Ten man Birmingham hold Wolves

Birmingham 1 Wolves 1

Wolves failed to capitalise on the sending-off of Birmingham midfielder Craig Gardner and remained in the Barclays Premier League bottom three after sharing the spoils at St Andrew's.

Gardner was sent off after only 29 minutes for two bookable offences and faces a two-game ban as it was his second dismissal of the campaign.

But Blues held on for a point in their own battle for survival, with Sebastian Larsson cancelling out Steven Fletcher's early penalty.

Alex McLeish's side are now four points clear of the relegation zone with three matches to play.

But Wolves will view this as a golden opportunity wasted to climb out of the bottom three, having had the numerical advantage for such a lengthy period.

Winger Matt Jarvis and striker Fletcher caused problems in the early stages of the game.

But after the sending-off there were precious few chances, with Blues showing typical resilience to secure a point.

The visitors made a positive start and Kevin Foley had a shot blocked inside the box by Roger Johnson following a deep Jarvis cross.

After six minutes Wolves went ahead through Fletcher's penalty.

Ben Foster's poor clearance fell straight to Jarvis, who played in Stephen Ward. Foster came off his line but only succeeded in bringing down the Wolves player and referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot.

Foster was booked before being sent the wrong way by Fletcher for his ninth goal of the season.

Gardner was then brought down by Jamie O'Hara and the two were cautioned after squaring up to each other.

The tackles were flying in thick and fast and Gardner was on the receiving end of a crude challenge by Richard Stearman on the edge of the Wolves area which did not receive a booking.

Larsson delivered the free-kick and it crashed against the crossbar with Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey well beaten.

A mistake by Michael Mancienne gifted Birmingham their equaliser after 27 minutes.

The on-loan Chelsea player failed to make a clean header when trying to dealing with a long Foster clearance.

The ball dropped into the path of Larsson, who drilled his low shot past Hennessey.

But two minutes later Birmingham were reduced to 10 men.

Referee Friend adjudged that Gardner had dived when challenged by Jody Craddock and he was sent off for a second bookable offence.

McLeish responded to the Gardner dismissal by reorganising his side. He took off Kevin Phillips to leave Cameron Jerome as the lone striker and brought on winger Jean Beausejour to reinforce the midfield.

There was no quarter being given and Craddock was yellow-carded for hauling down Jerome in full flight.

Foley would have been disappointed not to hit the target after Ward teed up a chance following a dangerous centre from Jarvis.

Mick McCarthy was forced into a half-time switch with the injured Stearman replaced by Adam Hammill.

Foster soon came racing out of his area to block an effort from Hammill near the touchline.

Wolves skipper Karl Henry became the first player to be booked in the second period for chopping down Lee Bowyer.

Foley brought down Beausejour just outside the Wolves area but Larsson could not keep his free-kick down.

A mistake by Bowyer let in Jarvis but he sliced his shot well wide in his last taste of the action before being replaced by Stephen Hunt.

Foster then got his body behind a low drive from O'Hara.

Wolves continued to search for the winner and Hammill had a shot blocked by Blues skipper Stephen Carr, but there was no way through.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing