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Birmingham City 2 v 2 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 29th September 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Birmingham City 2-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 29th Sep 2018 17:22

Town still wait for their first win of the season after two second-half Lukas Jutkiewicz goals denied them victory over Birmingham at St Andrew’s having been two goals in front via Jon Nolan and Matthew Pennington at half-time, the game ending 2-2. Nolan netted on 26 and Pennington - who was sent off for a second yellow card late on - doubled the lead in the 41st minute as the Blues looked set to claim three points under Paul Hurst for the first time but Jutkiewicz struck on 48 and 68 to dash their hopes.

Town, wearing their all orange second strip, fielded an unchanged XI for the first time this season, while Ellis Harrison dropped out of the 18 due to injury and Andre Dozzell was on the bench for the first time since the opening day game against Blackburn.

The Blues, watched by former assistant manager Terry Connor and England U21s coach Aidy Boothroyd from the directors’ box, found themselves under pressure from the off and the home side went close to going in front in the fourth minute.

Following a Jota corner, Gerken first saved from Lukas Jutkiewicz, then reacted quickly to crowd out Che Adams’s follow-up.

The ball subsequently fell to Gary Gardner on the edge of the area from where he curled a shot past Gerken’s right hand but off the outside of the post.

After a frantic first few minutes Town gradually began to get on the ball and on 10 Grant Ward struck their first shot, albeit a weak effort from distance which gave Lee Camp in the Birmingham goal little trouble.

On 15 Nolan stabbed the ball into the path of Jonas Knudsen on the left and the Danish international crossed deep to Gwion Edwards, who shot over from a very tight angle wide of the back post.

Birmingham continued to have most of the ball, although without a creating another chance, but on 26 the Blues went in front.

Pennington played a ball down the right for Kayden Jackson to chase and the former Accrington man cut in and laid a pass back to Nolan, who smashed his first Town goal into the top corner from just inside the box.

Town began to look more confident on the ball having gone ahead before a stop-start period in the game due to head injuries. Following one of those stoppages in the 35th minute, a Harlee Dean freekick from deep was nodded wide by Jutkiewicz.

Birmingham thought they’d equalised in the 39th minute when Haverhill-born Michael Morrison nodded a looping header back and over Gerken from Jota’s left-wing cross but somehow Knudsen managed to hook it off the line.

And two minutes later, the Blues doubled their lead. Chalobah won a corner on the left and Ward whipped over a low ball which the unmarked Pennington turned home from six yards to claim his first goal for Town.

Birmingham were unable to seriously threaten again in the remaining minutes and the half-time whistle drew boos from a home crowd still to see their team win this season.

Conversely the Town players left the field to applause from their fans having ended a half with a two-goal advantage for the first time under manager Hurst.

Having been fortunate not to go behind in the early stages, particularly when Gardner hit the post, the Blues gradually got themselves more into the game, although the Midlanders had continued to look the more dangerous team prior to Nolan’s opening goal.

Birmingham would have been on terms - probably deservedly - but for Knudsen’s brilliant off-the-line clearance, but in the game’s next passage of play Pennington made the most of some lax Birmingham set-piece defending to make it 2-0.

The home side swapped Gardner for Maikel Kieftenbeld ahead of the second half and two minutes after the restart the Blues went close to a third.

After Pennington had been fouled five yards outside the area, Nolan curled a freekick just wide of Camp’s left post.

But a minute later the home side pulled a goal back. Jutkiewicz was played in on goal by Jota and slipped the ball to the right of the advancing Gerken.

The goal livened up the previously sullen home crowd as their side took the game to Town looking for an equaliser.

On 52 Pennington was booked for a cynical foul on Jacques Maghoma after Nsiala had been caught in possession inside his own half.

Five minutes later, Town went close. Chalobah was found by Pennington as he broke forward and crossed to Ward. The former Spurs chested the ball down past his man but his shot wasn’t powerful enough to test Camp.

Despite the blow of conceding the early goal, the Blues were starting to look the more threatening side and on 62 Edwards did well to get past Kristian Pedersen on the right but sent his low cross behind Nolan and a number of other team-mates.

But almost immediately Birmingham, who replaced Charlie Lakin for Connor Mahoney in the 65th minute, twice went close.

