West Brom 2-3 Birmingham - Report

Former Villa striker Scott Hogan struck a hat-trick to condemn Albion to a damaging 3-2 home defeat to Blues.

Jed Wallace of West Bromwich Albion scores a goal to make it 1-1  during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Jed Wallace of West Bromwich Albion scores a goal to make it 1-1 during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Steve Bruce's side gave a performance laced with errors and, having found an equaliser after once more falling behind, were picked apart in the second half to slide towards the bottom four.

Albion endured a disastrous second period defensively in allowing Hogan to strike twice more, with Kyle Bartley jeered off by his own fans, before Brandon Thomas-Asante gave hope with a late penalty.

John Eustace's visitors had their coach delayed in heavy traffic but it was the hosts who failed to turn up from the off once more as Blues made it back-to-back wins over the Baggies with their first Hawthorns success in 17 years.

Albion and Bruce were subject to heavy full-time boos after a second Championship defeat in nine, one more than victories tasted, leaving them down in 20th, outside the bottom four on goal difference.

Twelve days on from Albion's previous game, the last-gasp draw at home to Burnley, debut goal hero Thomas-Asante once more started as a substitute.

West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City players and during the minutes silence ahead of the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

He was joined on the bench by fellow new boy Erik Pieters, the free-agent signing this week. Fellow new recruit Tom Rogic, the ex-Celtic midfielder, is not yet ready to feature. Neither is Martin Kelly.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman retained his place at right-back, with Darnell Furlong having to make do with a sub role.

Blues' matchday squad contained Tahith Chong, the summer signing from Manchester United, as a starter. Hannibal Mejbri, an Old Trafford loanee, was on the bench. Both were thought to be Albion targets this summer.

Skipper Troy Deeney, an Albion target on a number of occasions, started up front alongside ex-Villa man Hogan.

The 15-minute delay did at least mean fans could pack into The Hawthorns on a well-attended evening in time for an impeccably-observed minute's silence and rousing rendition of the national anthem.

One side started brightly and frustratingly, once more, it was not Bruce's side as a propensity to be sluggish out the traps and gift opposition an early lead came to bite Albion again.

Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion and Marc Roberts of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

There were signs inside the opening minute as Deeney curled against the stanchion from 15 yards. Youngster Josh Williams saw a cross drop just wide and Chong fired well over when well placed.

The hosts had shown precious little and were made to pay on 14 minutes. Juninho Bacuna was is far too much room outside the box and a cute through ball released Hogan in the box, who made little mistake finishing low across David Button.

Albion fell behind for the eighth game in 11 this season and the fifth on the spin.

The opener, however, did seem to wake up Bruce's men. They came within an inch of an equaliser four minutes later as Wallace cracked the near post from a narrow angle after a wonderful cross from left-back Conor Townsend.

And midway through the half the Baggies worked themselves level through a neatly-worked goal.

Some sharpness with the ball saw the busy Grady Diangana pick out Jayson Molumby and the tireless midfielder threaded a perfect through ball to release Wallace, who finished well under John Ruddy.

Molumby's confidence was typified by a fierce 25-yard drive that whistled narrowly over.

Blues retreated after the equaliser as Albion clicked through a gear but the first period remained error-strewn and littered with pauses in play.

Jed Wallace of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Some inch-perfect defending from Gardner-Hickman launched an attack that led to John Swift testing Ruddy from 25 yards. The ex-Wolves keeper's save was unconvincing.

Albion were picked off inside 10 minutes of the second period as Blues and Hogan struck once more.

The hosts gave up the ball from their own attack on the edge of the City box. Bartley missed an interception woefully before Bacuna played a wonderful ball into Hogan, whose finish was unerring.

Albion needed a response as Bruce sent for Thomas-Asante, obeying the call of the Smethwick End.

Long-range efforts from John Swift and captain Dara O'Shea, though, were poor.

Instead, while Albion showed a limp attempt to respond, things were only to get worse.

John Swift of West Bromwich Albion and Josh Williams of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Blues intercepted a ball easily in their own half and Deeney fed Hogan. The striker had acres of space on Blues' left but was ushered into the box by Bartley and allowed to towards goal from a tight angle by Button.

Hogan's prodded finish slipped through Button's legs in front of the away end for a treble. Boos rang out as home fans streamed for the exits. Bartley was jeered on the ball and withdrawn.

Thomas-Asante was tripped by Dion Sanderson just inside the Blues box and the new striker coolly converted to his left to set up a grandstand finish.

One wasn't forthcoming, though, as Diangana nodded tamely at Ruddy before Albion fans let their feelings known at full-time.

Albion (4-2-3-1): Button; Gardner-Hickman (Phillips, 77), Bartley (Pieters, 77), O'Shea (c), Townsend; Molumby, Yokuslu (Thomas-Asante, 60); Wallace, Swift, Diangana; Grant (Livermore, 77).

Subs not used: Palmer, Furlong, Reach.

Blues (3-5-2): Ruddy; Sanderson, Trusty, Roberts (Leko, 60); Williams, Bielik (James, 45), Chong, Bacuna (Mejbri, 77), Colin; Hogan, Deeney (c) (Jutkiewicz, 77).

Subs not used: Etheridge, Bellingham, Hall.

Attendance: 23,089 (1,987 Blues fans)

Referee: Josh Smith

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