Saturday February 4, 2012 Day 29 Finished St. Andrew's

  • Live Commentary

    • Birmingham City
    • Southampton
    • FT Thanks for joining us for the live commentary. Feel free to message me, Joe Prince-Wright, on Twitter at @JPW8 if you want to discuss this game and the rest of today's Championship action. Good night, and stay warm! Twitter: @JPW8
    • 90+3 Full-time. 0-0. The weather was the main story here as the atrocious conditions got the better of both sides. Saints best chance fell to new signing Sharp who delayed his shot too much. Birmingham had the better chances overall as N'Daw twice went close. But it was a stalemate in the swirling snow at St. Andrew's. The Saints stay second while Birmingham move up to fifth with this point.
    • 90+3' King is offside once again from the long ball forward. One last chance for Saints to pump the ball forward.
    • 90+2' We are in final knockings here, of what's been a pretty poor contest it has to be said.
    • 90+1' The home side are being urged forward by their fans.
    • 90' Three minutes added time has been announced by the officials.
    • 89' Lambert tries a clever chip and wastes the chance.
    • 88' Do Prado breaks through and is brought down by Caldwell, Yellow card to the center back and the league's top scorer Lambert lines one up.
    • 87' The home side will have something to say about that though.
    • 86' Cannot remember the last time I saw conditions this bad for a game of football. Both teams have battled well but looks as if this could end in a stalemate.
    • 85' Lambert has dropped back into the midfield as Saints reshuffle after the sending off.
    • 84' Desperate defending from Southampton as Birmingham are throwing the kitchen sink at their backline.
    • 83' Birmingham putting the pressure on.
    • 82' Fox gives away a free kick in a dangerous area after bringing down Burke and is given a second yellow card. Southampton down to 10 men.
    • 81' Hammond replaces Cork for Saints for the final ten minutes or so.
    • 80' Heart in the mouth moment for Saints as Martin's backpass to Davis gets caught up in the snow. However the goalie clears the danger.
    • 79' Hammond is getting ready to come on for Southampton.
    • 77' Three crucial points up for the taking here. Yet neither side seem to concerned to take a risk.
    • 76' The conditions are getting worse all the time and several players are losing their footing. You can't help but think on a decent surface that these two top six teams would have put on a fine footballing display.
    • 75' N'Daw takes yet another wild swipe at a shot.....his effort ends up nearer the corner flag than the goal.
    • 74' Good build up play again from the Saints but they have been lacking creativity this evening in the final third.
    • 73' N'Daw flies into Do Prado and is booked for his reckless challenge.
    • 72' Guly Do Prado comes on for Puncheon. The Brazilian has scored 10 goals this season, Southampton could really do with one right now from the former Fiorentina man.
    • 71' Great surging run from Puncheon but Lallana's cross is poor and doesn't beat the first man.
    • 70' Saints are looking to become just the second team to win at St. Andrews in all comeptitions, as Portugese side Braga are the only side to taste victory against the Blues at home in the Europa league group stages.
    • 69' Offside against King as the game really hasn't got going in the second half.
    • 68' Tonight's attendance at St. Andrew is 17,904, which is hugely impressive given the shocking weather in the midlands.
    • 67' Burke and Fox are having a great battle down their respective flank, it's been a real tussle all evening.
    • 66' Elliott is on for Rooney for the Blues.
    • 64' The ball falls to Sharp and he looked certain to score but Murphy came over to block his shot at the last minute. Closest Saints have come all game to opening the score.
    • 63' Southampton born Wade Elliott is coming off the bench for Birmingham and is getting final instructions from the coaching staff.
    • 62' Tricky conditions continue as both sides are struggling to get the ball down.
    • 61' Aaron Martin gives away a free kick for coming through the back of Rooney.
    • 60' Birmingham have a corner which is cleared and N'Daw takes a wild lash at the ball. His shot is high, wide and not at all handsome.
    • 59' Some Saints fans clearly aren't feeling the cold, they have their shirts off and smiles on their faces. Rather them than me!
