The latest round of landlords versus tenants went all the way as Coventry did their best to make themselves at home again.
Amadou Bakayoko was first to deliver a bloody nose to Birmingham and it looked as if his goal would be enough to see the League One high-fliers through to a meeting with Leicester. However, deep into injury time, Harlee Dean headed an equaliser to send the tie into extra time.
Penalties were beckoning when Maxime Biamou found himself with space and time to collect Callum O’Hare’s pass and beat Lee Camp to break the deadlock. Again Birmingham came back with a comic equaliser from a Jeremie Bela cross which ended up in the net and so to penalties.
Birmingham City were victorious on the night as they clinched the win on penalties
Coventry players embrace Amadou Bakayoko after his goal put them ahead at St Andrews
Better late than never for Birmingham, who levelled in stoppage time thorugh Harlee Dean (C)
Maxime Biamou thought he had sent Coventry to the fifth round after scoring in extra time
Lee Camp saved spot kicks from Jamie Allen and Liam Walsh and Birmingham were finally home sweet home. Bakayoko’s second-half opener was greeted with the arrival of a blue flare on the pitch and wild celebrations from the ‘visiting’ supporters.
It came just as it looked as if stalemate was going to be the continuing theme of this Cup duel which saw the teams play out a goalless draw in the first tie. Bakayoko scored his fifth goal of the season after a pass from Zain Westbrooke, his shot beating Lee Camp.
The Championship club should have been further behind minutes later when Maxime Biamou rushed his shot as he connected with Fankaty Dabo’s cross. The ball ballooned over the bar. Having been rocked, Birmingham went searching for the equaliser to keep alive their chances.
Birmingham City’s Kristian Pedersen jostles for possession with Coventry’s Amadou Bakayoko
The home side were dealt a blow early in the first half as Josh McEachran was taken off injured
They will argue they should have been ahead anyway, when Biamou appeared to handle just before half-time. The days when Josh McEachran was being touted as a superstar of the future are long gone and as is so often the case when a player attempts to re-invent himself, what can go wrong does go wrong.
Leaving the scene of this competitive Cup tie on a stretcher after just quarter of an hour with what looked like a bad injury to his left leg after only five starts this season highlighted his bad luck.
This match captured the imagination of both sets of fans for the first tie but there was a distinct feeling that this was more a case of an unwanted extra fixture.
Birmingham City defender Wes Harding lunges into a crunching tackle on Fankaty Dabo
Kristian Pedersen heads towards goal as Birmingham looked to break the deadlock early on
Coventry still brought 4,515 fans with them even if League One promotion remains the priority and goalkeeper Marko Marosi joined the roster of heroes when he denied Jeremie Bela. Bakayoko could also have netted when he span into the area and shot but Kristian Pedersen was able to clear.
Coventry midfielder Zain Westbrooke was also in the wars. He suffered an early bloody nose and had to head off the pitch for a clean shirt and treatment.
The League One side thought they had done the same thing to Birmingham but the Championship side dug deep and in added time Dean rose to Jacques Maghoma’s cross and headed the equaliser to keep the tie alive.