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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 01 Nov 14 at 14:20 PM

The Report: Wolves 0 Blues 0

Gary Rowett's reign as Birmingham City boss started as his side take a well-earned point away from Molineux.

Rowett's side had to withstand heavy pressure from the hosts towards the end, but a resolute performance from a well organised Blues team stood firm.

Blues will go away the happier of the side's in what was a frustrating afternoon for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

It was the hosts who carved out the first effort on goal. After Blues failed to clear the ball, Michael Jacobs nicked the ball off the toes of Koby Arthur before his cross was headed goalwards by Leon Clarke but tipped over by Darren Randolph.

Four minutes later Liam McAlinden burst through on goal but the covering Paul Robinson did enough to force the forward wide of goal who's shot lacked the conviction to beat Randolph.

With Wolves dominating the opening exchanges, Blues first chance fell to Andy Shinnie, but his header from 12 yards looped high and wide of the goal.

Blues grew into the match the longer the half went on and Arthur nearly put Rowett's side ahead after 23 minutes when a David Cotterill cross found it's way to the back post where Arthur brought the ball under control before firing his effort into the side-netting.

Three minutes later and Blues had the best chance of the half. After good pressure by David Davis, Clayton Donaldson found himself bearing down on Carl Ikeme's goal, but he fired his effort wide of the mark.

Ten minutes before the break and the hosts nearly caught Blues on the counter attack, a James Henry clearance found it's way to Clarke with the help of a fortunate bounce, but Blues got back in numbers and Stephen Gleeson made the block.

After a first half in which Blues frustrated Wolves, the hosts came out in the second half again dominating possession but Blues again denying them any joy in front of goal.

Ten minutes into the second half and Kenny Jackett added Bakary Sako and Dave Edwards into the mix to change the match in favour of the hosts - which they very nearly did on numerous occasions.

On the hour Blues had a scare when Jonathan Grounds tried to back-heel his way out of trouble but was dispossessed by Matt Doherty, fortunately for the Blues full-back Randolph was alert to claim the cross at the near post.

That sparked Blues into life, a minute later, Grounds this time nearly headed Blues into the lead but for a fine save by Ikeme.

Thirty seconds later Donaldson went close but his tame effort didn't test Ikeme much at his near post.

Five minutes later and Bakary Sako's cross from the left should have been routine for Randolph but the Irish 'keeper couldn't gather the ball and instead presented a golden chance to Dave Edwards who thought he had headed Wolves ahead, but Randolph made up for his mistake seconds earlier with a superb save, tipping the ball over the bar.

In the 71st minute, again Edwards thought he had broke the deadlock. This time linking up with Clarke before seeing his audacious effort clip the top of the crossbar.

Four minutes later Sako went close, getting the better of Paul Caddis down the left before firing in a fearsome drive that neither found the far corner or a Wolves shirt.

With Wolves applying more pressure, it had turned to a back to the walls job for Rowett's men and it was just a question of whether they could hold on.

Nine minutes from time, Blues were slow to react to a quick Wolves free-kick, Henry's cross finding the head of Edwards but his powerful header didn't trouble the Blues goal.

Three minutes later, Sako's low cross nearly found Edwards at the near post, but a sprawling block from Blues' captain Paul Robinson denied the sub.

Rowett's side survived a stoppage-time onslaught from the home side. Firstly when Henry was denied  by an outstretched leg from Randolph, the rebound was blazed over by Sako; and secondly, deep into stoppage time Sako was denied by a late Caddis block.

A spirited team performance from Blues, who stood firm and put in a solid defensive performance to take a share of the points.


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