Pow­ell’s fi­nally smil­ing again

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tim Ever­shed

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

OPENER: David Cot­ter­ill scores Birm­ing­ham’s goal

lev­els ALL SQUARE: Joe Lol­ley

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