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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Saturday, 2 January 2010

Nottm Forest   0 - 0   Birmingham

Nottingham Forest Robert Earnshaw
Robert Earnshaw sees his spot-kick rise over the bar

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at the City Ground

Robert Earnshaw's penalty miss deprived Nottingham Forest of the chance to claim the scalp of Premier League Birmingham City as they fought out an FA Cup third round stalemate at the City Ground.

Earnshaw wasted the chance to give Billy Davies' promotion-chasing Forest a victory they deserved when he lifted his 61st-minute spot-kick over the top after Gregory Vignal fouled Paul Anderson.

Wales striker Earnshaw was denied again seconds later by the outstanding Joe Hart as Birmingham's on-loan keeper pressed his England claims with a faultless display.

Luke Chambers also headed against the crossbar for Forest in the first half as they demonstrated the growing maturity that has made them such a threat in the Championship, while Hart saved superbly from Chris Cohen early in the second half.

606: DEBATE
the incapable hulk

Birmingham - who lost Stuart Parnaby and Lee Carsley to injury - were on the back foot for much of the game, but finally posed a serious threat after Earnshaw's penalty miss, with Kevin Phillips hitting a post and also losing out when he ran through with only Forest keeper Lee Camp to beat.

In the end, two in-form sides must do battle again, perhaps no surprise as Forest entered the game on the back of a 16-match unbeaten run since they lost to Blackburn Rovers in the Carling Cup in September while Alex McLeish's side are now undefeated in 12 matches.

As expected, both managers made changes as Forest tried to keep fresh legs for their Championship promotion push and Birmingham attempted to consolidate an outstanding Premier League campaign so far.

Forest boss Davies regarded this tie as a measure of the development of his side - and the Scot will have been encouraged by the manner in which they went about their work.

Dexter Blackstock almost gave an expectant City Ground gallery the start they wanted after two minutes when he drove deep into the Birmingham area but shot into the side-netting.

Birmingham's early rhythm was disrupted by the departure of injured Parnaby, who was replaced by Gary McSheffrey, who had a spell on loan at Forest last season. They also lost Carsley before half-time when he injured his knee slipping as he made a challenge. He was carried off with Lee Bowyer entering the fray.

Lee Camp of Nottingham Forest saves against Reading
Lee Camp ensured his side a return trip to St Andrew's

McLeish's side posed only occasional threats in the first half, with Cameron Jerome having a shot palmed away by Forest keeper Camp and pulling another effort wide. Phillips also tested Camp, who was again equal to the task.

Forest, with a composed and ordered approach, were the more dangerous side and Chambers almost gave them a lead their territorial possession deserved just before the interval, when he headed Cohen's corner against the bar.

Birmingham showed greater attacking intent in the opening moments after the break, with Camp pushing Vignal's shot to safety - but Forest responded instantly and should have broken the deadlock.

Blackstock pounced on Birmingham's carelessness in possession and set up Cohen inside the area, but Hart came to his side's rescue with a crucial save.

Forest were well on top, but wasted the perfect opportunity to finally make their pressure pay after 61 minutes when referee Steve Bennett pointed to the spot as Anderson was fouled by Vignal.

Earnshaw appeared to over-complicate his run-up and ballooned his spot-kick hopelessly over the bar, much to the City Ground's frustration.

And he was thwarted again seconds later as he raced clear, only for the excellent Hart to get the slightest of touches to send the ball agonisingly wide.

Suddenly the game opened up and Phillips twice came close to giving Birmingham an advantage that would have been harsh in the extreme, given Forest's supremacy.

He glanced the outside of an upright with a long-range effort before Camp raced from his goal to save as Phillips ran through on to the sort of opportunity he normally converts with relish.

Birmingham had finally managed to exert their authority, and Camp was forced into action once more as he touched Barry Ferguson's header around the post.

It was the last threat of an entertaining FA Cup tie watched by almost 21,000 fans - although both managers may regard a replay as an unwanted intrusion into an already crowded calendar.


Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"In the first 45 minutes we were dominant, we should have come in at half-time two or three up. There was only one side in it.

