Match Report: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City

A match that lacked real quality of any kind meant that Town extended their winless run with a draw at home to relegation rivals Birmingham City.

Carlos Corberan surprisingly made only one change to his team as he prepared to face Birmingham City in a massive six pointer in the fight against relegation. Richard Stearman made his first start after returning from injury, he replaced Richard Keogh – the experienced defender had played out a shocker at the weekend and was criticised for not trying hard enough to block a cross in the lead up to Preston’s second goal.

Town needed to see a similar display to the one that had led to victory against promotion chasing Swansea City a couple of weekends ago if they were to stand any chance of taking anything against a Birmingham City side that had won two in their last three games.

Both teams started brightly in the opening few minutes with long throws from both Town and Birmingham creating half chances early on. The game was stopped just six minutes in following a clash of heads between Maxim Colin and Richard Stearman which caused a four minute delay to the game as Stearman dropped to the ground in the aftermath of the headed contest. Luckily for Town though, after a couple of minutes of treatment, he was able to play on.

The next twenty minutes were rather unspectacular and lacked any kind of quality with neither Town nor Birmingham able to string any attacks of note together.

Duane Holmes created Town’s first real chance of the game just after the twentieth minute, he drove forward from the right hand side before cutting inwards, he delayed his shot once, and then twice before striking it into the thigh of the sliding Harlee Dean. Unluckily for Town, the ball ricocheted away from any danger.

Birmingham’s first chance came a few minutes later, Ivan Sanchez broke forward down the Birmingham right before cutting inside and bending a left footed effort goal wards, luckily for town though, Richard Stearman was there to nod the ball away before it could pose a real threat on the Town goal.

Sanchez carved out another chance for Birmingham in the thirty-fourth minute; he picked the ball up on the right before dribbling into the box and past a pair of Town defenders but could only bend his effort just wide of the far post.

Pipa had a shot saved just a couple of minutes later. Bacuna drove forward down the right before cutting inside and finding O’Brien, O’Brien found Pipa on the left hand side, he drove inside before bending a low, slow effort towards the bottom right corner. Unluckily for Town though Etheridge was there to gather the ball with relative ease.

Town attacked again just a minute later, Mbenza fed through Campbell who charged goal wards before being dragged down by a Birmingham defender. Free kick to Town in a very dangerous position…

Mbenza, who had already scored three goals from direct free kicks this season, curved the ball goal wards but it dipped too late and flew harmlessly over Etheridge’s bar. Massive chance gone begging for Town with five minutes remaining of the first half.

The half time whistle brought to an end a very nervy first half. With neither Town nor Birmingham able to break the deadlock. The half had consisted of very few chances few events of note. But there were things to build on for Town who would have to come out fighting if they were to take control of the second half.

Half Time: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Birmingham City  

The first action of the half came ten minutes in, Bela drove forward for Birmingham down the left side before playing a low pass to find Halilovic, Halilovic hit his shot first time, the ball looped through the air before being tipped over with ease by Ryan Schofield.

Birmingham had another chance just three minutes later; Pederson the left back drove forward before hitting a scuffed shot across the face of goal which forced Schofield to dive low to gather the ball into his hands.

Town continued the half with little to no urgency, with the entire starting eleven walking at times whilst in possession with no attempt to move up the pitch or attempt to create a chance.

With Town needing a spark, they withdrew Isaac Mbenza in place of the impressive youngster Aaron Rowe. With hopes that he could rejuvenate the side.

Despite a poor start, Town took the lead just after the sixtieth minute, a Birmingham mistake at the back dropped to Fraizer Campbell who struck it first time and managed to squeeze it under a scrambling Neil Etheridge from the edge of the eighteen yard box. 1-0 Town! Surely they’d hold on this time!

No. Was the answer to that, they conceded just three minutes later. A corner from Jereme Bela caused confusion and mayhem in the box before dropping to the feet of former Halifax and Barnsley defender Marc Roberts who netted into an empty net from around three yards. 1-1 and Town had let another lead go with little more than a whimper!

To combat this, Town made another change, sending Scott High on to replace Alex Vallejo. Who had largely been a passenger throughout the game despite an overall fairly impressive start to his Town career.

Five minutes later Corberan introduced Yaya Sanogo into the game, he replaced Fraizer Campbell, whose goal had initially put Town ahead. Even if it was only for a matter of minutes.

Town managed to carve out several half chances in the final ten minutes, the only ones worthy of note being a corner from Duane Holmes that nearly ended up flying directly into the back of the net and a brilliant run from Bacuna that led to him playing an almost inch perfect ball into the box, despite Sanogo and Sarr’s best attempts however, neither could reach it to poke home.

The full time whistle sounded to end an absolutely appalling game of football that lacked quality in every department. The only consolation for Town was that they had managed to take a point and keep their distance – however small that distance may be – away from the relegation zone.

Full Time: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City

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