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16:35 7th February 2010

It's A St Andrew's Sickener

Birmingham City 2 (Phillips 80, 85)

Wolves 1 (Doyle 42)

Wolves were just ten minutes away from an unexpected but deserved victory over Birmingham City when their nemesis, Kevin Phillips, struck twice in the final ten minutes to cancel out Kevin Doyle's first half opener. It was a sickening blow for the Molineux men and their supporters.

Mick McCarthy fielded the side that took a point from Hull a week earlier with Doyle again playing a lone role up front. Before the start a minute's applause was held in honour of former Birmingham and England goalkeeper Gil Merrick who had passed away at the age of 88.

Blues kicked-off attacking the Railway End of St Andrew's that held a sizeable contingent of away supporters and with less than three minutes gone Ronald Zubar had to make a last ditch tackle to prevent Barry Ferguson having a clear sight of goal.

From the corner conceded, taken by James McFadden, Doyle headed away at the near post. But the danger wasn't cleared and after McFaddon returned the ball into the box, this time it was Stephen Ward who headed behind.

The City pressure continued and Christophe Berra did well to get in the way of a fierce angled effort from Lee Bowyer before, from another McFadden corner, Liam Ridgewell helped the ball on to Cameron Jerome whose header hit Michael Mancienne and went behind.

In the first Wolves attack of note, after nine minutes, Roger Johnson cleared Doyle's low cross as Dave Jones ran in.

Sebastian Larsson wasn't far off with a 25-yard volley that swerved over the angle and then Marcus Hahnemann saved at Jerome's feet after Scott Dann and Christian Benitez combined following a Larsson corner.

The first Wolves corner came in the 19th minute but Jones's kick curled into the arms of City keeper Joe Hart.

After Dann had fouled Doyle 25-yards out from the Blues goal, Karl Henry teed up Jones whose volley skimmed the top of the net as it flew over although Hart looked to have the danger covered.

Hart was booked after tripping Doyle just a foot to the side of the home area. Jarvis took the free-kick but it bounced to safety off the wall.

Wolves, having seen off the early home pressure, were now starting to pose threats of their own and twice within the space of a few seconds Matt Jarvis and Henry had shots blocked.

In the 31st minute Stephen Carr was penalised for a foul on Jarvis near the left-hand corner flag. Jarvis lifted the free-kick into the six-yard box and Zubar charged in to power a header wide of the far post.

The ball broke kindly for Jerome who raced down the left channel into the box and hit a low shot that Hahnemann saved with his legs.

Then Dann's was narrowly wide with a scissors kick after Hahnemann had punched out Larsson's corner.

Johnson was yellow carded after a heavy challenge on Ward, and Kevin Foley volleyed into Hart's arms after Mancienne and Doyle had headed on.

But Wolves moved into the lead in the 42nd minute when Doyle rifled the ball home from close range after Johnson had deflected Jarvis's driven cross onto his own post (pictured).

Moments after the resumption Jody Craddock was penalised for a challenge on Jerome three-yards outside Hahnemann's area. There were groans from the home fans when Larsson's free-kick flew both high and wide.

As the half drew to a close Mancienne was booked for pulling back Benitez and home penalty appeals for a push by Zubar on Ridgewell were ignored by the referee.

Half-Time: Blues 0 Wolves 1

Dann's foul on Doyle to the right of the area led to a Jones free-kick that was cleared to Benitez who was then pulled back Jones who was booked.

Doyle held the ball up and released Jarvis on the overlap but the winger's attempt to return the ball to Doyle was blocked.

The Wolves striker then fired into the side netting and, when play switched to the other end, Benitez was hurt in a collision with Hahnemann. Phillips came on as his replacement.

Midway through the half Dann went into the book after he had cynically pulled back Doyle who would otherwise have had a clear run to goal.

Wolves then replaced Jones with Adlenne Guedioura whilst Blues sent on Craig Gardner for Larsson. Within seconds of his introduction Guedioura hit a left foot drive that Hart gathered at the second attempt.

The home side made their final change when Keith Fahey replaced McFadden.

Foley had a first time effort comfortably saved by Hart and Guedioura, with a terrific shot from 25-yards, was just a foot too high.

But Blues pulled level in the 80th minute when City's three substitutes combined. Fahey crossed and Gardner headed the ball down for Phillips to net.

Worse was to follow five minutes later as Carr's cross was chested down by Phillips and rifled home.

Henry was booked for a foul on Ferguson who was then yellow carded for a retaliatory push on the Wolves man.

In stoppage time Hart saved at the feet of Guedioura and, after the final whistle, Berra was shown the yellow card for dissent.

Blues: Hart, Carr (capt), Bowyer, Ridgewell, Larsson (Gardner 68), Jerome, Benitez (Phillips 63), Ferguson, Johnson, Dann, McFadden (Fahey 75).

Unused subs: Taylor, Michel, Jervis, Vignal.

Bookings: Hart (24 - foul), Johnson (40 - foul), Dann (66 - foul), Ferguson (87 - retaliation), Bowyer (90 - foul).

Wolves: Hahnemann, Zubar, Ward, Mancienne, Craddock, Berra, Foley (Ebanks-Blake 89), Henry (capt), Doyle, Jones (Guedioura 68), Jarvis (Surman 89).

Unused subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Vokes, Mujangi Bia.

Bookings: Mancienne (45 - foul), Jones (47 - foul), Henry (87 - foul), Berra (90 - dissent).

Referee: L. Probert.

Attendance: 24,165 (2,650 away supporters).

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.