Head-to-head record in Birmingham...
Sunderland wins: 14 | Birmingham wins: 28 | Draws: 12
Last time at St. Andrews...
Birmingham City 0-3 Sunderland (Gomez 77, Johnson 87, Wickham 88)
Birmingham 0-2 Sunderland - St. Andrews - 25/02/2004
Although it was not our biggest giant killing ever - no, that was reserved for our trimumph over Leeds United in 1973 - the extra time win in the second city was quite a night for those who were there!
After a hard fought 1-1 home draw at the Stadium of Light, Birmingham hosted the lads on a cold February night, with most expecting professional irritant Robbie Savage and his Premier League chums to simply step up and push Championship Sunderland aside in the replay - alas Phil Babb, Tommy Smith and Stephen Wright were 100% NOT having it. This was our night boys.
In truth, Steve Bruce’s (finished 10th ya know) Brummies were lucky to even get to extra time, with Buckfast beauty Kevin Kyle causing havoc in their defence and his partner in crime Marcus Stewart missing numerous glorious opportunities to put the game to bed in normal time. Along came one-season-wonder Tommy Smith to save the day in extra time though, firing us into the hat for the next round with an extra time brace to send the Lads on to a run which would take us all the way to the semi-finals.
Birmingham 1-1 Sunderland - St. Andrews - 20/02/2007
It may be difficult to remember the top of the table clashes and thirty yard screamers that were associated with these two clubs, but that’s exactly what our last Championship outing at St. Andrews was all about.
The Lads were literally brushing aside everyone in our path and a trip to table toppers Birmingham was seen as a the perfect challenge of our promotion credentials. We had no reason to be fearsome of anyone either - we hadn’t lost in almost two months and new signing Carlos Edwards was looking more and more like he could fit in the 1970s Brazilian team with each passing game.
It was the right winger who put us in the lead with a trademark thunderbolt, as he smashed a left footed screamer right into the corner of Colin Doyle’s net as if it was a postage stamp.
Although it would end up being irrelevant come the end of the season as we pipped the hosts to the Championship title, our old nemesis DJ Campbell - or Dudley to his mam - managed to scramble home an equaliser in the last minute to ruin the evening and save face (although some have said it looks more like a beaten-up cushion) for Steve Bruce with the last kick of the game.
Birmingham 0-2 Sunderland - St. Andrews - 17/03/1996
For those of you too young to remember, this was quite the weekend. The Lads were resurgent, Peter Reid was cheered up and a 2-0 win over Barry Fry’s Blues put us in pole position for promotion to the promised land.
What made it extra special you ask? Well, just as we were enjoying unexpected success, flying high in the Endsleigh League Division one, those lot up the road officially duffed their twelve point lead at the top of the Premier League that weekend and Kevin Keegan was weeks away from having his now infamous meltdown in front of the TV cameras. It was hilarious. In fact, it still is.
As for the game itself, a transformed Sunderland dominated from the off and after a fantastic dummy from Paul Stewart presented Steve Agnew with a chance to put the Lads 1-0 up in the 16th minute, which he duly took advantage off, toe-poking home past Bart Griemink.
Welsh centre half Andy Melville came within inches of adding a second before the half time whistle, but was not to be denied in the second period as the lanky defender joined the front-line again and nodded home an inch perfect Dariusz Kubicki cross to give the Lads a seventh win in a row. We’d seal promotion only a few weeks later, hammering the Blues 3-0 at Roker Park under the floodlights, as Peter Reid completed the mission and marched into the top tier.