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Match Reports

Points shared in Birmingham

Our take from St Andrew's

30 November 2019

Birmingham City and Millwall played out a 1-1 draw in the Sky Bet Championship at the St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Shaun Williams' first goal of the campaign gave Millwall a second-half lead, but Jake Clarke-Salter equalised with 11 minutes to go to ensure a share of the spoils.

The point does, however, stretch The Lions' unbeaten run to four matches.

Gary Rowett made three changes - one enforced - from the side that drew 2-2 with Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night, as Alex Pearce, Jiri Skalak and Matt Smith came into the side at the expense of the injured Shaun Hutchinson, Connor Mahoney and Tom Bradshaw.

A midfield battle in the opening stages, both sides traded half chances - firstly, Kristian Pedersen crossed for Lukas Jutkiewicz but he was beaten to the ball by Murray Wallace, before sloppy play from the home side presented a chance for Skalak, but he was closed down on the edge of the penalty area.

With 14 minutes on the clock Jude Bellingham's simulation in the penalty area saw referee Andy Woolmer unmoved, with The Lions breaking up the other end through Jed Wallace; he laid the ball off to his namesake Murray, but his cross was headed over the crossbar by Ben Thompson.

Shortly before the half-hour mark Bartosz Bialkowski was brought into play for the first time as, after a sublime piece of skill from Bellingham, the ball eventually made its way out to Ivan Sunjic - the Birmingham man struck, but the Pole saved well, with the resulting corner-kick coming to nothing.

Bialkowski easily collected Jutkiewicz's header moments later, with Jed Wallace's tumble on the edge of the penalty area also seeing Woolmer unmoved at the other end. With just over 10 minutes until the break The Lions' number seven won possession in the final third and produced an inch-perfect cross for Smith, but the striker's goal-bound header was expertly kept out by Connal Trueman.

Millwall were now having a decent spell in front of goal and Trueman was again made to work seven minutes before half-time, this time clawing Thompson's effort behind. In five minutes of first-half stoppage-time Shaun Williams let fly from distance after Smith chested down, but the shot was simple for Trueman to gather. Mahlon Romeo then crossed for Jed Wallace just before the whistle, but the winger's shot flashed wide.

Just minutes into the second-half there was another shout for a penalty as Alvaro Gimenez's shirt was tugged by Jake Cooper, but once again Woolmer decided not to point to the spot. Jutkiewicz then sprung the offside trap and set his sights on goal with 51 minutes gone, but he got his shot horribly wrong, with the ball rolling wide.

Good work from Murray Wallace and Skalak then presented Smith with a chance to head for goal just before the hour-mark, but Trueman gathered with ease, before a neat passage of play saw the ball land at the feet of Gimenez, but with just Bialkowski to beat, he sliced his shot wide.

On 61 minutes, however, The Lions took the lead. A move that began with Romeo and took in Thompson and Jed Wallace ended with the ball at the feet of Williams - the Irishman setting himself before hitting a rasping drive from around 25 yards out which flew past Trueman for his first goal of the campaign.

Millwall's tails were up, and they could've added a second shortly after, but Smith glanced Jed Wallace's free-kick wide of the post. 

The Blues, though, got themselves level with just 11 minutes to play, as Clarke-Salter powered a header past Bialkowski from a corner. A second could've followed just a minute later, but after Bellingham's jinking run took him inside the danger zone, his shot flashed inches wide of the far post. 

Both sides huffed and puffed in their attempts to get the winning goal from there, but the final whistle blew with the score 1-1.

Birmingham City: Trueman, Pedersen, Roberts (Dean 26'), Colin, Crowley, Jutkiewicz, Clarke-Salter, Villalba (Bela 55'), Bellingham, Gimenez (Montero 65'), Sunjic. Subs not used: Camp, McEachran, Maghoma, Davis.

Scorer: Clarke-Salter 79'

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace, Thompson (O'Brien 89'), Smith (Bradshaw 84'), Romeo, Pearce, Molumby, Skalak (Bodvarsson 85'). Subs not used: Steele, Brown, Mahoney, Mitchell.

Scorer: Williams 61'

Referee: Andy Woolmer

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