CAPTAIN CADDIS IS THE HERO AS CITY FIGHT BACK TO SEAL SAFETY
PAUL Caddis scored the £20m goal that kept Birmingham in the Championship to cap a sensational comeback at the Reebok.
Behind to strikes from Chung Yong Lee and Lukas Jutkiewicz, the Blues seemed doomed to a first relegation to the third tier since 1994.
A Premier League side just three years ago, demotion would have spelt disaster for Birmingham, costing millions in revenue and sending potential buyers running for the hills.
But with just 12 minutes remaining, Nikola Zigic – in his final game for the club – headed home before teeing up Caddis for a dramatic 93rd-minute leveller.
With Doncaster losing away at Leicester, a point was enough to stay up on goal difference and, as Birmigham’s players flung shirts, shorts and shinpads into the jubilant away end, Clark sang the praises of his skipper. “I didn’t even know who had scored,” he said.
“I just saw yellow shirts flying forward. I wondered why the lads were chanting Paul’s name in the dressing room!
“He’s been outstanding since I put him in midfield. He’s a good footballer and he’s done a brilliant job for
us. He was fantastic all game.”
Birmingham’s fans travelled in force, as well they might. With no home win since October, a travel card has proved a sounder investment than a season ticket and they had countless chances to take the lead.
But when Lee volleyed home and Jutkiewicz blasted through Darren Randolph, it seemed the game was up.
Then came the sting in the tail as first Zigic met Mitch Hancox’s cross and then Caddis stretched every sinew to nod home the equaliser.
“At 2-0 we were staring down the barrel,” said Clark. “But the players just found that spirit. I’m so proud of them. Keeping this club in the Championship is my biggest achievement in football as a player, coach or manager because of the scenario around the club.”
Had Bolton found form a little earlier, they might have been the ones celebrating.
As it is, their woeful start to the campaign means they too will spend another year in the Championship. “We don’t hide away from the facts,” said boss Dougie Freedman.
“We’ve given too many goals away at home this season and this was another one of those games.
“That’s something we’ve got to put right for the start of next season.”
LUK-ING GOOD: Bolton’s Lukas Jutkiewicz makes it 2-0