"We missed a penalty at a crucial time and that gave them a boost.

"Very proud of the players, and there is no doubt that we should have won the match."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish on his use of fringe players: "(The changes) were enforced. Maybe it could be seen as a calculated risk to keep the momentum going if it was a Premier League game.

"But I feel we have enough experience and ability in reserve to come in and they slotted in very well.

"I would have liked to have won it, but Forest had a lot to say about that.

"They had their chances and we also had our chances, but we'll take the draw. We're still in the Cup."



Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The FA Cup

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Nottm Forest 0-0 Birmingham FT
(HT 0-0)

      Nottm Forest

      • 01 Camp
      • 02 Perch
      • 04 Chambers
      • 05 Morgan
      • 16 Gunter yellow card
      • 07 Anderson (Tyson 68)
      • 15 Cohen
      • 18 McKenna
      • 28 Majewski
      • 10 Earnshaw (McCleary 78)
      • 23 Blackstock (Adebola 85)

      Substitutes

      • 21 Smith,
      • 06 Wilson,
      • 08 McGugan,
      • 09 Adebola,
      • 11 Tyson,
      • 12 McCleary,
      • 17 McGoldrick

      Birmingham

      Substitutes

      Ref: BennettAtt: 20,975
      NOTTM FOREST
      BIRMINGHAM

      Possession

      • Nottm Forest 54%
      • Birmingham 46%

      Attempts on target

      • Nottm Forest 7
      • Birmingham 6

      Attempts off target

      • Nottm Forest 4
      • Birmingham 2

      Corners

      • Nottm Forest 6
      • Birmingham 7

      Fouls

      • Nottm Forest 8
      • Birmingham 8
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+3:07 The match has reached full-time.
      • 90:00+2:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Dele Adebola. Lee Bowyer takes the indirect free kick.
      • 90:00+1:46 Chris Cohen challenges Cameron Jerome unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
      • 88:39 The ball is delivered by Radoslaw Majewski, Barry Ferguson manages to make a clearance.
      • 86:57 The ball is sent over by Gary McSheffrey.
      • 85:43 Unfair challenge on Radoslaw Majewski by Gary McSheffrey results in a free kick. Radoslaw Majewski takes the free kick.
      • 84:15 Substitution Dexter Blackstock leaves the field to be replaced by Dele Adebola.
      • 84:15 Substitution (Birmingham) makes a substitution, with Christian Benitez coming on for Kevin Phillips.
      • 82:00 Inswinging corner taken by Gary McSheffrey. Corner taken by Lee Bowyer played to the near post, Wes Morgan manages to make a clearance.
      • 81:40 Damien Johnson crosses the ball, Barry Ferguson takes a shot. Save by Lee Camp.
      • 80:10 Corner from the right by-line taken by Gary McSheffrey, clearance made by Luke Chambers.
      • 77:30 Free kick taken by Lee Camp.
      • 77:30 Substitution (Nottm Forest) makes a substitution, with Garath McCleary coming on for Robert Earnshaw.
      • 77:30 Unfair challenge on Luke Chambers by Cameron Jerome results in a free kick.
      • 76:35 Effort from 25 yards by Kevin Phillips. Save made by Lee Camp.
      • 75:06 Inswinging corner taken by Gary McSheffrey from the right by-line, Unfair challenge on Luke Chambers by Roger Johnson results in a free kick. Lee Camp restarts play with the free kick.
      • 74:30 Corner taken right-footed by Keith Fahey from the left by-line, Luke Chambers manages to make a clearance.
      • 72:21 Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Brilliant save by Lee Camp.
      • 69:58 Gary McSheffrey fouled by Chris Gunter, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gary McSheffrey.
      • 68:15 Corner from the right by-line taken by Chris Cohen, Luke Chambers gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
      • 67:16 Substitution (Nottm Forest) makes a substitution, with Nathan Tyson coming on for Paul Anderson.
      • 66:21 Kevin Phillips has an effort at goal from a long way out hitting the post.
      • 64:50 Chris Cohen takes the inswinging corner, Luke Chambers takes a shot. Comfortable save by Joe Hart.
      • 64:38 Robert Earnshaw takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
      • 61:19 Placed penalty missed by Robert Earnshaw.
      • 61:19 Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Anderson by Gregory Vignal.
