gate for long spells.

The margin of victory might have been even more emphatic but for a brave second-half rally by the Robins and substitute Lee Trundle's superb goal late on which sparked a rousing finale.

Cameron Jerome went close for Birmingham in the second minute, leaping to flick James McFadden's looping cross wide.

With David Murphy and Gary McSheffrey combining, the visitors had launched a couple of potent attacks down the left and Brazilian keeper Adriano Basso moved swiftly to hack clear Jamie McAllister's back-pass as Jerome advanced menacingly.

Blues were relentless but went ahead in fortunate fashion in the eighth minute, Sebastian Larsson's curling free-kick being touched into his own net by Carey.

An immediate home riposte certainly was not forthcoming and another sharp Birmingham attack almost pierced the Robins again on 20 minutes.

McSheffrey's swift ball released Murphy whose whipped delivery was glanced off target by Jerome.

The former England Under-21 striker made up for that in the 24th minute, slipping the ball under Basso's body after Cole Skuse gifted possession to Murphy. …