Starting with two goalkeepers on the bench, Spurs managed to let slip a
lead against Birmingham City, when Gomes had just received treatment for
the after effects of a save and left St. Andrews with a single point
instead of all three.
Jermain Defoe with Peter Crouch up front, Spurs started brightly, with
an early opportunity falling to Crouch, who took a cross from the right
wing at the far post on his chest and volleyed at goal, with Foster
turning it around, although it was probably missing the target anyway.
Five minutes into the game, Lee Bowyer
put Stephen Carr in on the left side of the Spurs penalty area and the
full back was looking to score against his old team, but instead found
the crowd behind the goal.
Sixteen minutes in Crouch played Defoe in
around the penalty spot, but as he tried to manoeuvre the ball onto his
right foot, three players shut him out, but the ball ran to Wilson
Palacios 25 yards out and his shot was on target, but was deflected
wide. The next attack saw Bale dragged down by Ridgewell, who got
a booking and conceded a free-kick on the right side of the pitch.
Bale swung the ball in and Foster dived forward at the far post with
Crouch, but could only punch the ball back in front of his goal and
Sebastien Bassong was grateful for the opportunity to lash the ball into
an empty net.
Spurs continued to press and won a
succession of corners, but failed to make much from them, although
Birmingham were being opened up with ease and looked uncomfortable
dealing with the corners as they came in. Crouch has a good chance
when a Lennon cross went over Johnson's head, but he took the bal on his
chest and then his arm before shooting wide.
On the half hour, the home team had their
first effort on goal, but Beausejour's header went wide with Gomes not
required to cover the attempt. But they came closer when a quick
free-kick was played to Craig Gardner in the middle of the Spurs half
and he stepped forward to shoot at goal, but the shot went wide with
Gomes diving to cover the shot this time.
Crouch should have doubled the lead when
Hutton played Modric into the right channel of the box and his ball
inside found Crouch, but his first touch took the ball too far away from
him and a Birmingham defender made off with it. A spat between
Gardner and Palacios, who went down under challenge from the Blues
midfielder, who in turn thought he was play acting and tried to drag up
off his feet, saw both go into referee Friend's book.
Bowyer managed to turn Palacios a couple
of minutes before the break, but having done that, he struck his shot
wide and high into the Tottenham contingent behind Gomes' goal.
With no changes during the break, the two
teams took to the field for the second half, as Birmingham looked to get
back into the game. With the game taking place in chilly
conditions anyway, things got worse, as the temperature dropped and
Sleet began to fall.
From one attack at the Spurs end, with
the ball behind Jerome, Spurs broke and Defoe let go a shot from inside
the box that flicked off a defender, which caused Foster to dive to push
it away for another corner when the ball was going off target anyway.
A first chance for Birmingham in the second half came when a cross was
headed by Gallas, but it went across goal and Gardner got a clean header
to the ball, but only found Gomes, with perhaps the first Brum effort on
The 59th minute saw Peter Crouch wriggle
away from two players in midfield before electing to play the ball to
his left for Defoe, instead of releasing Lennon to his right and the
Spurs forward was bundled off the ball. A corner a minute later,
brought about another one and another one, which Crouch won, but headed
off target. The tall forward flicked on and Defoe made the ball
his on the right, before cutting infield and letting go a left foot shot
that went a yard wide, but straight away substitute Zigic won a high
ball and the pieces were picked up by Gardner, who shot way over the
As is often the case with Tottenham
games, the referee was handing decisions to the opposition and one free
kick when Crouch got sandwiched, ended with Gallas blocking a shot from
Jerome when the ball broke free. After a bit of midfield sparring,
Bale crashed a 73rd minute shot at goal from a narrow angle on the left,
forcing Foster to block it at his near post, while Jerome hit a long
range shot a long way over the bar when unmarked. Spurs brought
Pavlyuchenko on for Defoe and almost immediately a long free kick found
it's way through to RIdgewell in the box and he took a touch into the
middle of the box and only Heurelho Gomes' rush out to block with his
body stopped it being 1-1.
But a couple of minutes later, after
Gomes had received treatment for the blow he took from the shot, a long
ball was slung in from the left to Zigic, who won a header on the right
side of the Birmingham attack, knocking the ball into the middle and
Gardner ran in to make the ball his, heading it down past Gomes into the
bottom corner of the goal to equalise.
Going into injury time, David Murphy
caught Alan Hutton late with a tackle putting his studs into the
Scotsman's ankle, but Hutton got up and as Murphy went to go past him,
barged into him. Both players could easily have seen red, but the
ref just had a Friend-ly chat with them and the game went on.
And that was the last moment worth
comment in the game, as Birmingham's change of tactics paid dividends
for them with long balls into the area earning them a point. Spurs
have only themselves to blame, as they out-played the home team in the
first half, but failed to make more of their dominance, leaving them
open to the chance of Birmingham getting an equaliser.
Full marks to Harry for starting with two
up front, as it worked for the team, but they have to do better,
although the freezing conditions added to the difficulty in the second
period. A useful away point, which could have been more, but
Birmingham were always going to put it about at some stage of the match
and Spurs, with the cold weather, might have been less than determined
to go and ram home their advantage. On such performances are all
sorts of things decided.