Bro­ken hand woe for Stech

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Chris Spit­tles

BIRM­ING­HAM City en­sured Yeovil Town’s Cham­pi­onship pa­rade was given the Blues and the Glovers’ big day was also over­shad­owed by a bro­ken hand for goal­keeper Marek Stech that will rule him out for three months.

The Czech stop­per was a key fig­ure in the Glovers’ pro­mo­tion to the sec­ond tier but lasted just six min­utes of their open­ing home game be­fore sus­tain­ing the in­jury punch­ing the back of defender By­ron Web­ster’s head.

And Stech’s ab­sence proved costly as re­place­ment keeper Gareth Ste­wart flapped at a cor­ner in the build-up to Birm­ing­ham’s win­ner.

As goal­keep­ing coach Ste­wart flailed, Web­ster headed the ball against de­fen­sive part­ner Dan Seaborne and into the back of net.

Town man­ager Gary John­son will now sign a goal­keeper on loan be­fore next week­end’s trip to Burn­ley but ad­mits the goal­keeper’s ab­sence is a real shame for both player and club.

John­son said: “It’s a mas­sive blow. I’m sorry for Marek be­cause we can find an­other keeper but he can't get an­other hand!

“He’ll be out for three months be­cause he’s bro­ken two bones in his hand and we’ll have to get some­one in on loan.

“We had it in our minds any­way to get a loan keeper in if any­thing hap­pened to Marek and we’ve got a cou­ple of names in mind.

“We’ll have a new goal­keeper next week­end but it was a blow for us and it de­prives Marek of the chance to play in the Cham­pi­onship for the next few months.

“He was so im­por­tant for us last sea­son and had started well this time around as well. But you have to cope with in­juries.”

John­son also felt Blues should have been re­duced to ten men in the first half when wing-back Neal Eard­ley es­caped a sec­ond yel­low card for a late chal­lenge, hav­ing ear­lier been booked for a trip on Sam Fo­ley.

He said:“We felt hard done by with that de­ci­sion.We don't want to see send­ings off and yel­low cards but that would have changed the game in our favour.”

How­ever City man­ager Lee Clark coun­tered that claim, believ­ing Eard­ley should not have been booked in the first place

He said:“The ref made an is­sue for him­self with Neal’s book­ing be­cause that was never a yel­low card. He made a fair at­tempt for the ball. It’s a foul, but not a book­ing. Then there’s an is­sue with the next foul.

“It’s get­ting crazy the amount of times I have to speak with the head of ref­er­ees and we need more con­sis­tency.”

Birm­ing­ham rode their luck at times as Yeovil striker James Hayter hit the out­side of a post while goal­keeper Dar­ren Ran­dolph pro­duced two bril­liant saves to deny By­ron Web­ster.

In the first half, the Repub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tional dived full length to beat away a vol­ley from the Glovers defender.

Then af­ter the break, Ran­dolph di­verted Web­ster’s header on to the cross­bar with an out­stretched foot.

But de­spite Ran­dolph’s hero­ics and the for­tu­nate way in which his side scored, Clark was philo­soph­i­cal about the re­sult.

He added: “We were on the end of an un­for­tu­nate re­sult last week against Wat­ford when we didn’t de­serve to lose so we’ll take that.

“It doesn’t mat­ter how you win the game, you've just got to win, and it doesn’t mat­ter how we score.

“We’ve got three points and we’re up and run­ning. My play­ers have shown a mag­nif­i­cent work ethic so far and it needs to con­tinue.

“Yeovil cre­ated a party at­mos­phere and I told my play­ers all week how tough this would be. I’m de­lighted with the re­sult.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

WE’LL TAKE THAT: Dan Burn cel­e­brates with Tom Adeyemi and Paul Robin­son af­ter the open­ing goal

CLANGER: The Yeovil de­fence are pow­er­less as Birm­ing­ham lead through an own goal

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