First Gerken did well to get a strong arm to palm Adams’s shot from the edge of the box wide, then from the corner Jutkiewicz’s looping header bounced off the top of the bar and over.

However, the home side didn’t have to wait too much longer for an equaliser. Gerken’s punch from a 68th minute freekick on the right flew straight up in the air, Dean’s header was blocked on the line, Chalobah stopped a subsequent effort with his chest but Jutkiewicz eventually found a gap and smashed in the leveller.

Match Gallery: 6 photos

Town found themselves under heavy pressure following the second Birmingham goal, Mahoney seeing a shot from a tight angle on the right deflected behind. On 73 Jota curled a shot over.

The Blues swapped Ward for Freddie Sears in the 81st minute, the former West Ham man taking up a role behind Jackson with Nolan switching to wide on the left.

Mahoney wasn’t too far from a winning goal in the 85th minute with a low shot from the right of the box which flew just past Gerken’s right post.

A minute later, skipper Luke Chambers nodded down a freekick from deep but Sears just couldn’t reach it.

Then on 87 the Blues had a golden chance to reclaim the lead. Jackson, who had enjoyed his best game since joining Town, escaped down the left and cut across to Sears, however, the ball flew just behind the striker and it was cleared from inside the six-yard box.

With two minutes remaining the Blues were reduced to 10 men for the third time this season. This time Pennington was the man to see red following his second yellow card for a foul on Maghoma.

Immediately, Edwards was sacrificed for Janoi Donacien as Town looked to see out the final few minutes for a point.

The Blues found themselves under significant pressure during injury time and Birmimgham nearly won it when Jutkiewicz was found in space at the far post but Gerken reacted quickly to close him down and block. Moments later, the whistle ended an entertaining topsy-turvy affair.

Town will be kicking themselves that they are still waiting for their first win of the season having been two goals in front.

The timing of Birmingham’s first goal gave them impetus and momentum at the start of the second half and despite Town having the occasional moment of their own going forward, the potential for second home goal was always there.

The Blues, who climb a place to 22nd in the table, defended staunchly to hang on to their point in the closing stages, particularly after going down to 10 men, and might even have grabbed a third goal on the break.

Going into the match a first away draw of the season wouldn’t have been viewed as a bad result.

However, in the context of having been 2-0 up at half-time it’s major chance to claim a first victory missed at the 10th time of asking in the league and with two very tough fixtures - Middlesbrough at home on Tuesday which Pennington will miss and Swansea away on Saturday - in the next week.

Town: Gerken, Pennington, Nsiala, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Skuse, Chalobah, Edwards (Donacien 88), Nolan, Ward (Sears 81), Jackson. Unused: Bialkowski, Graham, Downes, Dozzell, Edun.

Birmingham: Camp, Pedersen, Morrison (c), Dean, Colin, Lakin (Mahoney 64), G Gardner (Kieftenbeld 46), Jota, Maghoma, Jutkiewicz, Adams. Unused: Trueman, Roberts, Harding, Solomon-Otabor, Bogle. Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire). Att: 21,612 (Town 1,096).

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thechangingman added 17:23 - Sep 29
I would still rather have PH than our previous incumbents. The search for a first win, however, is proving very wearing...

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:26 - Sep 29
Head, brick wall.

Sourdough added 17:26 - Sep 29
Two goals scored (miracle), another point, another jump up the table.

Do you get money back if a borrowed player gets suspended?

cat added 17:26 - Sep 29
Hard to mask the disappointment after building a healthy lead, but a point away from home, 2 goals scored and with the fact we could have lost it at the end, not such a bad afternoon’s work.

afcfee added 17:27 - Sep 29
This was a must win before the game considering upcoming games. Nevermind at half time Hurst has to be favourite for the chop in championship only team without a win in 10 games matter of time in my eyes till he's gone.

baxter7 added 17:28 - Sep 29
Getting concerned now being two goals up and letting it slip away can't see us getting much from the next two games

1psw1ch added 17:29 - Sep 29
What must we do to get this win ,,,2 nil up and bottle it , almost nearly lost in last minute,,,trying to be positive but same time its hard to be ,,,it feels like a defeat throwing this lead away ,,pissed off big time

LWNR2013 added 17:30 - Sep 29
Good point away from home! Looking fwd to Tuesday

BlueArrow added 17:30 - Sep 29
@ Blueand True beat me too it got a banging headache now and a plasterer required

TimmyH added 17:31 - Sep 29
Well I've been a supporter since 1975 and to have played the first 10 games in the 2nd tier of English football STILL without a win is totally unacceptable when anybody can more or less beat anyone on their day.

