Reds rue penalty miss
Nottingham Forest saw Robert Earnshaw spurn a second-half penalty in their goalless draw with Birmingham.
Last Updated: 02/01/10 7:34pm
Nottingham Forest saw Robert Earnshaw spurn a second-half penalty in their goalless draw with Birmingham, denying them a place in the FA Cup fourth round.
Two in-form sides created plenty of opportunities to find a winner at the City Ground, but ultimately could not be separated and will now try again at St Andrews on 12th January.
Earnshaw was the prime culprit in keeping the scores level, putting a 62nd-minute penalty over the crossbar, Luke Chambers hit the woodwork for Forest and Chris Cohen was denied when put through one-on-one.
At the other end, Kevin Phillips struck a post and was also denied when through on goal with only Lee Camp to beat, meaning a decisive goal was not forthcoming.
Birmingham crossed the Midlands on a club record 11-game unbeaten Premier League run while Forest's 16-game streak without defeat was the club's best since the Brian Clough era, when the Reds went on a record-breaking 42-game unbeaten run between November 1977 and November 1978.
Alex McLeish's side survived a warning with less than two minutes on the clock.
James Perch's lofted pass found Dexter Blackstock, who turned and fired a shot into the side-netting from the right-hand side of the box.
Forest threatened again in the ninth minute but Earnshaw's effort from the edge of the area was easily smothered by Joe Hart.
A good chance went begging for Forest after 20 minutes when Chris Gunter's cross-field pass found Cohen in space on the right side of the box.
Cohen's cut-back eluded everyone and Birmingham broke on the counter-attack, with Cameron Jerome forcing Camp into a parrying save.
Camp got down to his right to get a strong hand behind Phillips' 20-yard shot just after the half-hour mark as the Blues began to look more dangerous.
Gregory Vignal then found Jerome with a wonderfully-weighted pass behind the Forest defence but the striker's first touch took him away from goal and he dragged his shot wide.
Forest came close to scoring a minute before the break when Chambers' glancing header from Radoslaw Majewski's inswinging corner bounced down in front of the line after striking the underside of the crossbar.
Camp reacted quickly to beat Jerome to a loose ball inside the six-yard box at the start of the second half when it looked like a ricochet would favour the Birmingham striker.
Cohen then spurned a glorious chance to give Forest the lead after 52 minutes following a surging run from Blackstock.
Cohen was in support alongside his team-mate but, when the ball was offloaded to the midfielder inside the area, his shot was straight at Hart.
Forest were presented with the chance to take the lead in the 62nd minute when Vignal tripped Paul Anderson inside the area but Earnshaw put the resulting penalty over the bar.
The Wales international almost made amends three minutes later. Following a neat one-two with Blackstock, Earnshaw was through on goal but his low shot was brilliantly saved by the fingertips of Hart.
At the other end, Phillips struck the outside of a post with a 30-yard effort.
Birmingham saw a one-on-one chance go begging midway through the second half.
Substitute Gary McSheffrey put Phillips in the clear on the left-hand side of the box but Camp was out like a bullet to deny the veteran striker. McSheffrey then put the rebound over the crossbar.
Camp was called into action again seven minutes from time, this time to turn Barry Ferguson's header round a post after the Scot looked to have guided Damien Johnson's cross into the bottom corner.
|Nottingham Forest||Team Name||Birmingham City|
|6||Shots On Target||5|
|5||Shots Off Target||2|