January 19, 2015 by bluenosebible
Leeds United 1-1 Birmingham City
Written by: Oliver Osborn
A late equaliser from Leeds United at Elland Road ended Birmingham City’s three away match winning streak.
Paul Caddis’ penalty gave Blues an early lead when Clayton Donaldson was brought down inside the box.
But Luke Murphy scored in the 86th minute to gain a point for the home side and move them up a place in the table.
Birmingham got off to the perfect start as Caddis converted from the the spot within the opening ten minutes; continuing their good away form having lost just once on the road since Gary Rowett took charge in October.
Andrew Shinnie played an inch perfect through ball to in-form Clayton Donaldson to run free down the right hand side of the box.
Caddis stepped up and fired home his fourth league goal of the campaign.
Leeds responded reasonably well, but the visitors carried on creating the better chances in the half.
Stephen Gleeson came close to scoring his first goal for the club when his effort from long-range stung the palms of Marco Silvestri after a good piece of play by David Cotterill.
Cotterill and Shinnie also went close too with shots from outside the area, but the Leeds goalkeeper was at hand to keep his side in the match.
Another Italian, Giuseppe Bellusci, almost pulled Leeds level as his header from Murphy’s free-kick was well saved by Darren Randolph, with Paul Robinson clearing the danger on his 100th league appearance for the club.
David Davis had one last attempt force Silvestri into a good save just before the break.
In the second-half, the Lilywhites seemed to add a more direct approach to their game, looking to find the head of Steve Morrison on regular occasions.
The Welsh international thought he’d equalised not long after the interval as his flick on from Lewis Cook’s cross hit the inside of the post and found the grateful arms of Randolph.
The chances they’d proved costly late on as midfielder Murphy grabbed a goal four minutes from time.
Blues’ goalscorer Caddis could only head Sam Byram’s cross straight up in the air.
The ball looped up and the 25-year-old fired home with a well executed half-volley, despite having three of Gary Rowett’s men running towards him.
It may have come late on in the match, but it was probably a deserved point for two evenly matched sides on the day.
Leeds take on Bournemouth on Tuesday night while Birmingham entertain West Brom on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round.
Leeds manager Neil Redfearn: “We played well, we deserved to win and got in front of goal enough times to win a couple of games. If we’d have scored 10 minutes earlier we’d have won. It’s not the three points we wanted but the performance, the grit and the determination. If you’re fighting, you’ve got a chance.”
Redfearn then praised goalscorer Murphy, who has been a target of criticism from fans: “He’s done nothing but impress me, I had a good chat with him a month, six weeks ago to try and get him in a better place. But he’s brave, he doesn’t hide, gets on the ball and shows qualities you’d admire.”
Birmingham manager Gary Rowett: “I think if you look at the game and forget what went before the goal, we were 1-0 up with five minutes to go and we wanted to close it out. But if you look at the minutes before that it would have been unfair on Leeds if they’d not have got at least something.
“We were quite fortunate to have been 1-0 up at that period, but we would have liked to have seen things through. We conceded a very poor goal but it was a good point in the end at what’s a tough place to come.”
Starting line up: Randolph; Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds; Davis, Gleeson; Cotterill (Zigic 83′), Shinnie (Edgar 65′), Gray (Novak 73′); Donaldson
Subs not used: Doyle, Hancox, Reilly, Thomas
Man of the match: Jonathan Grounds