Powell’s finally smiling again
ASTON Villa fan Joe Lolley popped up to take a point from Birmingham and put a smile back on the face of Huddersfield boss Chris Powell.
Lolley levelled the scores after David Cotterill’s opener to end a miserable run for Town.
Huddersfield had lost their three previous games and manager Powell was relieved to finally have something positive to take away from the game.
Powel said: “I haven’t smiled for a while after games and that was a good response from my players. We have had a horrendous week with the three defeats.
“I think we set the tone from minute one and undeservedly went behind. We took the game to the home side. We started to pass the ball again and training this week has been really positive.
“We weren’t worried by going 1-0 down and it was a deserved equaliser. At halftime we could have been two or three up. I’m relatively happy considering what has gone on in our last three games and it gives us something to build on. There was a steel and determination about the team here.”
The visitors enjoyed much the better of an open match despite falling behind early on.
Huddersfield should have taken the lead when Jacob Butterfield picked out James Vaughan who sliced his shot high and wide after nine minutes. And they were punished just a minute later as Cotterill made no such mistake. City right-back Paul Caddis was the architect of the opening goal as he robbed Harry Bunn of the ball before collecting David Davis’ pass down the right flank. He cut the ball back to Cotterill who slammed the ball in from a tight angle.
There was a warning of what was to come from Town as Tommy Smith’s cross eluded the Birmingham defence to find Sean Scannell, who had only been on the pitch for a minute, but the sub could not direct the ball towards goal. Five minutes later and the City defence were punished for failing to deal with a cross-field ball. This time it was Jack Robinson’s long throw that caused chaos and Lolley was on hand to fire in from close range.
It was Lolley’s second goal in only his third start since arriving in west Yorkshire from Kidderminster Harriers in January 2014. And his third goal almost followed not long after.
Once again Birmingham failed to deal with a cross but this time the 22-year-old put his effort just the wrong side of the post.
Butterfield flashed a ball across the face of goal and in the last action of the half Joel Lynch rose above everyone meet a corner unchallenged.
His glancing header had direc- tion but lacked power and Darren Randolph was able to turn it away one handed.
His save matched Alex Smithies’ stunner at the other end, which denied Andrew Shinnie’s powerful downward header.
Birmingham boss Gary Rowett said: “You could see they were keen to block the game up and stop us playing after losing three games on the spin. It is a testament the teams have been doing that more and more recently and making it more difficult for us to play our normal game.
“We moved the ball too slowly and went sideways and went backwards.
“The frustration for me is that the equaliser comes from a long throw in the box that we had two chances to clear.”
OPENER: David Cotterill scores Birmingham’s goal
levels ALL SQUARE: Joe Lolley