Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Birmingham claim historic point against Wigan

Craig Gardner

Birmingham created a slice of club history but Cameron Jerome's failings in front of goal meant they had to settle for a goalless draw against Wigan.

Alex McLeish's side equalled City's best top flight unbeaten home run of 18 games stretching back exactly 12 months.

But Jerome, last season's leading scorer with 11 goals, missed two golden first-half chances to earn his side all three points.

An afternoon of frustration for Blues was compounded when top scorer Craig Gardner was shown a straight red card for a lunge at Franco Di Santo in the last minute.

The first chance for Jerome to break the deadlock came after 26 minutes. Sebastian Larsson showed skill to get to the byline before sending over a deep cross, but Jerome failed to make full contact on his close-range header which flew wide.

Birmingham defender Roger Johnson and Wigan forward Hugo Rodallega were both booked after squaring up to each other on the edge of the Birmingham box and Ronnie Stam was yellow carded by referee Mark Clattenburg for bringing down Gardner in full flight.

Ali Al Habsi parried away Larsson's inswinging free-kick and then reacted quickly to block the follow-up effort from Jerome from two yards out but the striker should have scored.

Scott Dann was booked for a touchline challenge on Di Santo as the game entered the final 20 minutes.

Al Habsi then came quickly off his line to save at the feet of Jerome after Larsson supplied the through ball. Di Santo tried to beat Foster with a shot with the outside of his right boot but the keeper was able to save to his right.

Gardner was dismissed in the final minute for a two-footed lunge and faces a three-game ban.

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