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Robins rue missed chances as Birmingham clash ends goalless

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Birmingham CityBirmingham City
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Sky Bet Championship strugglers Bristol City paid dearly for missed chances as Birmingham held firm for a goalless draw at Ashton Gate.

Jonathan Kodjia and Kieran Agard were among the culprits in a match that saw the visitors only spring to life in the second half.

But the Robins, under interim manager John Pemberton, still received a rousing ovation from fans at the final whistle, having given a performance of total commitment.

The most one-sided first half at Ashton Gate this season saw Birmingham somehow emerge with a clean sheet.

From the first minute when Kodjia shot wide from a Lee Tomlin cross to stoppage time when Tomlin was booked for diving when claiming a penalty for being brought down by Paul Caddis, Bristol City dominated.

Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak made fine saves from Marlon Pack twice, Kodjia and Luke Freeman, while Tomlin curled a shot narrowly wide in an impressive debut playing on the left flank.

Kodjia should have done better when heading over a Bobby Reid cross and Tomlin had a shot blocked as the home side made a mockery of their lowly position.

Birmingham's only first-half effort of note came from a Stephen Gleeson free-kick after 26 minutes. His first shot was blocked by the wall and the second flew well wide.

Tomlin was convinced he should have been awarded a spot-kick as the half drew to a close. But referee Rob Lewis was well placed and issued a yellow card before blowing the whistle for the interval.

It was an all-too familiar tale for home supporters, who had seen their team have the better of plenty of games this season without making the most of their possession.

Blues looked more threatening at the start of the second period and a Jonathan Grounds cross flashed through the six-yard box with no team-mate on hand to supply the finishing touch.

And it was Bristol City goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell who produced the save of the match in the 65th minute, arching his back to get his left hand to a 25-yard shot from Birmingham substitute Jacques Maghoma.

A mistake by Robins substitute Wes Burns let in another replacement in Diego Fabbrini after 70 minutes but the Blues player delayed his shot and was crowded out by defenders.

Pack shot wide from distance for the hosts as the game entered its closing stages with both sides having made their full allocation of substitutions.

Bristol City had a great chance to win it at the death when Freeman crossed from the left and one of the replacements, Agard, headed badly wide when well placed.

A collective groan went around Ashton Gate and Birmingham might even have nicked it with a couple of stoppage-time raids.

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