A dramatic late finish earns the firsts a point

A lack-luster football match resulted in an unsatisfying 1-1 draw


Birmingham’s firsts had to dig deep late on against Nottingham Trent to salvage a point and get their season back on track.

Having chased a goal deficit into the dying moments, Brum left it until the final seconds to clinch back a vital goal.

The firsts went into the game on the back of a defeat in their first away game against Oxford University, so returning to winning ways was a must in this home fixture.

And finding victory over fierce rivals Trent would prove no easy task, especially given the controversial defeat in last season’s clash, which saw captain Declan Kirby sidelined from a nasty broken leg.

No time on the ball for Sunderland - courtesy of Peter Saxon

No time on the ball for Sunderland – courtesy of Peter Saxon

The game started slowly and in a dull first-half in which not much was created, Birmingham attempted to make the home advantage count with some good early possession.

But possession was often wasted, as Trent crowded out the midfield and made it hard work to get into promising positions, leaving striker Luke Barrow a frustrated figure.

The midfield battles were key - courtesy of Peter Saxon

The midfield battles were key – courtesy of Peter Saxon

With not a great deal happening at either end the half-time score was 0-0.

The second-half saw a step up in intensity from both teams and also the emergence of the influential left-midfielder Seb Bowerman, who was to be the key player in red and was behind much that was good in the second-half performance.

Defensive strength from Richards - courtesy of Peter Saxon

Defensive strength from Richards – courtesy of Peter Saxon

But it was Trent who were to have the first golden opportunity of the game, forcing goalkeeper Pigott into a good save at his near post.

Trent were denied for a second time from the resulting corner, as a header from the Trent centre-back was only just was prevented from going in by Ben Sunderland’s goal line clearance.

With Birmingham altering tactics to try and find their way into the match, increasingly the game opened up, with Bowerman starting to influence the game more and more with some enterprising football.

Aerial duels were a feature of the game - courtesy of Peter Saxon

Aerial duels were a feature of the game – courtesy of Peter Saxon

As the half went on, Trent began to look more menacing and actually created the clearer cut opportunities.

But as Birmingham looked to spread the play and open up the game, they were caught on the counter-attack and conceded from a well worked goal by the Trent centre-midfielder.

The defence was left standing after a nice exchange on the left hand side of the box, leaving Birmingham with it all to do.

No clean sheet this time - courtesy of Peter Saxon

No clean sheet this time – courtesy of Peter Saxon

It was then all out defence for Trent for 15 minutes as they tried to hold on.

But UoB were determined to earn a draw, and stepped up the tempo accordingly.

Out wide was to be fruitful for UoB - courtesy of Peter Saxon

Out wide was to be fruitful for UoB – courtesy of Peter Saxon

And with time almost up, the sustained pressure on the Trent goal led to a brilliant delivery into the box from Shone from deep inside the Trent half.

Richards climbed above Trent’s big centre-half and chested it down to striker, Barrow, on the edge of the box who fired in the half-volley into the bottom left of the goal.

The late equalizer sparked jubilant celebrations among the players, followed by a huge sigh of relief having rescued a point from the jaws of defeat.

Kirby was pleased to knick the point - courtesy of Peter Saxon

Kirby was pleased to knick the point – courtesy of Peter Saxon

Speaking to The Tab post match, first-team captain, Declan Kirby, said: “We lacked an energy required to find a way through and I thought our ball retention, on the whole, was poor.

“Considering we were without two of our centre-halves and we had to make changes, I would say it is a decent point in the end, to rescue the game like that.

“It means we have to take all three at their place now.”

Full-time score: UoB 1’s 1-1 Nottingham Trent 1’s

Lineup: (4-4-1-1) GK – Jonathan Pigott, RB – Alex Austin, CB – Callum White, CB – Will Richards, LB – Greg Shone, RM – Jake Brown (Joe Othen-Price), CM – Declan Kirby(c), CM – Ben Sunderland, LM – Seb Bowerman, CAM – Wojtek Opalinski (Matt Jones), ST – Luke Barrow