Date:Sunday April 30 2006
BIRMINGHAM CITY 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
BIRMINGHAM: Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham (Clemence 87),Martin Taylor, Sadler, Pennant, Jarosik, Johnson,Gray (Campbell 72), Heskey, Forssell.
Subs Not Used: Vaesen, Bruce, Tebily.
NEWCASTLE: Given, Carr, Moore, Bramble, Babayaro, Solano,Pattison (Clark 68), Faye (Boumsong 87), N'Zogbia,Chopra (Owen 61), Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Elliott.
Two teams slogged it out, got nowhere, and both ended up cutting the other's throat!
Shay Given broke Birmingham's hearts and condemned them to life in the Coca-Cola Championship as the goalkeeper made a stunning double save from Mikael Forssell and Emile Heskey on the stroke of full-time, but a point was no good to either side.
Brum hit the trap-door, and the Toon look destined to miss out on Europe.
The Toon Army welcomed Michael Owen back and he enjoyed a 28 minute run-out, but he hobbled off at the end leaving us with more questions than answers. Owen had missed 21 league and cup games prior to the match.
There was a scare for Birmingham in the 12th minute when Shola Ameobi got goal-side of Kenny Cunningham and Martin Taylor but could not get a vital touch.
Nolberto Solano hit a shot wide for Newcastle in the 28th minute as the visitors pushed forward. And Newcastle carved out a good chance in the 47th minute when Solano weaved his way into the area but there was no-one on hand to take advantage.
There was little to choose between the sides but this was hardly the best performance we've produced in recent weeks. It was never going to be a classic, Birmingham couldn't hit a 'cow's arse eith a banjo' and United fired blanks all afternoon, but in a way ... a lot of us expected it.
Owen was brought on in the 62nd minute and replaced Michael Chopra, but the main action happened in the last minute at the other end of the pitch.
Given saved superbly from Forssell and then Heskey in quick succession on the stroke of full-time to condemn Birmingham to life in another league ... with the Mackems.
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