Date: 17th January 2011 at 6:06am
Written by:

An exciting game between Birmingham ended all square at St Andrews. It ended 1-1 but both sides had enough chances to have made the score line much higher than that in this relegation clash.

Blues defender Roger Johnson opened the scoring in this game, but it was never going to be a one goal game and Collins made sure the sides shared the points when he hammered the ball home via a deflection.

Villa were on top for the early opening exchanges and through the game they made a habit of hitting the woodwork, but the home side also wasted several good chances in a game that kept you on the edge of your seat.

The visitors had a chance to open the scoring right from the kick off when Ben Foster messed about with the ball instead of hoofing out a clearance and the ball went straight to Agbonlahor who cut in from the left and fired a shot over the bar.

Downing was the next to go close when he fired just wide of the upright as the home side took their time in finding their feet.

At the other end, dirty Richard Dunne showed that the only way he could stop Bentley who was off on a charge down the wing was to chop him down and rightly went into the referee`s book, minutes later and Gardner was firing an effort from 20 yards just over the crossbar.

Villa then showed that they had come looking for a win when a cross from Walker caused all sorts of problems and resulted in Agbonlahor heading against the bar.

Derbyshire then made a mess of things right in front of the Villa fans when Gardner sent a low ball across the six yard box but instead of the unwatched Derbyshire turning the ball home, he missed it completely and had to endure the taunts from the travelling contingent.

Clark then sent alarm bells ringing in the Blues defence when his cross struck the bar.

Blues were then hoping for a penalty after Albrighton mauled down Gardner in the box but Mark Clattenburg was having none of it and waved play on and soon after Carr found Hleb in the box but his effort was cleared off the line by Collins.

The first effort of the second have went the way of Villa when Carew fired in a shot that was deflected wide of the target by Ridgewell.

Villa were the first to threaten at the start of the second half and Carew had a shot deflected wide by Liam Ridgewell from low cross.

But in the 49th minute Johnson put Blues ahead after Collins had brought down Hleb 30 yards out.

Gardner sent in a low drive, Murphy flicked the ball on and Johnson put the ball in the net to make it 1-0.

But Johnson could have helped Villa back into the game as they hit back when he deflected a cross from Clark just wide of the post, the action went straight back to the other end and with Ferguson finding Derbyshire baring down on goal and his goal bound low drive was brilliantly saved by Friedel in the Villa goal.

Carr then found his name being taken after hauling down Clark, but Foster was equal to the low shot from Dowling, but Villa had their bit of glory on 73 minutes.

Albrighton put the ball into the box and it ended up at the feet of Collins who put in a shot that looked like it was going wide but struck the unlucky Ridgewell and into the net the ball went.

Foster then denied Dowling as Villa went in search of a winner and Ridgewell turned from Villain to hero when he headed an effort from Dunne off the line.

Foster then tipped a drive from Delfouneso onto the bar, while at the other end Zigic could have won it for the home side when he got his head to the ball in front of Friedel but the ball came down just wide of the upright.
Points shared 1-1.

Birmingham: Foster, Murphy, Ridgewell, Carr, Johnson, Bentley, Fahey, Ferguson, Gardner, Hleb (Zigic, 76 ) , Derbyshire (Bowyer, 84 )

Subs not used: Taylor,Phillips,Beausejour,Mutch,Jiranek,

Aston Villa: Friedel, Dunne, Walker, Clark, Collins, Downing, Reo-Coker ( Delfouneso, 71 ) , Petrov, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Carew ( Bannan, 71 )

Subs not used: Marshall, Cuellar, Pires, Baker, Hogg,

Bookings: Carr (Birmingham) Collins , Dunne (Aston Villa)

Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

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