Zola's wait for win goes on as struggling Forest frustrate Birmingham
Birmingham again failed to find a winning formula as they were held to a disappointing goalless draw at home by struggling Nottingham Forest.
Despite the inclusion of on-loan signing Craig Gardner in the second half, Birmingham lacked the guile and goal threat to inflict a defeat on an out-of-form Forest side.
As a result of this tame draw Birmingham are still seeking their first win under new boss Gianfranco Zola six games into the Italian's reign.
Forest, who survived a 30-minute spell of intense pressure in the second half, managed to hang on to earn only their second point from seven games
The bright note for the visitors was that it was only the second time this season they have managed to keep a clean sheet.
Forest went into the game just two points above the relegation and lacking the services of Henri Lansbury, who is a target for Aston Villa.
There was plenty of physicality on show in the opening period, with numerous free-kicks breaking up play.
Che Adams made his presence felt for Birmingham, but it was Forest who threatened most and should have gone ahead following a left-wing cross from Eric Lichaj, but Britt Assombalonga was too slow off the mark.
Forest skipper Matt Mills had another golden opportunity, but headed a Matty Cash corner high over the bar from the edge of the six-yard box.
Birmingham were penned back, but defensive stalwarts Ryan Shotton and Michael Morrison enabled them to keep Forest at bay.
Adams continued to look like the Birmingham man most likely to make a breakthrough and his raking drive had goalkeeper Stephen Henderson scampering to his left to prevent a goal.
A bad mistake by Jonathan Grounds let in Assombalonga, but again Shotton was alive to the danger and shut down the danger.
It then took a brave save from Henderson, dashing from this goal to block a Maikel Kieftenbeld effort, as the game became more open as both teams looked to take the lead.
Cash did manage to get the ball into Birmingham's net, but was ruled off-side as a result of a late decision by the assistant referee.
In a bid to unlock the Forest door Birmingham threw on Gardner, back at the club after joining from West Brom, in the 53rd minute.
Lukas Jutkiewicz, who had previously been kept in check by the impressive Mills, produced a goal-bound header from a David Davis cross, but Henderson had little difficulty making an easy save.
There was some concentrated pressure by Birmingham with a succession of free-kicks and corners as Forest battled to survive the onslaught.
Hildeberto Pereira attempted to inject some attacking momentum into Forest, but it was not successful and Birmingham dominated, albeit without managing to find a way to break Forest's stubborn resistance.
Source : PA