A good point on the road is the words from many bluenoses after Saturday’s draw with Preston, a good one especially after going behind. Another unchanged team from Steve Cotterill, the Blues fans were delighted to hear of two contract extensions, of Mikael Kieftenbeld and Jonathan Grounds.
It was all Birmingham in the opening exchanges as the Blues began the game brightly with a couple of decent chances, Preston being the home side were on the front foot. Preston hadn’t won once in their last six before today and continued to lose ground on the play offs.
After heavy Birmingham pressure in attack, they were soon caught out on the break with a goal struck from the right side of the box in the 17th minute scored by Ben Davies. Blues’ heads were not knocked and continued to pile the pressure on, but with the form Preston are on they would have wanted to have been playing a lot better than they were.
Half hour in and Tom Clarke won North End a free kick which eventually fell to Jordan Hugill who’s shot was blocked. Grounds was key in defence for Birmingham blocking & clearing key Preston chances. Once Alex Neil’s side had took the lead it was practically end to end stuff, Blues rattled Preston with many chances with Blues winning, but also giving away a lot of corners.
It was then half time, Preston led but Blues were certainly in the game and with a shout of three points, let alone one. Cheick N’doye was surprisingly having a good game, more or less his one of few appearances in a blues shirt. It really was Blues domination to a certain extent because most of the chances were going to the visitors more than the home team. Sam Gallagher was in the spotlight having all the chances and Kieftenbeld had a shot blocked early in the second 45…and soon after that, Blues were back on terms with a goal from Sam Gallagher -his sixth in all competitions for Blues since joining on loan from Southampton.
Maghoma won a free kick late on but was injured for a few minutes and there was a slight delay in play. When the game resumed, Preston pressed to try and regain their lead but it was just not happening. The game was ended on a high for Blues – a decent away point, but not a great one for Preston as they lose touch with the play offs after another game not won.
Preston North End – 4-2-3-1
RB Clarke , CB Huntington , CB Davies , LB Cunningham
CDM Gallagher , CDM Johnson
RW Barkhuizen , CAM Harrop , LW Robinson
Birmingham City – 4-2-3-1
RB Colin , CB Roberts , CB Dean (C) , LB Grounds
CDM Kieftenbeld , CDM N’doye
RW Boga , CAM Davis , LW Maghoma
Possession – PNE: 48% , BIR: 52%
Shots – PNE: 6 , BIR: 17
Shots on target – PNE: 3 , BIR: 3
Corners – PNE: 4 , BIR: 8
Fouls – PNE: 11 , BIR: 9
Referee: Andy Davies