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 Saturday, 21 December, 2002, 16:57 GMT
Blues cling on for draw
Paul Devlin scores from the spot for the Blues
Devlin rescued a point for Birmingham
Birmingham 1-1 Charlton

Ten-man Birmingham survived a late Charlton onslaught to cling on for a valuable point at St Andrews.

Claus Jensen's trickery earned Charlton a half-time lead before Birmingham had Geoff Horsfield sent-off for a dangerous tackle.

But the Blues hit back 10 minutes later courtesy of a Paul Devlin penalty.

Key moments
37 mins: Jensen opens the scoring
54 mins: Geoff Horsfield sees red
67 mins: Devlin's penalty levels the scores

The result leaves in-form Charlton without a loss in six Premiership matches, while Birmingham have now drawn their last three home games.

Both teams will be happy with the result following a keenly-contested game.

Birmingham nearly opened the scoring after just two minutes when Geoff Horsfield turned well in a tight situation, only to shoot straight at Dean Kiely from eight yards out.

Jovan Kirovski then came close for the Blues with a 20-yard free-kick, but Paul Konchesky was on hand to head the ball off the line.

But as the half progressed, Charlton began to make their presence felt, and should have taken the lead after 34 minutes.

Paul Konchesky slipped the ball into the path of Kevin Lisbie, but with only the keeper to beat, the striker toe-poked his effort straight to Nico Vaesen in the Birmingham goal.

There were nine cards in the last 30 minutes and unless we are really careful we're going to spoil the best league in the world with this constant nonsense

Steve Bruce

The Blues goalkeeper had no chance three minutes later when Jensen put the Addicks in front.

The Danish international played a neat one-two with Scott Parker on the edge of the area before coolly rounding Vaesen and slotting the ball into the empty net.

Things got worse for Steve Bruce's Birmingham side when Geoff Horsfield was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Luke Young 10 minutes into the second half.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Birmingham pushed forward and were rewarded for their persistence on 67 minutes.

The game got out of hand in the second half, but I think it is better to have a look at things again on video before commenting

Alan Curbishley

Aliou Cisse went down in the Charlton penalty area following a foul by Jensen, and Paul Devlin put the home team level with a powerful spot kick.

Charlton threw men forward and Parker had a chance to secure victory, only to slice his shot wide from inside the penalty area.

But Birmingham's defence stood firm and Steve Bruce will be delighted with a valuable point.


Birmingham: Vaesen, Tebily, Vickers, Cunningham, Kenna (Lazaridis 59), Cisse, Savage, Kirovski, Damien Johnson (Devlin 59), Horsfield, Morrison.
Subs not used: Bennett, Hughes, Woodhouse.

Sent off: Horsfield (54).
Booked: Morrison, Cisse, Tebily, Savage.

Charlton: Kiely, Young, Powell, Fish, Rowett, Kishishev (Bart-Williams 75), Parker, Jensen, Konchesky, Bartlett (Johansson 69), Lisbie.
Subs not used: Blomqvist, Rachubka, Fortune.

Booked: Parker, Young, Rowett, Konchesky.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Dave Woods
"Birmingham are nothing if not battlers"
 Birmingham boss Steve Bruce
"We smaller clubs are hard done by"
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