Roberts header rescues point for Birmingham at Huddersfield
Marc Roberts’ header cancelled out Frazier Campbell’s opener and earned Birmingham a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Town’s unbeaten run at home now stretches to five games although they are just four points above the relegation zone ahead of Middlesbrough’s game against Hull on Sunday.
For Birmingham, this was a rarity in that it was only a second stalemate in 17 league games and they remain in mid-table.
The opening exchanges were gritty with plenty of tough but honest tackles flying in, although the game was initially shy of goalscoring opportunities.
Huddersfield fashioned the first chance of the game and they were gifted it by a Birmingham player.
Lukas Jutkiewicz did well to shield the ball off a couple of Town players but then cheaply gifted possession to Elias Kachunga, but he could only blaze a shot over the bar from the edge of the box.
Birmingham’s first meaningful effort came when Jude Bellingham waltzed through the defence but blasted a shot well over the Town crossbar.
Down the other end Karlan Grant’s fizzed centre picked out Alex Pritchard, making his first start since August. He connected well with a volley but saw it blocked.
Huddersfield came closest to the breakthrough 10 minutes before the interval but were denied by some fine goalkeeping and plucky defending.
Blues’ stopper Connal Trueman pulled off a great reaction stop to keep out Kachunga’s header from close-range before Campbell’s follow-up effort was charged down by Roberts.
Trueman had to be alert again just before the interval when he tipped behind Pritchard’s free-kick from long-range.
Campbell made the breakthrough the game badly needed after 55 minutes. Trevoh Chalobah’s expert through-ball picked him out and he coolly finished past Trueman for his second goal of the season.
Going a goal down prompted Birmingham to be more creative going forward and Bellingham blazed over after being teed up by Jacques Maghoma’s centre on the hour mark.
Jutkiewicz remained a threat, especially aerially, and he planted a header wide on 71 minutes.
Town’s top scorer Grant had been a peripheral figure for most of the game but he carved out a decent chance only to fire a shot straight at Trueman.
Huddersfield ultimately paid the price for their wastefulness in front of goal on 78 minutes and it came from Birmingham’s first attempt on target.
Dan Crowley swung in a free-kick and Roberts nodded the ball home inside the box via a hefty deflection off colleague Jutkiewicz.
City could have pinched the win late on but substitute Alvaro Gimenez saw his fierce attempt draw a fine stop from home goalkeeper Kamil Grabara as the game petered out to a draw.