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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK
Watford 3-3 Birmingham
Watford and Birmingham City had lost their last three games so a draw brought some satisfaction for both sides.

But, as fortunes see-sawed at Vicarage Road, both teams were left ruing their failure to take three points.

Gianluca Vialli's men were twice ahead after going behind in the fifth minute, but stubborn Birmingham battled back to salvage a point.

Issa was dropped and hurt again as he was carried off

City opened the scoring when Martin Grainger cut out a clearance and played the ball in for Stan Lazaridis, who set up Bryan Hughes with a slick pass.

The City man went through to beat Espen Baardsen with a deft finish.

Watford bounced back after 13 minutes with some fine passing between Paolo Vernazza and Gary Fisken before Paul Robinson slipped the ball through for Tommy Smith to score.

But, after 25 minutes, Watford were hit by a double injury blow.

First Pierre Issa was carried off with a shoulder injury only to suffer further discomfort when the stretcher-bearers dropped him.

Then Micah Hyde was also forced off with a calf problem moments later.

The home side still took the lead when in the 29th minute as Neil Cox rose to head home a Stephen Glass corner from 10 yards.

Baardsen had to move smartly to save a header from Geoff Horsfield early in the second half, but he had no chance a minute later when the same man levelled the scores.

Watford got ahead again in the 76th minute when Smith played the ball through to substitute Heidar Helguson and his cross found Glass at the far post.

But Watford gave away an unnecessary free-kick in the 85th minute and Grainger curled the ball round the wall and just inside the far post.

Watford: Baardsen, Cox, Robinson, Vega, Issa, Fisken, Vernazza, Hyde, Glass, Gayle, Smith. Subs: Wooter, Chamberlain, Noel-Williams, Helguson, Doyley.

Birmingham: Vaesen, Eaden, Grainger, Holdsworth, Michael Johnson, Hughes, Lazaridis, Woodhouse, Gill, Horsfield, Andrew Johnson. Subs: Sonner, Marcelo, Mooney, Hutchinson, Poole.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

BBC Sport's Steve May
"Birmingham will be most grateful for their point"
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