    • 58' N'Daw goes down after a challenge in the air with Lambert. But the big Senegalese midfielder is fine to continue after some treatment.
    • 56' Sharp looks to pick out Cork on the edge of the box but Davies intervenes superbly to cut out the danger. Great defending from the former Villa and West Brom defender.
    • 55' Rooney smashes a volley goalwards which is about a foot over the bar from the left hand side of the box. Cracking effort and the Blues are starting to show more attacking intent.
    • 54' Getting harder and harder to spot the ball now.
    • 53' Cork whips over a delightful ball but Lallana is in an offside position as he tries to get on the end of it.
    • 52' N'Daw smashes a shot goalward and Davis makes a wonderful save as he gets down low at the feet of an on rushing forward bravely. The Blues are coming alive in the second half.
    • 52' The ball is bobbling all over the place in the Saints box an handball shouts come from the home crowd, but Phil Dowd waves them away.
    • 51' Birmingham push forward and Spector lines up a long throw into the box.
    • 50' Billy Sharp comes on to make his Southampton debut after his switch from Doncaster Rovers. The Sheffield born striker has scored ten goals in the Championship already this season. He replaces veteran Connolly.
    • 49' Cork does well in the middle and his through ball is cut out.
    • 48' Murphy clears yet again, the left back has been busy tonight and has a sweet left foot at his disposal.
    • 47' The Blues have a corner which is cleared and Saints then come forward in numbers to try and break the deadlock.
    • 46' Murphy does well down the left and cuts back a ball to King, his shot is goalbound before Davis gets his fingertips to it. Great save and best chance of the game so far.
    • 45' We are back up and running at St. Andrew's and the snow is horizontal!
    • 45+1' Half-time whistle goes at St. Andrew's. Both sides have struggled to get the ball down on the snow covered pitch. Southampton have had the better of possession but have failed to test the keeper. N'Daw went closest for Birmingham as he flashed a header just wide but at the half it's 0-0 between these promotion chasing outfits.
    • 45' One minute of added time.
    • 44' Offside against Lallana as Saints push for an opener at the end of the first half.
    • 43' Both sides will be glad to get in at the break and warm up, it's been pretty lackluster stuff so far I'm afraid.
    • 42' Saints have come into the game more as the second half has gone on. Currently they have 61% of possession. Birmingham are looking slightly fatigued after their midweek heroics when they hammered Leeds 4-1.
    • 40' Richardson's cross is cleared away but only as far as Fox who whips it back in but Connolly is offside and his shot is wide anyway.
    • 39' Puncheon is getting on the ball a lot for Saints, after he finds himself back in the lineup following his apology for his Twitter rant at chairman Nicola Cortese. He certainly looks as though he has something to prove today.
    • 38' Cork tries to chip a ball through to Lambert but it skids off the surface and through to Myhill in goal.
    • 37' Neither keeper has been tested here yet in what has been a midfield dominated game
    • 36' If Saints win today they go back to two points behind West Ham. If Birmingham grab all the points, they will be two points behind Saints.
    • 35' Ten minutes to go in the first half and N'Daw's glancing header is the closest we have come to a goal at St. Andrew's.
    • 34' Lambert is offside as Puncheon delivers a dangerous looking ball into the middle of the box.
    • 33' Challenges flying in all over the pitch as the Blues midfield are working their socks off to get hold of the ball.
    • 32' Marlon King hold the ball up well for the Blues but his pass runs out of play as Burke looks on frustrated.
    • 31' Saints yet to work the keeper and Birmingham are looking very dangerous on the counter attack.
    • 30' Curtis Davies gives away a free-kick and Lambert's effort is deflected wide for another corner for the visitors.
    • 29' Birmingham are again trying to make their way forward and it's all coming down their right side through Burke.
    • 28' Pretty even, Saints edging possession with 52%.
    • 27' The pitch is starting to cut up now as the half continues. Not too condusive to good football, but both teams are getting the ball down.
