Birmingham draw small comfort as Hudson earns point
Birmingham City 1 Cardiff City 1
Monday 26 March 2012
Whatever the shortfall in quality, the Championship promotion race is its usual exciting self, even for the minor placings. In a game that finally came to life from the ultimate in Sunday lunchtime serenity, under-strength Birmingham City returned to sixth place despite the concession of an equaliser 12 minutes from time.
But the fact they now have one win in eight matches, while a Cardiff City side who are level on points with them but two rungs lower have managed two in 13, underlines a shared stumble towards the finishing line.
There are, of course, mitigating circumstances. Between them, these clubs have played exactly 100 games this season and it showed. Whether through fatigue, nervousness at the proximity to journey's end or simply an inability to master a lively pitch, the first half was dire.
Thankfully, the second was passable. Marlon King provided a long overdue talking point with his first Birmingham penalty miss – David Marshall dived low to his right to save after Don Cowie had felled Jordon Mutch – but the home side's leading scorer seemed to be reprieved 13 minutes later.
Birmingham broke quickly from a Cardiff corner, Chris Burke outpacing Kevin McNaughton, spotting King and Erik Huseklepp two-on-one in the middle and squaring for the latter to tuck away.
It was the on-loan Portsmouth forward's second goal in six games and another step towards possible "Feed the Huse and he will score" status.
Cardiff, though, needed only nine minutes to draw level, deservedly: Peter Whittingham cleverly picked out Mark Hudson with a diagonal ball and the captain produced an accomplished centre-half's first-time finish with his right foot.
"Their goal is the only chance they had in 95 minutes," Hughton said. "I was disappointed with the way we conceded. We had to play two centre-halves at full-back but we were solid."
Birmingham City (4-4-2): Myhill; Ibañez (Gomis, 73), Caldwell, Davies, Ramage; Burke , N'Daw, Elliott, Mutch; Huseklepp (Townsend, 70), King. Substitutes not used Doyle (gk), Zigic, Redmond.
Cardiff City (4-4-1-1): Marshall; McNaughton , Hudson , Turner, Taylor; Cowie (Gestede, 73), Lawrence, McPhail (Miller, 84 ), Whittingham ; Gunnarsson; Mason . Substitutes not used Heaton (gk), Earnshaw, Blake.
Referee A D'Urso (Billericay).
Latest in Sport
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'