      • 60:15 Damien Johnson takes the free kick.
      • 60:15 Booking Booking for Chris Gunter for unsporting behaviour.
      • 60:10 Keith Fahey fouled by Chris Gunter, the ref awards a free kick.
      • 58:35 Barry Ferguson is adjudged to have handled the ball. Indirect free kick taken by Lee Camp.
      • 57:26 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Chris Cohen.
      • 56:44 Damien Johnson challenges Chris Gunter unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Radoslaw Majewski, Cameron Jerome makes a clearance.
      • 53:44 The assistant referee signals for offside against Kevin Phillips. Lee Camp takes the free kick.
      • 53:02 Shot from outside the box by Paul Anderson goes wide right of the target.
      • Correction - 51:19 Chris Cohen takes a shot. Brilliant save by Joe Hart.
      • 51:19 Chris Cohen takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
      • 50:45 The ball is crossed by Paul Anderson.
      • 49:46 Lee Bowyer sends in a cross.
      • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+2:10 The match has reached half-time.
      • 45:00+0:49 A cross is delivered by Chris Cohen, save by Joe Hart.
      • 42:53 Radoslaw Majewski takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Luke Chambers takes a shot.
      • 42:19 Cameron Jerome challenges Wes Morgan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lee Camp takes the free kick.
      • 41:47 Shot by Radoslaw Majewski. Comfortable save by Joe Hart.
      • 39:35 Centre by Radoslaw Majewski, Dexter Blackstock concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
      • 38:38 Substitution Lee Carsley leaves the field to be replaced by Lee Bowyer.
      • 36:34 Booking Joe Hart booked.
      • 35:48 Unfair challenge on Gregory Vignal by Dexter Blackstock results in a free kick. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
      • 34:01 Chris Cohen takes a short corner.
      • 32:29 Cameron Jerome has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
      • 31:12 Shot by Kevin Phillips. Save by Lee Camp.
      • 29:33 The ball is delivered by Chris Gunter, Joe Hart makes a save.
      • 28:33 The assistant referee flags for offside against Robert Earnshaw. Joe Hart takes the indirect free kick.
      • 27:08 The referee blows for offside against Dexter Blackstock. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
      • 22:25 Robert Earnshaw has an effort at goal. Save by Joe Hart.
      • 20:27 Substitution Gary McSheffrey joins the action as a substitute, replacing Stuart Parnaby.
      • 19:56 Shot from 30 yards by Cameron Jerome. Save by Lee Camp.
      • 19:43 The ball is crossed by Chris Cohen, clearance made by Stuart Parnaby.
      • 18:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Cameron Jerome on Wes Morgan. Free kick taken by Wes Morgan.
      • 12:55 Radoslaw Majewski has an effort at goal from 35 yards and went wide left of the goal.
      • 10:33 Short corner taken by Keith Fahey.
      • 10:27 Keith Fahey produces a cross, blocked by Paul McKenna.
      • 10:17 Lee Carsley has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Blocked by Luke Chambers.
      • 9:51 Corner taken by Keith Fahey.
      • 9:44 Damien Johnson crosses the ball, clearance made by Luke Chambers.
      • 8:38 Robert Earnshaw takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
      • 7:01 Outswinging corner taken by Chris Cohen from the left by-line played to the near post.
      • 6:52 Effort on goal by Robert Earnshaw from 25 yards. Lee Carsley gets a block in.
      • 3:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dexter Blackstock on Gregory Vignal. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
      • 1:47 Effort on goal by Dexter Blackstock from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
      • Correction - 0:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Cohen by Lee Carsley. Free kick taken by Wes Morgan.
      • 0:48 Lee Carsley challenges Chris Cohen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wes Morgan restarts play with the free kick.
      • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      see also
      Saturday football as it happened
      02 Jan 10 |  Football
      Saturday's FA Cup photos
      02 Jan 10 |  Football


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