Blackburn 1-1 Birmingham: Match Report

21 January 2017 05:34

Danny Graham continues goalscoring run as Blackburn draw with Birmingham

Danny Graham struck in first-half injury time to deny Gianfranco Zola a first win as Birmingham boss following a 1-1 draw at Blackburn.

Graham popped up to notch his ninth goal in the last 11 league outings after Owen Coyle's side had made a sloppy start.

They were behind three minutes in when former Burnley striker Lukas Jutkiewicz dispatched a carelessly-conceded penalty for his 10th of the season.

There was little to separate the sides, though Ryan Shotton and Sam Gallagher passed up presentable opportunities to add to the scoring.

The result does neither side much good. Birmingham are marooned in mid-table, and have now failed to win in eight games while Blackburn remained in the bottom three after winning just one of their last eight league games.

Ben Marshall's future is in doubt so Gordon Greer replaced him in the only change from last week's defeat at Ipswich and Birmingham gave a second debut to on-loan Craig Gardner in one of five changes from FA Cup defeat at Newcastle.

Blackburn's habit of making slow starts was their undoing in the third minute when the Blues were awarded a penalty after Jason Steele needlessly came out to meet David Cotterill and brought him down.

Jutkiewicz stepped up and although Steele got something on the penalty, the ferocity saw it bounce off him and in.

The shell-shocked hosts were lucky not to be two down 10 minutes later when Che Adams powered forward on the left. His ball dissected the Rovers defence and left Cotterill one-on-one with Steele, who stood tall to parry the powerful drive inside the area.

Blackburn's first chance came in the 29th minute when Liam Feeney's cross was met by Hope Akpan whose far post header was fumbled by Tomasz Kuszczak, though he managed to scramble the ball clear.

A disjointed, frustrating first half ended in a flourish as Rovers drew level in added time when Akpan found Derrick Williams on the left and his low cross found Graham who emphatically hammered past Kuszczak from 12 yards for his 11th of the season.

Birmingham fired a warning straight after the restart though, when Cotterill found space outside the area and whipped a curling shot goalwards that drifted just wide.

Nerves were there for all to see midway through the half. First Jutkiewicz somehow volleyed wide from three yards but his blushes were spared by the offside flag.

At the other end Gallagher's header across goal was cleared off the line by Michael Morrison, then in the 67th minute, a Feeney cross ricocheted kindly to Gallagher but he somehow fired over the bar from six yards.

Birmingham would have nicked it in the last five minutes but for Steele who made a stunning save to tip away Shotton's header as the spoils were shared.


Source: PA


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