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Match Reports

Points shared at St Andrew's

Our report from Birmingham City...

28 November 2020

Birmingham City and Millwall played out a goalless draw in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

In a game lacking clear-cut chances, The Lions' best effort of the match came in the latter stages, but Neil Etheridge tipped a Murray Wallace overhead-kick over the crossbar.

Gary Rowett made three changes to his starting line-up from Wednesday's draw with Reading for the visit to St Andrew's, with Alex Pearce, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Jiri Skalak - for his first appearance of the season - coming in for Shaun Williams, Ben Thompson and Scott Malone.

The early stages saw both sides jostling for position, with Birmingham forcing a corner-kick at one end and Bodvarsson doing well to keep the ball in from Bartosz Bialkowski's kick at the other, but his ball forward was cut out before reaching Ryan Leonard, back in his more familiar central midfield position.

The Lions looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck from there and fashioned another couple of half-chances, with the best one coming on 17 minutes as more great work from Bodvarsson saw the Icelander cross into the path of Troy Parrot - Harlee Dean, however, was just about able to see the ball away from danger and a sure-fire opening goal.

The game descended into a scrappy, midfield affair as the halfway point of the first-half came and went - a dangerous cross came into the Millwall area on 32 minutes, but Murray Wallace was able to defend and clear despite the close attentions of Maxime Colin. The Blues' number two was then almost provider just over five minutes before the break, but his cross was just too high for Lukas Jutkiewicz to make a proper connection.

With five minutes of the second-half elapsed The Lions had a corner, and it was one that perhaps should have fashioned the opener. Jed Wallace's kick was met by an intelligent run from Bodvarsson, but the striker's powerful header went the wrong side of Neil Etheridge's near post.

Seconds before the hour-mark, a dangerous ball was whipped into the Millwall box, but Kristian Pedersen directed his header over the crossbar, leaving Bialkowski untroubled. The Lions then forced a succession of corners and free-kicks, but were unable to force the ball into the Birmingham net - goalmouth scrambles included.

As the last 15 minutes got underway it was Millwall who were in the ascendancy and dictating possession, especially through substitute Matt Smith, but the final ball was lacking - Smith looked to head into the path of Bodvarsson, but the pace of the ball could not allow the Icelander to bring it under control inside the six-yard box.

Blues substitute Jeremie Bela nodded into the side-netting with nine minutes remaining, before Bodvarsson's shot was blocked as he slipped three minutes later. Bialkowski then had to be at full stretch - although Ryan Woods was waiting to cover on the goal-line - to save Marc Roberts' header, with a stunning overhead-kick from Murray Wallace acrobatically tipped over the bar by Etheridge in the final minute of normal time.

Birmingham City: Etheridge, Colin, Pedersen, Roberts, Friend, Jutkiewicz, Dean, Leko (Bela 78'), Sanchez, San Jose, Sunjic. Subs not used: Prieto, Kieftenbeld, Hogan, Clarke-Salter, McGree, Gardner, Toral, Dacres-Cogley.

Booking: Leko, Sunjic

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace (Thompson 87'), Pearce, Leonard, Woods, Bodvarsson (Bradshaw 87'), Parrott (Smith 63'), Skalak. Subs not used: Fielding, Williams, Ferguson, Malone, Brown, Burey.

Booking: J. Wallace

Referee: Andy Woolmer


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