Kirchberg 0 Birmingham City 7
Birmingham City eased to a comfortable opening victory on their pre-season tour to Austria.
Kevin Phillips helped himself to two second-half goals against the non-league team from the Tirol, mirroring Gary McSheffrey’s contribution in the opening 45 minutes.
Lee Carsley joined Phillips in making his Blues debut, but Alex McLeish’s men were unable to field injured pair Damien Johnson and Sebastian Larsson.
Blues took a while to shake off the summer cobwebs off at the SV Westendorf Waldstadion and their first opening came in the 15th minute when Stuart Parnarby played a one-two with Garry O’Connor and drove the ball across theface of goal only for it to just run away from Cameron Jerome after Bernhard Huhnersbichler got a touch.
O’Connor fired a cross that whistled just wide from the right soon afterwards and it was no surprise when Blues went ahead in the 30th minute.
Jerome’s burst on the left allowed McSheffrey to overlap in space and pull the back into the box, where Sone Aluko picked it up just behind him.
He cut inside Richard Poll cleverly and was clipped by the Kirchberg defender.McSheffrey stepped up to place the penalty kick low to the goalkeeper’s left.
Nine minutes later, McSheffrey got his and Blues second, direct from a corner. He whipped it in to the near post and although O’Connor went to glance the ball on, he missed it and it deceived his marker and the goalkeeper.
O’Connor then hit the post with a close- range header and was denied by a good save by Huhnersbichler before Blues added a third goal in first-half stoppage time.
Martin Taylor kept alive a McSheffrey corner from the left that was flicked on by O’Connor and Liam Ridgewell had the easy task of guiding it into the goal with his knee.
Blues made four substitutions at half-time, including the introduction of Phillips. O’Connor kept his composure to plant a sidefooted shot into the bottom corner after James McFadden had been denied on 53 minutes and then Phillips became a cental character.
He should have been awarded a penalty after tipping the ball past the goalkeeper, who clattered into him, then he missed two relatively simple chances at the back post before he opened his account on 62 minutes, running the ball into the unguarded net after O’Connor led a charge down the inside-right channel and unselfishly squared to him.
It was 6-0 when David Murphy stormed in to head home Jordon Mutch’s corner and the seventh goal came from Phillips, executed in typical fashion.
O’Connor, yet again, was the instigator after turning his marker and sending a cross to the far post where Phillips, hanging back, took the ball on his chest and lashed it in from six yards.
Blues coasted for the remaining 17 minutes , having withdrawn Parnaby because of a leg injury.