Birmingham City 1 Derby County 1

Last updated : 04 February 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Birmingham's failure to beat bottom of the table Derby sent the St Andrew's club into the bottom three for the first time this season.

They have now only won two of the 13 games since Alex McLeish took over from Steve Bruce.

It was never going to be a high scoring game between two clubs with obvious attacking problems.

Derby, however, have to be credited for their persistence after being under pressure in first half dominated by the home team.

While Derby remain favourites for relegation, the alarm bells are beginning to ring at Birmingham.

Seb Larsson had put Birmingham in the driving seat with his third goal of the season in the 68th minute, only for Villa to give Derby their draw with an 89th minute equaliser.

Birmingham were in charge for long spells but let Derby off the hook with another late goal which has plagued them all season.

James McFadden, a £5million January window transfer signing from Everton, created a good impression as did Olivier Kapo when both went close to ending the stalemate.

Kapo, who now appears to be settling down to life in the Premier League, saw his blistering shot easily saved by Derby's new goalkeeper Roy Carroll.

McFadden could count himself unlucky when his glancing header from Garry O'Connor's cross whistled just over the bar from close range.

Larsson was also thwarted when Carroll made a good save from his goalbound free-kick in the first half which undoubtedly inspired Derby in their survival battle.

Derby's attack was non-existent in this period with neither Kenny Miller or Rob Earnshaw making any sort of impact in the first half.

Miller did pop up early in the second half when he watched his angled shot hit the post and bounced clear.

The bright spot for Derby was the commanding performance of new signing Alan Stubbs, who did much to keep the defence together under strong pressure.

But it appeared curtains when Larsson scored at the second attempt following a cross from newcomer David Murphy after 68 minutes

Derby, however, were far from finished as Dean Leacock collected a loose ball which he floated into the middle and Villa made contact with a header which hit the post before sliding into the net three minutes from time.