Caddis extra-time strike swings cup-tie for Blues; BLUES 3 CAMBRIDGE 1 (after extra time.
IT'S that man again. Paul Caddis scored the crucial extratime goal that broke this Capital One Cup tie open again, decidedly so, in Blues favour.
Five minutes into the added period, Caddis thumped a first time shot past Chris Dunn after he had pushed out a David Cotterill cross.
It was a clinical, emphatic finish and so dearly needed by Blues as they made heavy going of seeing off their League Two visitors.
Just before the change round in extra-time Mark Duffy bagged another, Blues' third goal.
Duffy, picking the ball up on the right channel, ran at his defender before letting fly with a shot that Dunn got hands to but couldn't keep out.
Blues had taken the lead in the 16th minute, through Clayton Donaldson. But namesake Ryan Donaldson equalised before half-time to set up an entertaining second-half, in which Blues' Donaldson hit the post in stoppage-time before another 30 minutes was required. A Blues side with seven changes to the starting line-up, and a switch to 4-4-2, began very positively.
David Davis made his debut, as did Cotterill and Gavin Gunning. And there were plenty of touches for all as Blues moved the ball about.
Yet Cambridge were first to threaten when Colin Doyle made a good double save, going low to parry a Kwesi Appiah shot and also the follow-up from Adam Cunnington.
But Blues then went into a 16th minute lead through Clayton Donaldson, who finished with calm precision.
The opening, on the left of the area, came after Caddis - Blues captain on the night, and excellent all game - took advantage of some slack play among the Cambridge backline.
Caddis snaffled possession on the edge of the area and shifted the ball to his left, into the path of Donaldson, who slid the ball into the bottom corner.
Blues came close to extending their lead on a couple of occasions and a lovely move in the 33rd minute deserved better.
Demarai Gray slid a short pass down the right of the area for Wes Thomas, whose speed got him a yard of space to turn the ball across the face of goal.
Donaldson came spinning on to the pass and executed a clever, swivelling backheel that went past Dunn but, unfortunately, not past the covering Richard Tait, who cleared off the line.
Four minutes later, as Gunning hobbled towards the touchline after suffering an injury, Cambridge equalised.
The Blues defence was somewhat out of kilter as Ryan Donaldson got the ball wide on the right, on the Kop side of the ground. He then proceeded to move inside and run straight at Jonathan Spector, who had shifted across to fill in for Gunning, as space opened up.
Donaldson waited for the right moment to let fly as Spector backpedalled and it was a fine shot that whizzed just inside the post.
Gunning, who had fallen awkardly as Doyle came through a crowd of bodies to punch clear a cross, was substituted, David Edgar coming on. There was an early scare for Blues after the break as Cambridge came out firing. From a corner, Josh Coulson rose high and got a header in that, deflected, bounced off the top of the crossbar.
In the 58th minute Doyle made a huge save, after Grant Hall slipped in possession in his own half.
Sam-Yorke went clean through in acres of space, but Doyle came from his line to close down and, as Sam-Yorke tried to direct the ball past him, he spread himself and blocked superbly.
As the cup tie sparked from end to end and Cambridge really took it to Blues, space opened up.
With eight minutes left, Caddis's half-volley from just inside the area was going in but for a great block by Tait.
And in the first minute of added-time it looked as if Blues had won it, following brilliant work by Lee Novak, who hooked over a ball that was going out from right on the byline, as Dunn came to fend him off.
With the goal gaping, the ball dropped to Clayton Donaldson but, somehow, he skewed the ball on to the post from six yards after stooping to head it.
But it mattered not, as Caddis and Duffy plundered the goals to put Blues through to the competition's second round. Blues (4-4-2): Doyle 7, Spector 6, Grounds 6, Hall 6, Gunning 5 (Edgar 38, 6), Gray 7 (Duffy 75, 7), Davis 7, Caddis 8, Thomas 6 (Novak 63, 6), C Donaldson 7, Cotterill 7. Not used: Randolph, Reilly, Brown, Gleeson. Cambridge (4-4-2): Dunn, Tait, Taylor, Coulson, Bonner, R Donaldson, Champion, Cunnington (Sam-Yorke ht), Hughes, Appiah (Simpson 83), Dunk (Chadwick 69).
Not used: Norris, Hunt, Austin, Lennon. Attendance: 9,816 (away 1,064).
Birmingham's Clayton Donaldson scores Blues' first goal in their Capital One Cup tie against Cambridge |