Belfast Telegraph

Birmingham take a step towards safety

Everton 1 Birmingham City 1: Birmingham moved out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone after holding Everton to a draw at Goodison Park.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 17th minute through Jean Beausejour's header, which Tim Howard got a hand to but could not keep out.

John Heitinga levelled 10 minutes before the interval, making the most of a failed clearance from a corner by firing in a fierce side-footed effort that left Ben Foster with no chance.

The home side looked by far the more likely to break the deadlock in the second period but could not find a winner as Alex McLeish's team secured a point which takes them up to 17th in the table, with West Ham dropping into the bottom three.

Everton made the first foray forward in the third minute and Mikel Arteta — named skipper for the night in the absence of hamstring victim Phil Neville — might have shot when he reached the edge of the box but passed the ball to Louis Saha, who lost control.

Arteta's involvement came to an abrupt end soon after when he appeared to sustain a hamstring problem of his own while in a chase with Sebastian Larsson.

Toffees boss David Moyes brought on Seamus Coleman for the Spanish midfielder and Phil Jagielka took over the captaincy, while the visitors were also forced into an early substitution as David Bentley came off for David Murphy.

Birmingham took the lead when young midfielder Jordon Mutch swung in a cross and Beausejour connected with a header that Howard clipped with his glove but could not prevent from crossing the line.

The hosts pressed forward and found their reward in the 35th minute as Heitinga rifled in the equaliser.

Cameron Jerome made a hash of clearing Leon Osman's corner and the ball fell to Heitinga, who swept it into the roof of the net from outside the area.

And although Everton pushed for a winner, City held on.

Belfast Telegraph

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