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Clarke in line for Reading job

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Birmingham City 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

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Birmingham's bargain basement side came up with the goods and a confident 1-0 home win over Brighton in the Sky Bet Championship.

With seven of their close season signings on view Birmingham carved out their first league home win since October as a result of a 49th minute goal from Wesley Thomas.

Lee Clark's men followed their midweek 3-1 Capital One Cup success over Cambridge with another richly promising performance.

There may be off the field problems at Birmingham but they do not exist within the team which has settled down quickly to produce some rich form for Clark.

It was not such a happy day for Brighton boss Sami Hyypia, as the former Liverpool defender watched his side go down to their second successive 1-0 defeat.

Both teams failed to score in their opening day defeats and early play gave a good indication of their predicament.

Neither side threatened any real danger in the opening 30 minutes in what was a midfield stalemate, which only came to life in the second half.

Rohan Ince created a good impression for Albion as he produced some cultured play in a largely defensive midfield role.

Birmingham were certainly the more attack minded but the industry of Paul Caddis and David Davis faltered against Brighton's dogged defence.

The more direct style of Birmingham certainly looked more promising than the Seagulls' isolated attacks.

Brighton's dogged defence continued to soak up the pressure and it was not until the 31st minute that Caddis was able to power in a low shot which was confidently handled by goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Encouraged by this effort Jonathan Spector advanced to test Stockdale with a rising goalbound shot in the following minute

This was certainly Birmingham's best spell but Brighton survived to regain their composure and show some good skill, but no finishing power.

It was significant that Craig Mackail-Smith could make little impact. Albion's striker was generally shut out of the game by former Brighton defender, Grant Hall, who is on loan from Tottenham.

Early in the second half Mackail-Smith thought he should have earned a penalty following a Hall challenge - but his appeal was turned down.

It was a let-off for Birmingham, who immediately went on the attack to get the game's only goal in the 49th minute.

A long dropping cross from David Cotterill found the unmarked Thomas, who headed home from close range for the 45th league goal of his career.

Brighton attempted to repair the damage and Jake Forster-Caskey went close to an equaliser with a free-kick which Darren Randolph pushed over the bar.

Going a goal down certainly livened up Brighton as they then conspired to show some of their best attacking play of the game.

However, defiant Birmingham kept them at bay to record a second home win in five days.

ends

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