Derby 1-1 Birmingham: Blues end losing run
By Press Association
Last Updated: 23/09/17 7:13pm
Birmingham started life without Harry Redknapp by halting a run of six defeats in all competitions by holding their former manager Gary Rowett's Derby to a 1-1 draw at Pride Park.
After a low key first half, the game came to life as substitutions paid dividends with Lukas Jutkiewicz heading Birmingham ahead only for Sam Winnall to quickly equalise with his first goal for Derby.
There were chances in the closing minutes for both teams but a draw for the visitors was a good result for the former Derby midfielder Lee Carsley in his first game as caretaker manager.
Joe Ledley was on the bench as Derby named an unchanged team while Birmingham made two changes from the side beaten by Preston in Redknapp's last game as manager. Jeremie Boga made a good run for Birmingham in the 12th minute but mishit his shot and Tom Lawrence was off target for Derby with a drive from the edge of the area in the 18th minute.
The final ball from both teams lacked quality but Derby right-back Chris Baird swung over a decent cross in the 29th minute that Bradley Johnson headed well over.
There had not been a clear chance until the 41st minute when the ball broke invitingly to Sam Gallagher 12 yards out but Curtis Davies got across to block the shot.
Derby almost scored in the final minute of the half when David Nugent broke away and saw his shot from 20 yards turned behind by Tomasz Kuszczak.
The second period started with a scare for the visitors when skipper Michael Morrison almost sliced a cross into his own net but there were groans of frustration around the stadium as passes were misplaced.
Davis almost forced a corner in before Scott Carson turned behind a 20-yard shot from Jacques Maghoma but substitutions by both managers changed the game in the space of four minutes.
First Jutkiewicz struck with his first touch when he got across Richard Keogh to score with a diving header in the 64th minute before Derby hit back when Winnall pounced from close range after Keogh headed back a deep cross in the 67th minute.
Derby had a chance to go in front in the 74th minute when another sub Mason Bennett broke clear but his low shot was pushed away by Kuszczak and Morrison cleared the loose ball.
The game had opened up and there was a chance for Birmingham in the 80th minute when Derby only cleared the ball as far as Maxime Colin just inside the area but he scuffed a half-volley wide.
Gary Rowett: "Mixed feelings and a little bit of frustration. I thought our build-up play was good first half but we couldn't quite show that little bit of quality. When they scored it was a very deflating moment because they hadn't had a lot other than set-pieces but we responded really well and we showed quite a lot of character to not let it affect us.
"I don't know if we did enough in an attacking sense to win the game but I also think we did enough not to have lost the game because that would have been a disappointment."
Lee Carsley: "Given the circumstances of the week that we've had with the upheaval, the change of manager and a change in the way I want them to play I thought it was a great response. We've stopped the rot, we're moving forward and it should get better. It's important that now we use this as momentum and build the confidence.
"We spoke about being a little bit more resilient and a little bit more compact to try and nullify the opposition because we knew the quality and firepower that was available to them. We knew we would have to be at our best out of possession and I thought we did that quite well. I played with Lukas at Coventry and Everton and sometimes it's a bit awkward when you don't play a former team mate in the first game but he's been really supportive as have all the players."