Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Birmingham 1 Wolves 1

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ chances of avoiding a return to the Championship have taken a serious dent after they found themselves unable to extricate themselves from the relegation zone, despite playing against a Birmingham City side reduced to 10 men after half an hour when Craig Gardner was dismissed for having accrued two cautions, the second of which was for diving.

Mick McCarthy will rue some grim defending from Michael Mancienne, whose mistake shortly before Gardner’s exit allowed the excellent Sebastian Larsson to bring Birmingham back into the game, after Steven Fletcher had put Wolves ahead thanks to Ben Foster’s equally unimpressive attempt at an interception which ended in a penalty.

Wolves might have come into the game full of nerves but they were given a tonic when Foster’s poor clearance went straight to Matt Jarvis, who slipped the ball to Fletcher. The striker hared into the area, saw Foster coming to meet him, knocked the ball aside and had his legs tapped from under him. Kevin Friend, the referee, signalled to the spot and Fletcher put his penalty into the bottom corner.

The St Andrew’s crowd had done their best to throw him off his stride and they redoubled their efforts, demanding a response. You can always rely on Gardner for some red meat in local derbies, and he found a like mind in the Wolves midfield, engaging in an early clash of handbags with Jamie O’Hara. Both were booked for their coming together – unfortunate for Gardner as it would turn out.

Round Two started with Richard Stearman bodychecking Gardner as the Birmingham midfielder tried to make his way into the area. Quite how Stearman escaped a booking for the challenge is anyone’s guess, but Birmingham almost were given a consolation as Larsson’s free-kick flew from outside the area onto the crossbar.

Birmingham’s best chance came seconds after Stephen Ward had been prevented from an easy conversion by Larsson who, working back, managed to hack clear and win a goal kick in the process. Foster booted the ball up the pitch and when Michael Mancienne made a hash of heading the ball – leaving it in the no-man’s land between himself and Hennessey – Larsson was there to profit, carving first time through Hennessey’s legs.

Now the momentum was with Birmingham, but again it would alter almost immediately. Gardner surged through the middle and, when Jody Craddock stuck his foot out, dropped to the floor as though he had collided with an Iron Mike special. Unfortunately for him, Friend wasn’t buying. Out came the red, sending Gardner to an early shower and forcing McLeish to remove Kevin Phillips for Jean Beausejour.

McCarthy made his own changes, removing Stearman at half-time, moving Kevin Foley into his place at right-back and introducing Adam Hammill, but the football had been reduced to occasional passes interspersed with private little spats: Bowyer and Henry. Bowyer and O’Hara. Larsson and Jarvis for some variety. Then Henry and Bowyer again. Good entertainment, but not helpful to either side’s chances of scoring.

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.