Date:Saturday March 11 2006
Birmingham City, put under extra pressure when they failed to take advantage of a poor Middlesbrough outfit last week, failed miserably to cope with that pressure.
Albion will wonder how they managed to leave St Andrews with only one point,as they spurned several chances including a glaring miss when Campbell hit a post from 5 yards. Kamara twice side footed wide with the goal at his mercy. Taylor in Blues goal pulled off good saves from Watson, Inamoto and Ellington. In the last minute of injury time Ellington fired against the crossbar with Taylor beaten.
All the hype and promises from the Blues management and players and how they were going to prove a few points and ‘put things right' came to nought. Blues created only one chance and that was for Albion! Martin Taylor and Latka got themselves in a mess and Melchiot who Blues were looking to lead the side out of trouble, hoisted the ball skywards ad backwards. Kanu set up Ellington, who could not buy a goal in his Albion career, smashed the equaliser.
Up front, Bruce's formation did not work. Heskey and Forssell worked hard but independently and made the Albion's back line, as they did Middlesborough's, look fairly good. They did not create one goal scoring opportunity in 96 minutes of play.
Dunn worked hard and Pennant who was probably the most dangerous player was kicked out of the game on the stroke of half time. Clement, on for Albion when Robinson had to leave early went up for a header with Pennant and kneed him in the thigh. Pennant spent half time trying to get his legs moving but was forced to exit after 10 second half minutes.
In those ten second half minutes Blues had taken the lead when Forssell going away from goal was bundled over. He got up and netted easily from the spot.
Blues were on top at this stage but this was short lived as Albion got stuck in. Sadly the Home side were just unable to match Baggies determination.
Steve Bruce can now get out his calculator and work out that the 2 weeks where a 7 point return was required only achieved 4. That is relegation form because that is what Blues are looking forward to now. The two sides were miles apart in ability but only on paper. Albion will now believe they are the side with the right to stop up.
Blues :Maik Taylor, Mario Melchiot, Martin Latka, Martin Taylor, Stan Lazaridis, David Dunn (Neil Kilkenny 81), Jermaine Pennant (Muzzy Izzet 57), Damien Johnson, Nicky Butt, Mikael Forssell (DJ Campbell 81), Emile Heskey.
Subs: Nico Vaesen, Alex Bruce.
Bookings: Melchiot (26), Butt (88)
Goal: Forssell (pen 49)
Throstles: Thomasz Kuszczak, Paul Robinson (Neil Clement 42), Jonathan Greening, Jan Kozak, Martin Albrechtsen, Diomansy Kamara, Steve Watson, Curtis Davies, Kevin Campbell (Nathan Ellington 68), Ronnie Wallwork, Junichi Inamoto (Kanu 68)
Subs: Chris Kirkland, Darren Carter.
Goal: Ellington (70)
Bookings: Robinson (41), Clement (71), Wallwork (73)
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