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Birmingham 2-2 Brighton

Birmingham City
2 - 2
Brighton & Hove Albion

St Andrew's Stadium

19/1/13 - 3.00pm

Attendance: 15,299

Referee:

Albion were cruelly denied a fourth straight win as Nikola Zigic forced an uncharacteristic error from Tomasz Kuszczak in stoppage time.

Steven Caldwell had headed the home side in-front early on, only for Ashley Barnes to fire a quick response. David Lopez fired in a superb volley after the break to put Albion ahead, but Zigic levelled matters in the dying moments, as Kuszczak was left red-faced in the visitors' net.

Both sides took time to warm up to the contest, with only a couple of half chances in the opening stages - Rob Hall saw a free-kick deflect wide, before David's dangerous centre narrowly skipped away from the out-stretched leg of Andrea Orlandi. Chris Burke soon tried his luck from distance, having cut in from the right.

The opener arrived on 18 minutes, when Blues skipper Caldwell steered home a free header from a Rob Hall corner. Poyet's men looked for swift reply as Liam Bridcutt bent a right-footed curler just wide of Jack Butland's left-hand post.

However, it was not longer before they were back on level terms. Barnes received a low cross from Orlandi, taking a touch before drilling home a well placed strike from the edge of the area, leaving Butland with no chance. Further chances came and went, with David and then Callum Reilly firing over.

Kuzczcak had to be on guard to parry away another fine effort from Burke. But it was Albion who edged in-front before half-time courtesy of a wonderful strike from David. Wayne Bridge carried the ball forward, before floating a perfectly weighted cross towards the back-post, where the Spanish midfield was waiting to blast a powerful volley past Butland.

Birmingham striker Zigic entered the fray after the break, as Lee Clark looked to utilise his height and presence in the box. The Serb helped the ball into the path of the on-rushing Hall, but Kuszczak was alert to the danger as he burst out to punch the ball clear.

The Seagulls should really have bagged a third as they enjoyed a host of chances; Barnes and Dean Hammond both seeing headers evade the target, whilst Orlandi had a long-range strike bravely blocked by Paul Caddis. Orlandi then forced a top save from Butland with a bending 25-yard free-kick.

As the game wore on, Birmingham continued to look for Zigic in the area, and it was he who forced home an equaliser in the 91st minute. Marlon King crossed for the giant Serb, and his header squirmed through the hands of Kuszczak and into the Albion net, much to the despair of the travelling contingent.

There was still time for one last chance, as Will Buckley's lofted cross was met by the head of Hammond, but Butland produced another smart stop. A frustrating 2 points dropped for Albion, as they stay situated in 8th place, but now 5 points off the play-off spots.

The Seagulls play their game in hand on Tuesday night as they travel to Blackburn. A win would lift them to within 6 points of the automatic spots.


Writer:EditorBHA
Date:Sunday January 20 2013
Time: 11:57AM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
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