Birmingham 1-1 West Brom: Jota’s penalty miss proves pivotal as Phillips salvages point for visitors

There is nothing finer than the sight of a footballer enjoying himself and Matt Phillips is becoming a mighty fine sight for West Brom fans. 

Forget for a moment the equaliser which earned Albion a point at close neighbours Birmingham City, who have yet to win this season. 

Phillips is also a willing outlet and a provider of a wicked cross. His goal threat comes as an added bonus, his four goals already one better than his final tally last season. 

Matt Phillips scored an equaliser for West Brom in their game against Birmingham on Friday 

The winger fired under Lee Camp in the 39th minute to level proceedings at St Andrew's

The winger fired under Lee Camp in the 39th minute to level proceedings at St Andrew’s

Spanish midfieler Jota had given Birmingham the lead with a deft finish in the 26th minute

Spanish midfieler Jota had given Birmingham the lead with a deft finish in the 26th minute

West Brom’s failings so far this term have been defensively and that was the case again at St Andrew’s where a dose of doziness could have seen Birmingham two goals up in as many minutes.

Step up hero and villain, Jota (Birmingham’s Spanish one as opposed to Wolves’s Portuguese midfielder) who scored the first after Gary Gardner’s cross was headed back across the goalmouth by Lukas Jutkiewicz and Jota had the simplest of point-blank finishes. 

Almost immediately Che Adams had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Andrew Madley, who then had a much simpler decision to make when Kyle Bartley handled. 

Jota stepped up to take the penalty but Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone guessed right and saved it. 

It was a miss to regret as the visitors put themselves back into contention thanks to Phillips, who took advantage of a mistake by Kristian Pedersen and beat Lee Camp for the equaliser. 

The former Brentford man spurned a huge chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot though

The former Brentford man spurned a huge chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot though

West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone parried Jota's effort  to keep his side in the match

West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone parried Jota’s effort to keep his side in the match

The save was to prove a turning point in the match as West Brom equalised shortly after

The save was to prove a turning point in the match as West Brom equalised shortly after

Adams then had a glorious opportunity to give the home side a half-time lead. The swivel was neat, the shot over the bar horrendously overhit. 

When Jacques Maghoma headed wide from close range, and Jota sprayed another effort into the stratosphere, it was hard not to feel a modicum of sympathy for the long-suffering home crowd. 

The failure to win any of their first six League matches is the worst start to a season since 1978-9 when they were relegated from the top tier. 

City have not scored in four of those six matches and have four different players as top scorers on, er one. 

In comparison, Albion are the Championship’s most prolific, aided by the 7-1 thrashing of QPR and they came into this match on form with five wins in six games. 

Tellingly, however, the team are not made in the mould of no-nonsense head coach and former defender Darren Moore. There have been no clean sheets and, quite frankly, some of the defending here was unbelievably sloppy. 

Even goalkeeper Johnstone thought going walkabout a good idea as wave after wave of dark blue came at him. 

Unfortunately for Birmingham, there was no-one to provide a cutting edge. The players were game, the effort unquestioned, but what Garry Monk really needs is a little more quality. 

The second-half failed to sparkle in the same way as both sides cancelled each other out

The second-half failed to sparkle in the same way as both sides cancelled each other out

Harvey Barned (right) struck the woodwork late on as West Brom pressed for three points

Harvey Barned (right) struck the woodwork late on as West Brom pressed for three points

A flare is removed from the St Andrew's pitch during Birmingham's game against West Brom

A flare is removed from the St Andrew’s pitch during Birmingham’s game against West Brom

West Brom manager Darren Moore applauds the travelling contingent of fans after the draw

West Brom manager Darren Moore applauds the travelling contingent of fans after the draw

MATCH DETAILS 

Birmingham: Camp, Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen, Maghoma, Kieftenbeld, Gary Gardner, Jota, Jutkiewicz (Solomon-Otabor 86), Adams (Bogle 73). 

Subs not used: Roberts, Mahoney, Trueman, Lakin, Harding.

Scorer: Jota 26

West Brom: Johnstone, Dawson, Hegazi, Bartley, Phillips, Livermore, Brunt (Barry 78), Townsend, Barnes, Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu), Gayle. 

Subs not used: Gibbs, Myhill, Burke,Edwards, Adarabioyo.

Scorer:  Phillips 39

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire) 

 

 

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