Report and highlights as the winless run for Garry Monk’s men continues at St Andrew’s
By Dan Long
Last Updated: 14/09/18 10:10pm
Birmingham City were denied a first win of the season on Friday evening as Matt Phillips’ strike earned West Brom a 1-1 draw at St Andrew’s.
In an explosive two-minute spell, Jota poked the Blues in front from close range before spurning a chance to double the lead when Sam Johnstone saved his penalty after Kyle Bartley had handled.
Six minutes before the break, Matt Phillips struck an equaliser past Lee Camp with the outside of his boot, but although the Blues had numerous viable opportunities in a feistier second period, they wasted plenty and were ultimately unable to breach the Baggies’ back line.
Birmingham: Camp (6), Colin (6), Morrison (6), Dean (6), Pedersen (4), Maghoma (6), Kietfenbeld (5), G Gardner (6), Jota (8), Jutkiewicz (6), Adams (5)
Subs: Bogle (5), Solomon-Otabor (n/a)
West Brom: Johnstone (7), Dawson (5), Hegazi (6), Bartley (5), Phillips (7), Livermore (6), Brunt (6), Townsend (4), Barnes (6), Rodriguez (4), Gayle (5)
Subs: Robson-Kanu (n/a), Barry (n/a)
Man of the match: Jota
In spite of their winless run, the well-earned point moves the Blues up to 17th place in the Championship, while Darren Moore’s men start the weekend in fifth, just three points behind leaders Leeds United.
Few chances manifested in an uneventful first 25 minutes, but two minutes later the game burst into life – as the league’s second-lowest scorers, it was perhaps typical that Birmingham would be first to strike.
Baggies debutant Conor Townsend – a summer signing from Scunthorpe – failed to track the run of Jota and the former Brentford man got on the end of Gary Gardner’s cross to squeeze an angled shot home via the post.
Birmingham could have added their second of the evening within a matter of seconds when Bartley handled in the area, but Jota’s poor spot-kick was pushed behind by Johnstone.
Naïve defending from Kristian Pedersen allowed Phillips to capitalise on a careless attempted clearance as he curled home the equaliser with the outside of his boot.
Very few changes to report this evening – just one in fact. Blues boss Garry Monk opted for the same starting eleven that drew 0-0 with QPR prior to the international break, while for the visitors, Kieran Gibbs drops to the bench through illness; summer signing Conor Townsend made his full debut for the club in his place.
Che Adams ballooned Lukas Jutkiewicz’s knockdown over the bar while, at the other end, Harvey Barnes forced a save from Camp.
But, in truth, the lion’s share of the chances fell to Birmingham; Jacques Maghoma failed to convert Adams’ dinked cross and Jota needlessly blazed over from the edge of the area. It was a familiar storyline.
Their efforts were almost deemed completely worthless with six minutes remaining, but Barnes crashed a shot against the crossbar and Phillips’ off-balance poke goalwards was saved by Camp’s aptly positioned legs.
Both sides are next in action on Tuesday evening when Birmingham take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and West Brom welcome Bristol City to The Hawthorns. Both games are available to view on Sky Sports red button.