American Exports: Spector, Birmingham fall to Chelsea
AMSTERDAM — A few Americans suited up in England on Tuesday night, with Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City bowing out of the FA Cup after second-half goals propelled guests Chelsea to a 2-0 replay victory.
The US handyman went the distance at right back, putting in a solid shift against Spanish ace Juan Mata. Spector threatened to open the scoring with a half-volley from long range midway through the opening frame, but Petr Cech gathered himself to avoid disaster. The American could not, however, prevent Mata scoring from a scramble on 54 minutes. Chelsea finished off the win with a Raul Mereilles free kick beauty at the hour.
The loss is the first ever for the Brums in a home tourney match against the Blues. It also means Birmingham will not reach the quarterfinals for the first time in three years.
Also for Birmingham, Olympic hopeful Will Packwood watched on from the dugout for the first time.
In Championship play, last-minute starter Robbie Findley missed wide on an early chance in Nottingham Forest's 2-1 home loss to Doncaster Rovers. The forward worked 74 minutes as the Reds slid further down the standings, now standing just three points over the trap door.
Finally, Conor Doyle went unused as Derby County rallied for a 2-1 win over visiting Blackpool.