Donaldson and Stewart star in Birmingham win as midfield duo disappoint

Birmingham's Clayton Donaldson

Which players shone and who disappointed in Birmingham City's 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday?

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett

Gary Rowett’s Birmingham City are riding high in the early stages of the Championship season, currently sitting pretty in fifth after an excellent late comeback saw them defeat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 on Saturday evening.

A last-gasp Lukas Jutkiewicz header secured all three points for the hosts at St Andrew’s after Clayton Donaldson’s penalty had levelled the scores with 10 minutes to play. But who were the stars and who disappointed for Rowett’s men?

Impressed – Clayton Donaldson

The big front man cut an isolated figure in a frustrating first-half for the home side, but his hold-up play was exemplary and he did his job by bringing others into play and winning numerous free-kicks for his team. However, the less said about his volley in first half stoppage time – which is probably still rising now – the better.

Birmingham's Clayton Donaldson

The second half saw Donaldson given more attacking support by his teammates. The former Brentford man was a willing runner and got his reward when he converted a penalty which he himself had earned. Donaldson is not always the prettiest player to watch, but on this occasion he was effective.

Impressed – Greg Stewart

The 26-year-old Scotsman is still yet to make his first Blues start, but on this evidence it surely won’t be long until he does so. The midfielder had a big impact after being introduced on the hour, carrying the ball effectively and looking a real threat in the attacking third.

Fittingly, it was Stewart who played a big part in the winning goal. His excellent run led Birmingham’s counter-attack, and despite losing his footing he kept his composure to find Jacques Maghoma, whose delicately chipped cross teed up Jutkiewicz’s header.

Dundee's Greg Stewart (R) in action with Celtic's Adam Matthews

Impressed – Che Adams

Adams is very much a work in progress, but the raw materials are there. The former Sheffield United man has a tendency to run down blind alleys, but he is dangerous with the ball at his feet and looked as likely as anyone to make anything happen in a dull first hour.

He also delivered a couple of notable diagonal balls into the box which on another day could have landed him with an assist. Certainly one to keep an eye on, Adams would perhaps benefit from playing centrally, or at least closer to target man Clayton Donaldson.

Disappointed – David Davis

The midfielder did nothing majorly wrong, but he did nothing really of note either in what was a quiet performance from the former Wolves man. His passing tended to go sideways or backwards, and he invited pressure on his own team with a bizarre run towards his own goal late in the first half.

Birmingham City's David Davis shoots at goal

Davis’ lack of influence continued into the second half, and the impressive performances from midfield substitutes Greg Stewart and Reece Brown could mean the 25-year-old faces a battle to keep his place in the starting XI.

Disappointed – Maikel Kieftenbeld

Withdrawn from the action at the same time as his midfield partner Davis, Kieftenbeld was similarly ineffective in the middle of the park and failed to provide the creative spark that the game was crying out for.

The Dutch midfielder has been otherwise impressive this season for City, but Saturday was not his best performance and Blues fans will be hoping he returns to form in the coming matches.

Disappointed – Ryan Shotton

Birmingham’s Ryan Shotton and Burnley’s Ashley Barnes in action

This is a tad harsh on the former Stoke man, but he makes it due to being caught on his heels for Gary Hooper’s opener for Sheffield Wednesday, which at the time looked like a game-defining moment.

That aside, it was a solid afternoon for Shotton, who has developed a good understanding with his central defensive partner Michael Morrison at the heart of City’s back four.

Do you agree with these selections or do others deserve credit? Leave your comments below.

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