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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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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
2 Newcastle 43 26 7 10 85 37
3 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
4 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
5 Huddersfield 43 24 6 13 78 2
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 43 16 13 14 61 5
12 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
13 Aston Villa 43 15 13 15 58 -1
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 43 15 10 18 55 -2
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 43 11 14 18 47 -21
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
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