    • 26' Birmingham look pretty steady but are trying to get a hold of the ball after being under the cosh.
    • 25' Puncheon wriggles free and drills a cross over which is cleared, fourth corner for the South Coast side. Beggining to pile on the pressure now.
    • 24' However Fox's first effort is poor and his second is too high for any of the Saints attackers to get on the end of.
    • 23' Third Southampton corner of the half, as Lallana bursts clear and his cross is deflected behind.
    • 22' We've reached the halfway point of the first half at St. Andrew's and neither team have taken the game by the scruff of the neck. The snow is still falling heavily.
    • 21' Burke is fouled by Fox, and it is a meaty challenge from the Saints left-back. Fox is booked for his troubles and we have the games first yellow card.
    • 20' Birmingham are unbeaten at home in the league this season, and at the moment look pretty comfortable.
    • 19' Birmingham clear but Saints win a throw around the Blues box which comes to nothing.
    • 18' Puncheon's effort is deflected into the side netting. Another corner comes over.
    • 17' Sustained amount of possession for Saints, who get their first corner of the game after Richardson's cross is deflected wide.
    • 15' Burke is getting a lot of joy down Birmingham's right side. He wins yet another corner and it could be a long evening for Fox.
    • 14' Saints have the better of early possession again but Connolly is caught offside.
    • 13' N'Daw gives away a free kick after leaving his foot in on Jack Cork in the middle.
    • 12' The ball is swung over and Saints clear at the third attempt.
    • 11' Rooney runs at Fox and the defender deflects his cross wide for a Blues corner.
    • 10' Very scrappy start, but in all fairness both sides look like they are adapting to the conditions.
    • 9' Saints getting into their fluid passing style of play, but it is hard to spot the yellow ball.
    • 8' N'Daw goes very close as he directs his header towards the far post, but it flashes just wide. Good start for Birmingham.
    • 7' Lallana puts in a great cross which is cleared by the Blues defence, and they go up the other end and win a free kick which is whipped in by Murphy.
    • 6' Spector drops the ball as he goes to throw it in, as the conditions continue to get worse.
    • 6' Murphy fires into the wall and then blazes his shot into the away fans with his second effort.
    • 5' Burke is fouled by Schneiderlin. Free kick to the Blues in a great position.
    • 4' The linesman takes a whack with the ball which is greeted by cheers around St. Andrew's.
    • 4' Spell of possession for the Saints as the game gets off to a slow start.
    • 3' Corner to Birmingham as David Murphy gets in down the left.
    • 2' Saints new signing Billy Sharp is on the bench, on the eve of his 26th birthday.
    • 1' Conditions really are atrocious here tonight. With the windchill it's -10 degrees in Birmingham.
    • 17:20 Saints get us underway, we are off!
    • 17:20 Snow is falling heavily at St. Andrew's as the teams are out and ready to go.
    • 17:18 Nigel Adkins' side have not lost a league game in which they have scored first, and have won all eight games in which clean sheets were kept. However after West Ham's win against Millwall they lie five points off the top.
    • 17:17 Chris Hughton's side have won their last six in a row in all competitions and are currently on the winning streak in the Championship, winning four straight
    • 17:17 Saints are looking to secure a double over Birmingham for the first time since the 1985/86 season, when both clubs were in the old first division.
    • 17:16 Southampton have won 16 and lost 14 of the 39 matches against Birmingham, and the sides have been competing against eachother since the second World War.
    • 17:15 TEAMS: Birmingham: Myhill, Spector, Caldwell, Davies, Murphy, Burke, N'Daw, Mutch, Fahey, King, Rooney. Subs: Doyle, Ibanez, Elliott, Redmond, Jervis /// Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Martin, Fonte, Fox, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Lambert, Connolly. Subs: Bialkowski, Harding, Do Prado, Sharp, Hammond
    • 17:10 Good evening and welcome to live commentary from St. Andrew's where sixth placed Birmingham City take on Southampton, who currently lie in second.
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