Birmingham 0 Wolves 0: Johnson hobbles off on St Andrew"s return in dire encounter

Birmingham 0 Wolves 0: Johnson hobbles off on St Andrew's return in dire encounter

Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle made a superb double save in injury time to earn his side an FA Cup third round replay against Wolves after a goalless draw at St Andrew's.

Doyle tipped a drive from Wolves winger Matt Jarvis onto a post and then kept out the rebound header from Steven Fletcher.

Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had also been guilty of a glaring second half miss when he shot over with the goal at his mercy.

Sad sight: Former Birmingham favourite Roger Johnson suffered an ankle injury on his return to St Andrew's

Sad sight: Former Birmingham favourite Roger Johnson suffered an ankle injury on his return to St Andrew's

MATCH FACTS

Birmingham: Doyle, Spector, Davies, Ridgewell (Caldwell 49), Murphy, Elliott, Mutch (Beausejour 69), N'Daw (Fahey 82), Gomis, Redmond, Rooney. Subs not used: Butland, King, Zigic, Reilly.

Booked: Davies, Rooney.

Wolves: De Vries, Stearman, Johnson (Foley 35), Berra, Ward, Kightly, Henry, Jonsson, Hunt (Jarvis 69), Ebanks-Blake, Doyle (Fletcher 74). Subs not used: Hennessey, Elokobi, Edwards, Frimpong.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Attendance: 14,594.

Both sides showed plenty of commitment and endeavour but the game was lacking in quality.

Defences were generally on top with
centre-backs Curtis Davies and Christophe Berra in commanding form for
Birmingham and Wolves, respectively.

Wolves winger Michael Kightly looked dangerous on his return to the side and on loan Blues midfielder Guirane N'Daw impressed.

But no one demonstrated the wherewithal needed to unlock the opposition until the late drama.

Neither side would have wanted a replay given their different goals for the second half of the campaign at league level.

Players and fans from both sides took
part in a minute's applause for former Blues defender Gary Ablett, who
spent three and a half seasons at St Andrew's, after his recent death.

Blues had the extra man in midfield,
with Adam Rooney the lone striker, but there was little goalmouth action
in the opening 45 minutes.

Keeping the Wolves from the door: The outstanding Guirane N'Daw fends off Karl Henry and Richard Stearman

Keeping the Wolves from the door: The outstanding Guirane N'Daw fends off Karl Henry and Richard Stearman

N'Daw did well to nick the ball away from Kevin Doyle after he had latched onto a pass from Ebanks-Blake inside the City box.

Wolves newcomer Eggert Jonsson
flashed a 20 yard drive over the bar and a quick throw-in from Wade
Elliott found Rooney inside the visitors area but Roger Johnson blocked
his shot.

Jordon Mutch was only just too high with a shot on the turn from a Nathan Redmond cross as Blues started to take control.

Johnson, booed throughout by the City
fans, went down clutching his ankle after falling awkwardly when
winning the ball in the air when challenged by Rooney.

Have a nice trip: Kevin Doyle is tackled by Curtis Davies

Have a nice trip: Kevin Doyle is tackled by Curtis Davies

He was immediately substituted –
after 35 minutes – by right-back Kevin Foley with Stearman reverting to
centre-back while Karl Henry took over as skipper.

The first opening fell to Ebanks-Blake a minute later after Ward had found him in space.

But Doyle was alert and the ball cannoned off his challenge to safety.

Blues were forced into a change after
48 minutes with Liam Ridgewell clutching his back as he was replaced by
Steven Caldwell who played under Mick McCarthy when he was manager of
Sunderland.

Unfortunate: Adam Rooney and Johnson collide in the challenge that resulted in the Wolves skipper's ankle injury

Unfortunate: Adam Rooney and Johnson collide in the challenge that resulted in the Wolves skipper's ankle injury

Wolves looked sharper at the start of the second period and Ebanks-Blake flashed a shot across the box.

Then Ebanks-Blake squandered a golden chance to put Wolves ahead after 58 minutes.

Michael Kightly got to the byline
before squaring the ball back to Ebanks-Blake who was unmarked 12 yards
out. But he lent back and fired his shot over the bar.

Davies blocked a fierce attempt from Kightly who was impressing on his return to the side.

But the Birmingham defender became the first player to be yellow carded for bringing down Kevin Doyle on the edge of the box.

Fondly remembered: Birmingham City players pay their respects to former player Gary Ablett, who lost his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma this week

Fondly remembered: Birmingham City players pay their respects to former player Gary Ablett, who lost his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma this week

Henry scooped the free-kick in the air for Stephen Hunt but his volley was just too high.

Richard Stearman made a crucial block on a shot from Redmond as the game started to open up at both ends.

Rooney was booked for persistent fouling with seven minutes remaining and then Christophe Berra blocked an effort on the turn.

Wolves nearly snatched it at the death but Doyle produced his double save to deny both Jarvis and Fletcher.