Marlon King's hat-trick earns Birmingham City a point at Millwall

Millwall 3 Birmingham City 3

The Den

What a confusing puzzle are Birmingham City. Full of experience, talent and promise and managed by Lee Clark, said to have all three.

They should be challenging to leave the Championship the good way but they started yesterday morning in 20 place. Last night they played at Millwall, a club with less experience, talent and promise. And they collapsed bizarrely, gifting three goals in seven minutes to fairly simple forward play.

Birmingham, though, have better players than most in this division and Marlon King’s hat-trick rescued his team and, quite possibly, his manager.

It felt, when Chris Wood stabbed Millwall 3-0 up after just 18 minutes that the Clarke era at St Andrew’s might not last too much longer. The Millwall fans, admittedly not neutral observers, certainly thought so.

The three goals Birmingham conceded were dismal, even worse than what you would expect from a side lacking unity, cohesion and balance. “Everything that came into box had proven to be a disaster for us,” said Clark afterwards, “we weren’t dealing with anything.”

It all came through Liam Feeney. First, after 11 minutes, his long throw was flicked on. Paul Robinson and Curtis Davies paused and Chris Wood burst past them to head in at the near post.

Just two minutes later Feeney’s cross fell to Robinson whose ugly swiped clearance fell straight to Taylor in front of goal who finished.

Then, five minutes on, Feeney crossed from the right again and it deflected off left-back David Murphy. Davies misread it, headed it softly backwards and Wood took advantage.

It all turned just before the break. In added time Leroy Lita crossed for Marlon King to score at the far post. Momentum is a powerful force and Birmingham emerged far stronger in the second half. Three minutes in King showed his clear football-class, taking Murphy’s cross, finishing and scoring.

The inevitable equaliser soon followed, another Murphy cross finding the unmarked King who completed his hat-trick.

“The second half performance was our best half of season,” a relieved Clarke said afterwards. “We were dynamic, played with lots of energy, created lots of chances, we could have got more goals.”

Much of it owed to Ravel Morrison, remarkably calm and authoritative in midfield in just his fourth ever start in senior football. “I’m really pleased with his contribution, he’s a super kid,” said Clarke. “He’s knuckled down.”

Jackett, understandably, was less relaxed. “It’s very frustrating,” he said. “To say it was a winning position was an understatement.”

Millwall (4-4-2) Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Beevers, Smith (Lowry, 45); Feeney (Keogh, 66), Trotter, Abdou, Taylor; Wood, Henderson.

Birmingham City (4-4-2) Butland; Robinson, Davies, Caldwell, Murphy; Redmond (Burke, 87), Mullins, Morrison, Elliot; King, Lita.

Referee: Haywood.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum