TOWN 1 BIRMINGHAM 1
Hammill rescues a point for the Terriers
On the final game of his loan period Adam Hammill rescued a point for the Terriers against a determined Birmingham City outfit.
Matters looked bleak for Town heading in to injury time, but the on loan Wolves man smashed home after some neat play to earn a point.
Birmingham had early took the lead through Callum Reilly and forced Alex Smithies in to a number of saves during the second half.
Simon Grayson named new recruit Neil Danns in his starting line-up for the Terriers’ first home game of 2013 against Birmingham.
The on loan Leicester man replaced Scott Arfield in the only change from the team that beat Charlton in the FA Cup last Saturday.
Buoyed by last weekend’s FA Cup victory the Terriers began the game well with Sean Scannell impressing from the off on the left-wing. Within the first five minutes the winger had shown Paul Caddis a clean set of heels twice, but had failed to produce an end product..
At the other end Nathan Redmond and Ravel Morrison looked neat and tidy in attack while Chris Burke got the better of Paul Dixon in the 8th minute before forcing Anthony Gerrard into a good defensive header.
The Terriers bossed the middle period of the game with James Vaughan going close on 15 minutes after he had done well to work a yard of space up against Steve Caldwell. Town’s best chance of the half fell to Scannell who forced Jack Butland in to a fantastic one handed save from a scissor kick effort; new signing Neil Danns had done brilliantly in the build-up to get the better of Curtis Davies.
Caldwell then did well to deny Vaughan at the back stick before Butland easily collected Jermaine Beckford’s downward header with a third of the game gone.
Lee Clark’s men then grew in to the game with Wade Elliot stabbing over from six yards under the close attentions of Gerrard. Midfielder Morgaro Gomis fired at Smithies and Davies volleyed wide before the Blues took the lead on the stroke of half time.
The Terriers failed to deal with a deep cross from Burke and as the ball landed loose in the six yard box, midfielder Callum Reilly was first to react and he calmly slotted home to give the visitors the half-time lead.
Birmingham pushed on at the start of the second half following their opener and Gerrard had to be at full stretch to prevent Redmond’s ball reaching a number of awaiting targets after a good counter attack.
Danns moved in to the centre of midfielder following Adam Hammill’s switch with Oliver Norwood and the on loan Leicester man fired over on 57 minutes with a left footed volley.
The visitors were defending resolutely and counter attacking quickly through the likes of Redmond, Morrison and Burke. It was the latter who shot over on the hour after another break before Gomis’ deflected effort wrong footed Smithies, but fell the right side of the post for Town.
Scannell had been Town’s only shining light in a poor team display and he took it upon himself in the 64th minute to take on Birmingham alone. After picking up the ball deep in his own half he shrugged off the attentions of Gomis, flew past Caddis before cutting inside Davies and forcing the defender to deflect his shot wide.
Smithies was forced to make a good save with his feet to deny Redmond in the 78th minute before substitute Alan Lee headed straight at Butland; the header wouldn’t have counted anywhere as the big man was flagged for offside.
As the minutes ticked away Town became more and more desperate for a goal. It wasn’t forthcoming for the Terriers though, with Beckford heading wide before Butland made a superb save to deny the same man after Lee had flicked on.
The Terriers needed a hero and they got one with a minute of injury time remaining when substitute Adam Hammill – whose loan ends on Sunday – ran past two Birmingham players then cut inside another two before smashing the ball across Butland and in to the top corner to rescue a point for the Terriers.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon (Lee Novak, 90), Peter Clarke (C), Anthony Gerrard, Jack Hunt; Sean Scannell, Adam Clayton, Oliver Norwood (Adam Hammill, 58), Neil Danns; James Vaughan (Alan Lee, 69), Jermaine Beckford
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Scott Arfield, Keith Southern
Town bookings: Alan Lee 73, Adam Hammill 90+3
Blues bookings: Chris Burke 45, Curtis Davies 80, Paul Robinson 83, Jonathan Spector 90