WATFORD HAD former Birmingham centre-half Martin Taylor to thank for a share of the spoils at the Vic’ this afternoon in an action-packed second half that twice saw the ‘Orns come from behind.
Birmingham took the lead through Adam Rooney before a superb Marvin Sordell equaliser. Chris Wood was then allowed to re-establish the visitors lead before Taylor struck in the 91st minute to grab Watford a point.
Sean Dyche was able to hand debuts to former Aston Villa pair, Andi Weimann and Jonathan Hogg who had signed initially on loan to secure the deal in time. With Gavin Massey ill, the only attacking player on the bench was Troy Deeney.
In a dull first-half, played a lackadaisical pace Watford failed to ever really secure a significant share of play whilst Birmingham failed to break down the Hornet’s rearguard until their late goal.
From an in-swinging corner, Rooney was left free to tap-in on the line after a powerful header down.
The second half began much more brightly for Dyche’s men and skipper John Eustace was the firs to test Blues ‘keeper Bo Myhill as he cracked a low left-footed effort in which stung the palms of Myhill.
The Hornet’s dominance did not last for long though and after several near-misses from Mark Yeates crosses, it took a well-placed effort from Sordell to level.
Given space to turn away from Curtis Davies, Sordell struck a sweet left-footed effort into the bottom left-hand corner of Myhill’s goal from outside the area.
Birmingham quickly re-took the lead though when in the 88th minute, New Zealand international Wood was left free to race into the penalty area and slot past Scott Loach.
However, the drama was not over and in injury, Martin Taylor stooped to deny his former club a win following Sordell’s powerful effort which Myhill could only beat skyward.
Birmingham City: Myhill; Carr (c), Davies, Ridgewell, Murphy; Burke, Spector, Beausejour, Redmond; Wood and Rooney (Jerome).
Subs not used: Doyle (GK); Hubbins, Fahey and Asante.
Referee: Mr N Swarbrick
Scott Loach – 6
Nothing major to do, no chance with the goal.
Lloyd Doyley – 7
Dealt with the pace and trickery of Brum youngster Nathan Redmond very well.
Martin Taylor – 6
Sloppy on occasion; imperious on others. Important goal in the end.
Adrian Mariappa – 7
Made some good clearances and displayed excellent reading of the game at times.
Carl Dickinson – 6
Quiet, tidy, largely untroubled.
Mark Yeates – 5
Not his best game with poor delivery.
John Eustace (c) – 7
First-half poor; second excellent. All dependent on the support received from his team-mates who heaped pressure on his first-half with their failure to create options.
Jonathan Hogg – 7
Played a few excellent balls and looked lively. Wanted to get stuck in and the first to pressure Birmingham on the ball.
Craig Forsyth – 6
Would’ve been a five if it weren’t for a barn-storming last 10 in which he was everywhere. Appeared to play more centrally and more effectively involved because of it.
Marvin Sordell – 7
Poor first-half, but more than made up for it in the second.
Andi Weimann – 7
Encouraging second debut for the workaholic forward. He reminds me a lot of Danny Graham in his effort, energy, work-rate and commitment. Just needs to add goals to his game.
Troy Deeney – 5
Didn’t impact on the game.