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Match Reports

Report: Birmingham City 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

15 August 2017

Wanderers picked up their second consecutive point on the road following a 0-0 draw against Birmingham City at St Andrew's on Tuesday night.

TEAM NEWS

Phil Parkinson made two changes to the side who started against Millwall at the weekend, with Filipe Morais and Adam Armstrong in from the off for Wanderers with Mark Little and Adam Le Fondre dropping out.

FIRST HALF

With the sun setting at St Andrew’s, the game got underway at a somewhat tepid pace but it was the visitors who were enjoying the first forays into dangerous territory with Morais proving a threat early on.

Gary Madine meanwhile saw his close-range header fly narrowly wide of the post in the seventh minute of the clash.

Darren Pratley also enjoyed a glorious opportunity when collecting the ball following some beautifully crafted build-up play between Adam Armstrong and Morais, but the skipper’s shot through a crowded penalty area was blocked.

On Birmingham’s first venture into Bolton’s box meanwhile, David Cotterill saw a similar effort to Pratley’s hooked away at the last moment and Clayton Donaldson volleyed just wide of the goalmouth from a tight angle.

Cotterill was again in the mix with 20 minutes on the clock as his shot took a wicked deflection off Reece Burke just six yards out which Mark Howard somehow palmed away with a goal seemingly imminent.

The chance definitely boosted the home side’s confidence, with Wanderers forced onto the backfoot thereafter.

Despite their dominance however, they weren’t troubling Howard too much in the way of goalbound chances and come the half hour mark, we were still goalless.

With the clock running down to half time, the Whites were still looking dangerous themselves, with Madine coming within inches of connecting with Jem Karacan’s cross into the six-yard box.

Come the break however, neither side had been able to break the deadlock.

SECOND HALF

As the game restarted, Wanderers almost had the perfect opening to the second half as Morais’ wicked cross from the right flank caused carnage between Blues goalkeeper David Stockdale and his defender.

The shot-stopper flapped at the ball, with it somehow failing to end up in the back of the net.

Armstrong meanwhile came close with a header from another Morais cross just two minutes later, with Stockdale static as the frontman rose to nod narrowly wide.

Jacques Maghoma was left calling for a penalty kick in the 50th minute after going down in the area next to Dorian Dervite, but referee Darren England rightly showed City’s No.19 a yellow card for simulation.

Bolton were sensing that their golden opportunity was coming, but on the counter attack Birmingham were enjoying chances of their own, with their fans responding with their vocal backing.

With 20 minutes remaining, Wanderers threw Le Fondre into the mix in place of Armstrong in a bid to turn what was looking a likely point into three.

The Blues also responded in turn, with Isaac Vassell introduced for his City debut.

Madine enjoyed a great opportunity with 17 minutes remaining too, with Stockdale having to get down well at his near post to keep out his header.

The game was finely balanced, with frustration evident for both sides as they looked to force a winning goal, with Burke seeing a deflected effort from the edge of the box claimed by Stockdale after the keeper initially fumbled his tame shot.

With less than five minutes to go, it was end-to-end stuff at St Andrew's with defences being tested to their max.

And with five additional minutes added, it was everything to play for.

Despite the best efforts of both sides however, neither were able to force a winner inside the closing stages and the game ended all square.

FULL TIME


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