Birmingham City 1 Fulham 1: All square as Blues slip up in play-off raceLeave a comment
March 20, 2016 by Made In Brum
By Harrison Taylor
After last weekend’s rather unspectacular result at wolves, blues were looking to end their somewhat poor form in front of goal.
This form is apparent by the fact they have scored more goals against Saturday’s opponent in the reverse fixture (five) than they managed since the end of January (three).
Surprisingly, Gary Rowett made no changes from the 0-0 draw from the weekend, whilst the away team opted for a traditional 4-4-2 which included 4 centre halves after they were forced to make a late change before kick-off.
This meant that former blue Dan Burn, who had an impressive loan spell at the club a couple of years ago, came into the team.
The game took a while to get going as there were no real opportunities for either side in the first 10 minutes.
The first decent opportunity came for Fulham.
A Jonathan Spector mistake meant that Moussa Dembele was able to lay the ball back into the box for Emerson Hyndman whose shot was blocked.
Five minutes later Fulham continued to be a threat to Kuszacks’ goal, this time it was Fulham Captain Scott Parker who was able to wriggle past several Blues bodies only to see his poor chip blocked off the line by Grounds.
The first real chance for the home team came from a free kick.
One of Paul Caddis’ surging runs from the right meant that Tim Ream had no choice but to take him down. David Cotterill laid the ball to Steven Gleeson on the edge of the box who curled his shot round the post.
Fulham’s goal came on 36 minutes.
Ross McCormack played an optimistic diagonal pass to Tom Cairney who was given time to control the ball. Rohan Ince made a run on his right hand side, receiving a back heel pass from Cairney firing the cottagers into the lead. His strike creeping under the deflated Kuszack.
At half time, Fulham were definitely the better team with 3 decent efforts on target whilst Blues were unable to hit the target at all.
Just over five minutes into the first half, Maghoma came on for Keiftenbeld sparking life in to Blues.
Two minutes later the home team found the equaliser.
Captain Michael Morrison’s towering header from Cotterill’s cross beat Marcus Bettinell, the day’s pantomime villain.
Although Blues seemed the dominant team in the second half, there was only one clear cut chance which was branded as “miss of the season” by some fans.
David Davis’ shot struck the post and the rebound was scooped over the bar by Clayton Donaldson from 6 yards. “Miss of the season” a little harsh in my opinion.
Rowett said that Clayton was “distraught” at the final whistle.
Rowett also said post match that he told the players to “throw everything at them” at half time. This was clear through his positive substitutions when he brought on Maghoma, Vaughan and Buckley and eventually resorting to a 4-4-2.
Rowett went on to praise the players’ character but stated “we are just missing a little bit of quality in front of goal.”
Blues Captain, Morrison, said they the team needs to “keep doing what they’re doing and it will fall for us, just like earlier in the season.”
Ratings: Kuszack 6, Caddis 6, Morrison 6, Spector 5, Gounds 7, Davis 6, Keiftenbeld 5, Gleeson 6, Cotterill 7, Toral 6, Donaldson 6.
SUBS: Maghoma 6, Buckley 5, Vaughan 6.
MOTM: Dan Burn – Won everything in the air.
Ref – Darren Handley 5 – Slighlty inconsistent, no huge mistakes.