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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 January 2006, 16:55 GMT
Torquay 0-0 Birmingham
Premiership strugglers Birmingham limped to an FA Cup replay after League Two Torquay dominated the second half of their clash at Plainmoor.

The Gulls had a first-half goal from Tony Bedeau ruled out for a push but burst into life after the break.

Steve Woods hit a post with a stinging 25-yard drive while Alex Lawless and substitute Alan Connell both forced Maik Taylor into making decent saves.

Emile Heskey wasted a good chance for Birmingham in the first half.

Torquay's dream was alive from the seventh minute when the home side thought they had taken the lead.

Birmingham keeper Taylor rose high to try and collect a cross from Martin Phillips but dropped the ball as he was challenged.

Bedeau was on hand to slam the ball into the net from eight yards but the whistle had already gone before he connected.

For the remainder of the first period, the Gulls hardly got into the Blues' half as the visitors attempted to enforce their superiority.

However, they were unable to take their chances.

Jermaine Pennant, the most impressive player on show, saw his shot flash wide following a deflection and Heskey missed a great opportunity when he fired over from just six yards as Torquay struggled to deal with the resulting corner.

Whatever Gulls boss Leroy Rosenior said to his team during the interval, they took his words in.

They emerged with confidence and took the game to their Premiership opponents.

Bedeau's shot was saved by Taylor after he made a swift break but that was only a sign of things to come.

The Blues had a massive let off five minutes after the break when Woods tried his luck from 25 yards, only to see his shot come back off the bar.

Lawless was then allowed to wrestle his way through and Taylor had to dive and deny the full-back.

Rather than making sure such breaks did not happen again, the Birmingham defence allowed Torquay even more space.

They had a good call for a penalty turned down when it appeared Kevin Hill was hauled down by Nicky Butt but the referee waved the appeals away.

It looked like the League Two side would be the more likely to hit the strike which would prevent a replay.

Julian Gray missed a great chance for Birmingham after Walter Pandiani's shot was blocked while Taylor flicked out an arm to deny substitute Connell.


Torquay: Marriott, Lawless, Lockwood, Sharp, Lloyd, Phillips, Woods, Hewlett, Kuffour, Bedeau (Connell 81), Hill.
Subs Not Used: Bittner, Hockley, Villis, Coleman.

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Bruce (Kilkenny 68), Cunningham, Martin Taylor, Lazaridis, Pennant, Butt, Johnson, Gray, Heskey, Jarosik (Pandiani 45).
Subs Not Used: Vaesen, Clemence, Painter.

Booked: Martin Taylor.

Att: 5,974.

Ref: K Stroud (Dorset).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Torquay manager Leroy Rosenior


Interview: Birmingham manager Steve Bruce



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