Derby County 1-1 Birmingham City: Blues hold on for a point in Lee Carsley's first game

After a turbulent week at Birmingham City, the Blues managed to escape Pride Park with a point, ending their losing run.

Derby County 1-1 Birmingham City: Blues hold on for a point in Lee Carsley's first game
Derby County and Birmingham City battled to a 1-1 draw at Pride Park in a cagey encounter. PICTURE: Derby County.

Birmingham City earned a point in caretaker boss Lee Carsley's first game in charge with a 1-1 draw against Derby County at Pride Park.

Lukas Jutkiewicz opened the scoring for the Blues but Sam Winnall levelled for the Rams just two minutes later with his first goal for the club, both sides having to settle for a draw.

Cagey opening sets the standard 

The early exchanges saw the home side become increasingly frustrated by Birmingham, who were playing in their first game since the departure of Harry Redknapp, with Carsley taking temporary charge.

This was how much of the rest of the first-half unfolded as neither team really created any decent opportunities. Curtis Davies blocked a Sam Gallagher effort, before David Nugent forced Birmingham ‘keeper Tomasz Kuszczak into a great diving save at the other end.

Both teams kept the ball well but neither could find that key final pass to produce a goal, or any clear goalscoring opportunities.

As the second-half started, the game took a similar tempo as both teams still failed to produce any killer final balls.

But the Rams did almost break the deadlock after Richard Keogh attacked down the by-line before pulling the ball back and Birmingham defender Michael Morrison sliced his clearance just past the post.

Jacques Maghoma saw a long-range drive tipped around the post by Scott Carson in the Derby goal and the Birmingham rear-guard also refused to give in as the hosts began to attack with more of a plan.

Derby produce quick response to Birmingham's opener

Then came the key substitution as Jutkiewicz came onto the pitch for Gallagher and, with his first touch, turned in a great Craig Gardner delivery to put the Blues 1-0 ahead.

That kickstarted the game into life, as Derby hit back through a substitute of their own. Winnall finished off Keogh’s header at the back post.

Goalscorer Winnall had his tail up as he fancied himself from range, but Kuszczak got behind his shot well.

Derby were very much in the ascendency into the final few minutes but, as had been the case throughout the majority of the game, Birmingham defended resolutely.

The Blues did push forward but the Rams were also defensively sound and both teams had to settle with a point in a fair result.

A draw ended a run of six-game losing run for Birmingham, and was both teams second draw of the season.

Next up for Derby is an away trip to Brentford on Tuesday night, while Birmingham host Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday.

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