Today another opportunity has mate rang me after the game and said we were fortunate to be 2-0 up at half-time but in the end fortunate to win the game...says it all!

Boro on Tuesday, looks a tough game on paper but they're hardly ripping it up. Probably another draw to look forward to, yawn!

matthewwylds added 17:31 - Sep 29
Watched the 2nd half and apart from the first 3min it was painful watch the 2nd goal and tell me he’s our best in goal midfield was non-existent It’s not the not winning it’s how we are going about our football and for me it looks clueless

1psw1ch added 17:31 - Sep 29
blameing that orange away strip its rotten

BlueBlood90 added 17:31 - Sep 29
We won’t be in many better positions against more beatable opponents in this league. It’s a point gained after hanging on for a draw but it was sloppy to concede so quickly after half time which gave them a massive boost. Bart back in goal on Tuesday please. When you see the 2nd goal you’ll see why.

tractorboybig added 17:32 - Sep 29
saw the game.. two shots two goals BUT we were crap and why was Jackman there??? along with a few others????? there is no plan B thise is not a team being built, we are a first div team with a first div manager and that is where we belong

TractorBoy654 added 17:33 - Sep 29
Lets be honest with ourselves, the appoint an inexperienced manager and bring in lots of hungry young players fantasy clearly hasn't worked.
Been to all bar one match this season and seen complete dross, in fact worse than Mick's football, hard to say but true!
Also do not like the way Hurst talks about senior players.

tallguy6767 added 17:34 - Sep 29
Should of brought dozzell on .shame on Hurst for not, knowing that if he won it for us it would of looked bad on him.

CavendishBlue added 17:35 - Sep 29
Such negativity.

New manager.12 new players.

Keep the faith.

But ffs Dozzell!!!!

iaintaylorx added 17:36 - Sep 29
So frustrating! Still not overly worried, but I just bloody wish we gave Dozzell a run out! Should have taken off either Chalobah or Skuse and brought him on to bring some creativity! Win will come soon, but a few tough fixtures coming up... I guess we’re unbeaten in 4!!

Erics_size_5s added 17:36 - Sep 29
Would have taken a point at 3pm. More worrying is if we find ourselves a goal or two up, will we have the mental strength to see out the game for the 3 points. No point in changing anything till Christmas.

goat_man added 17:41 - Sep 29
Giving away leads is something that we've done for near on 16 years. It's getting really boring now. 2-0 up at half time and you just knew we wouldn't hold out

fisky added 17:42 - Sep 29
If we can't beat 10 men and we can't win while being 2-0 up then I don't see where we are actually going to get a win. Worrying times ahead I'm afraid. You can forget about winning the next 2 games.

Lightningboy added 17:47 - Sep 29
Sounds like one of those games where if we’d scored 5 we’d have let in 5.

Lack of goals from the strikers is frightening at this level..this system is not working attack-wise,the fans can see it why can’t Hurst?..we simply do not have the players to implement it..Waghorn & Garner up top would’ve made such a massive difference.

Just hope we’re not too adrift come January cos Marcus will need to get the cheque book out to sign at least 2 decent strikers.

Wicksy added 17:51 - Sep 29
Hard to believe some of you are 'supporters'
That was a good point today - not brilliamt but a good solid point. Cheer up FFS

Lightningboy added 17:52 - Sep 29
Regarding strikers - Hurst says that the freebies currently available will be off the pace - well Paul,the answer is to get a couple of them signed up now and make sure that they’re fit enough to come into the team by November - what we have is nowhere near good enough.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 17:52 - Sep 29
I don't blame Evans for a lack investment as it's his money and Keane and Jewell squandered millions needlessly. What I do blame Evans for is a lack of judgement. And interest.

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