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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 03 Nov 15 at 21:45 PM

Report: Birmingham 0 Rovers 0

Rovers picked up another point on their travels with a hard-fought goalless draw against Birmingham City on Tuesday night.

It was a second consecutive clean sheet away from home for Gary Bowyer's side in what was a game of few opportunities.

There had been ten goals scored between the two sides on the last two times that Rovers had visited St. Andrew's, but on this occasion neither goal was troubled.

Rovers enjoyed the better of the first half with Tom Lawrence spurning a great chance after breaking into the area, but the forward fired wide of goal when through.

Shane Duffy rattled the crossbar with a header in the second half, before David Cotterill forced a fine save from Jason Steele as play started to open up.

The home side put Rovers under pressure in the closing stages, but the defence held firm to more than earn their share of the points.


Whilst Rovers were fast out of the blocks last time out at Elland Road, it was the home side on this occasion who threatened in the early stages with a series of corners at a drizzly St. Andrew's.

The Rovers defence did their job to quell the pressure and it didn't take the visitors long to show the sort of passing play that was so successful last Thursday.

A lofted ball from Tom Lawrence was just beyond Chris Taylor racing into the area, whilst Ben Marshall fired wide from distance after neat approach play.

The best chance of the opening half for Rovers came on 18 minutes, quick feet from Lawrence saw the youngster get past Paul Caddis and Michael Morrison into the box, but his attempted far post curler didn't trouble Tomasz Kuszczak's goal.

Rovers continued to enjoy plenty of possession without ever creating a meaningful opening. A Craig Conway free-kick from the right picked out Shane Duffy in the area but the Irishman's downward header was straight at the Birmingham keeper.

Despite the visitor's pressure, the hosts could have broke the deadlock five minutes before the break from another set-piece.

After Demarai Gray had been tripped five yards outside the area, David Cotterill took the resulting free-kick. His effort took a wicked deflection off the wall to leave Steele stranded, but thankfully the ball flashed well wide of goal.

Gray forced an early save from Steele as the second half got underway, the Birmingham attacker skipping past the challenges before letting fly from distance but the keeper showed good hands to claim.

But Rovers would go closer on 54 minutes when Duffy rattled the crossbar. The defender meeting a Conway corner kick forcefully with his head, but whilst the shot beat Kuszczak, the ball slammed against the woodwork.

Birmingham responded with a spell of pressure of their own. Cotterill unleashed a shot on the turn which forced Steele to dive to his right to push the effort behind. Before Jonathan Spector then headed wide a Cotterill corner kick.

Rovers then failed to capitalise on a slip from Paul Caddis on halfway. Lawrence collected the loose ball to race forward but he overhit his intended pass to Conway and the chance was gone.

Play was quickly switched to the other end with only a tremendous last-ditch tackle from Grant Hanley preventing David Davis from getting his shot away when a cross dropped into the midfielder's path.

Pressure was building from the home side with the lively Gray putting in a dangerous cross that Steele had to palm behind as Cotterill threatened, then following another forward run the England youngster let fly, but wide of goal.

Rovers made a couple changes in the closing stages as Adam Henley and Fode Koita replaced Chris Taylor and Tom Lawrence, yet it was the hosts who were carrying the greater threat. Clayton Donaldson with a tame effort, before a quick corner saw Caddis fire wide.

In time added on at the end of the match Birmingham had further long-range strikes from Caddis and Davis, but neither shot was on target as Rovers claimed a hard-fought point on their travels. 

BIRMINGHAM: Kuszczak, Grounds, Gray, Gleeson, Donaldson, Cotterill (sub Maghoma 90+3 mins), Shinnie (sub Toral 65 mins), Spector, Davis, Morrison (c), Caddis.

Subs not used: Legzdins (GK), Robinson, Kieftenbeld, Solomon-Otabor, Brock-Madsen.

Goals: None

Booked: Shinnie, Davis

ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Taylor (sub Henley 77 mins), Williamson, Akpan, Conway, Lawrence (sub Koita 85 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Spurr, Kilgallon, Delfouneso, O’Sullivan.

Goals: None

Booked: Marshall, Henley.

Attendance: 15,701 (including 454 Rovers fans).

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