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Posted on 3 September 2007  - 12:00

Our reserves began life at Brisbane Road with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City on Monday night.

Our reserves began life at Brisbane Road with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City on Monday night.
Andy Barcham got the only goal of the game as we maintained our unbeaten opening to the campaign and ensured a winning start at our reserves new home ground.

Michael Dawson made his first appearance for Clive Allen's side as he continued his recovery from an ankle injury which has limited his contribution so far this term in the capacity of skipper for the evening. The starting line-up featured five in midfield with Kevin-Prince Boateng playing in a more advanced role behind Terry Dixon up front.

Birmingham were fortunate not to be handicapped in terms of player numbers as early as the third minute after Dixon was fouled by Asa Hall when clean through on goal following a searching deep ball from Leigh Mills - the referee opting to brandish a yellow card on this occasion. Boateng curled the resulting free-kick from the edge of the box just over the bar.

Adel Taarabt was giving the visitors cause for concern as he ravaged their defence with his mazy dribbles resulting in one low drive flying just wide of Artur Krysiak's left-hand post on 15 minutes, while the goalkeeper dived low to his left to deny the French teenager again moments later.

Krysiak appeared to have a busy evening ahead of him, making three saves in the space of three minutes to keep the scores level. The Birmingham shotstopper denied Kieran McKenna on two occasions getting down well to keep out both long-range strikes, before rushing off his line to beat Andy Barcham to Taarabt's teasing ball over the top just before the hour mark.

Despite our first-half dominance Birmingham almost seized the advantage five minutes before half-time. Radek Cerny flapped at Ryan Burge's corner and Hall hit a half volley against the upright from ten yards out.

Last-ditch defending was required shortly afterwards from our back four when Dean Lea backheeled Burge's pass into the path of Jordan Burch as he raced clear, only for Phil Ifil to slide in to keep the game scoreless at the break.

Clive Allen opted for a change at the interval with Simon Dawkins making his first appearance in seven months following a hernia surgery in place of Dixon, who had also just recently returned following a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.

Taarabt inspired the first chance of note in the second half cutting in from the left and hitting a low shot with his right foot which forced Krysiak down low to keep out. Taarabt was in full flow now teasing David Joyce with several stepovers on the left flank before unleashing a fierce drive from a tight angle which stung Krysiak's hands on the hour.

Dawson exited the action with great applause from the crowd in the 65th minute to be replaced by Chris Riley. Ifil took over skipper duties, as well as moving in to central defence alongside Mills.

We continued to enjoy the better of the play but without making it count. It nearly cost us on 72 minutes when Cerny had to produce a spectacular catch from a James McPike curling shot destined for the top corner.

McKenna tried a third long-range shot on the night in the 76th minute but this time he curled over just after Boateng had produced some good footwork inside the box on the right, but his low effort failed to trouble Krysiak.

It was Barcham who finally opened the scoring with nine minutes remaining evading the offside trap to latch on to Boateng's threaded pass before producing a cool finish past Krysiak- the solitary strike proving enough to claim all three points.