Wolverhampton vs Birmingham City match report: Birmingham promotion hopes take knock after draw

Wolverhampton 0 Birmingham City 0

Click to follow
The Independent Football

If Birmingham fail to make the play-offs, they may look back on this West Midlands derby will particular frustration after a string of chances to failed to produce a goal in what has become a familiar story away from home for Gary Rowett's side.

Dominant in the second half, Birmingham had six good opportunities to see off Wolves, who started well but in the second period offered little threat. 

Yet they were thwarted by a combination of heroic defending by the home side and their own finishing, with Jacques Maghoma, Clayton Donaldson and Jon Toral unable to convert the best of their chances.

Birmingham stunned Derby with a 3-0 win at the iPro Stadium in January but have failed to score in five away matches since, going 460 minutes without goal.  The last time they endured such a barren away run was in 1992.

Although they move up a place to eighth, the result leaves them four points outside the top six, although Rowett, who took over last season with the team next to bottom in the Championship, was keen to put his side's position in context.

"It is frustrating that we have not been able to score again.  We had five or six very good chances and should have taken at least one." he said.

"But I said at the start of the season that if we could be in and around the play-offs with 10 games to go it would be an unbelievable achievement. 

"As it is we have not been out of the top 10 all season and if we can win our game in hand we would be only one game away from being in the top six."

Conor Coady threatened to give Wolves an early lead, testing Birmingham goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak with a header and a deflected shot. The visitors failed to register a shot on target in the first half.

But after Rowett replaced Maikel Kiefenbeld with Maghoma in an attacking change 10 minutes into the second half, switching to 4-2-3-1, Birmingham took charge.  

Superb defending by Danny Batth and then Matt Doherty denied Donaldson twice on the line,  Maghoma squandered a chance by delaying his shot too long, Donaldson and Jon Toral saw shots roll inches the wrong side of the post and Carl Ikeme made a fine save to keep out an effort by David Davis, who had an excellent game against his former club.

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett was barracked by some home fans for waiting until five minutes from time to introduce £3 million former Cardiff striker Joe Mason but was unwilling to unsettle his side's defensive shape.

"Birmingham were the better side in the second half and in a game that could have been decided by one set piece it was important to maintain our defensive organisation," he said.