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Birmingham opens Championship campaign with win over Brentford, but Etheridge gets DNP

Birmingham's Jon Toral tries to flick the ball past Brentford's Pontus Jonsson.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Philippine Azkal Neil Etheridge stayed on the bench for the entirety of his new club's season opener, but Birmingham began its bid to make a Premier League comeback on a high note with a 1-0 home win against Brentford in their Sky Bet Championship clash at the St. Andrew's Stadium in Birmingham on Saturday.

England's under-19 team member Zach Jeacock got the start for Birmingham as goalkeeper as Etheridge is still trying to embrace Aitor Karanka's system.

However, Jeacock made a statement by keeping a clean sheet against Brentford, which is looking to complete some unfinished business after missing out on promotion last season.

Jeremie Bela scored the lone goal for Birmingham in the 37th minute of a physical clash that actually saw four players from the host squad including Bela himself getting yellow cards.

Birmingham will travel to Wales next Saturday to take on Swansea.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_