Football: Another blank away day for Birmingham

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The Independent Online
Oxford United 0 Birmingham City 0

Birmingham City's poor away form continued to haunt them at the Manor Ground last night when they were unable to break down Oxford's defence.

Trevor Francis' side have yet to win on their travels this season, and despite the introduction of the substitute Marco Gabbiadini, who is on a month's loan from Derby County, the Blues failed to test the home goalkeeper, Phil Whitehead, with a single shot on target.

Francis, whose side lies 13th in the Nationwide First Division - a place behind Oxford, will take comfort from another tight defensive display, with Steve Bruce marshalling a rearguard that has not conceded a goal in three games.

City's best chance came after 11 minutes when a poor backpass by Darren Purse, a late replacement for the injured Phil Gilchrist, let in the in- form striker Paul Devlin, but the Oxford defender made amends with an excellent saving tackle.

Oxford had two good chances in the second half. Paul Moody was guilty of missing badly from an opening in the 68th minute and 10 minutes later Joey Beauchamp created a good opportunity for Nigel Jemson, whose effort was woefully wide.

Oxford United: Whitehead; Robinson, Ford, Smith, Elliott, Purse, Massey (Murphy, 74), Gray, Moody (Rush, 81), Jemson, Beauchamp. Substitutes not used: Powell.

Birmingham City: Bennett, Poole, Ablett, Bruce, Breen, Holland, Devlin (Bowen, 78), Tait (Gabbiadini, 64), Furlong, Horne, Legg. Substitutes not used: Edwards.

Referee: T West (Hull).