Blues 1 - Alavés 1

Copyright © 2002
Blues boss Steve Bruce left out Clinton Morrison as a precaution while other new signing, Robbie Savage was only a substitute.

A crowd of more than 9000 at St Andrews saw a Ruben Navarro header give Alaves an against-the-run-of-play half-time lead in Blues' only home pre-season game.

Blues best chance of a first half in which they dominated possesion fell to Tommy Mooney but he volleyed into the side-netting.

Fifteen minutes after the break Bruce rang the changes, Savage, Darren Purse and Geoff Horsfield replaced Michael Johnson, Jeff Kenna and Mooney.

Savage was soon in the thick of the action, booked within 10 minutes of coming onto the field by referee Graham Barber for a tackle on Turiel.

He was then the victim of two crunching tackles and the second one forced Barber into giving Alavés midfielder Turiel a red card.

Man-of-the-match Bryan Hughes scored an 80th-minute equaliser, shooting home from the right after a pass from substitute Paul Devlin to give Blues a well deserved draw.

Relishing his role in the middle of the park Hughes said: “Today was a good test against a team who like to play the ball. We have not played many of those in pre-season or in fact last season.

“We are still learning so today was a very good test.”

“On our tour of Scotland we were unsure defensively but we worked well today, our shape was good and the performance was good.

“The formation gives me the free role I have been looking for while I have been at the club. I’ve got a few goals this pre-season and I am pleased with my form.”

BLUES: Vaesen, Kenna, M.Johnson, Cunningham, Tebilly, Cisse, D.Johnson, John, Mooney, Hughes, Carter. Subs: Bennett, Purse, Devlin, Savage, Horsfield.

DEPORTIVO: 1.Juan Pablo Colina, 3.Ibon Begona, 4.Eggen, 5.Karmona, 7.Geli, 8.Mara, 9.Ruben Navarro, 15.Luis Helguera, 20.Llorens, 21.Turiel, 26.Ochoa. Subs: 13.Ruben Perez (gk), 11.Magno, 17.Edu Alonso, 18.Astudillo, 19.Ivan Alonso