DECISIVE goals from Jake Jervis and James McPike guided a youthful Birmingham City side to a slender 2-1 win over Solihull Moors at Damson Park on Wednesday night.
However, Bob Faulkner's men could have earned themselves a draw had Gary McPhee converted his 60th minute penalty to add to Jake Edwards' strike.
Backed by a large following, Blues started off positively although it was Theo Streete who came closest to opening the scoring on 13 minutes only for his shot from inside the penalty area to crash against the post.
A minute later the deadlock was broken as talented teenager Sone Aluko danced past Simon Travis down the left and crossed for Jervis to smash home.
Aluko continued to torment the Moors backline but the 19-year-old couldn't find a way past keeper Daniel Crane.
On 36 minutes the hosts were level when a defensive mix-up allowed Edwards through one-on-one and the midfielder coolly slotted the ball past City's young Polish stopper Arthur Krysiak Aluko thundered a 20-yard free kick off the bar before half-time and after the break the visitors looked the more likely to grab a winner.
Indeed they did as impressive 18-year-old defender Krystian Pearce charged forward and set up James McPike who fired past Crane to make it 2-1.
Just minutes later the home side had a glorious chance to level the scores when the referee pointed to the spot claiming Jacob Rowe had handled in the area.
But it wasn't to be as McPhee's weak penalty was easily saved by Krysiak.
Crane produced a number of close-range saves as the hosts' began to tire and a late Tim Gould long-ranger was tipped over the bar by Krysiak in the final stages.
On Saturday, Moors host their final pre-season game at Damson Park (ko 3pm) when Blue Square South side Hayes and Yeading United are the visitors.