Wolves 0-0 Birmingham City

Wolves captain Danny Batth clears under pressure from Clayton Donaldson

Wolves captain Danny Batth helped his side keep a clean sheet for the first time in seven games

Birmingham City’s promotion hopes took a slight knock as they were held to a derby draw by West Midlands rivals Wolves at Molineux.

Kenny Jackett’s Wolves were the better side before the break, twice forcing Blues keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, their former loan man, into saves.

Blues took over in the second half, as Clayton Donaldson, Jon Toral and man of the match David Davis all went close.

But it ended up goalless at Molineux for the second season running.

Blues are now four points off the top six in the Championship but Gary Rowett’s side, so dominant on their travels earlier in the season, have now gone seven hours and 50 minutes since their last away goal.

The first half produced few chances, but Wolves went closest through midfielders Conor Coady, with a deflected shot, and George Saville, from Dominic Iorfa’s cross – both of which drew saves from Tomasz Kuszczak.

The home side were lifted by the half-time introduction of Polish international Michal Zyro, but Blues boss Rowett countered with the more attack-minded introduction of the thrusting Jacques Maghoma and that turned the tide almost totally the visitors’ way.

Blues had a possible case for a penalty when Wolves full-back Matt Doherty dragged at Donaldson, who then screwed his left-foot shot just wide as home keeper Carl Ikeme advanced.

Jon Toral wasted an even better chance, firing wide with his left foot from 10 yards, before the inexhaustible Davis turned superbly and wriggled into the box before unleashing a fierce right-foot shot which drew a great save from Ikeme.

Best stats from a goalless blank at Molineux

Wolves have now lost just one of their last eight league meetings with Birmingham City, having gone nine without a win against them prior to that.

Blues have now failed to score on their last four league visits to Molineux.

It was Wolves’ first clean sheet this year and only their second in 11 league games.

What the two gaffers said

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett:

“I felt that we were the better side in the first half and Birmingham were the better side in the second.

“Local derbies are very tight and the way that things went in the second half I am not displeased with a point.

“We stuck at it during the second period and made sure that we got a clean sheet. We haven’t got enough clean sheets at home this season.

“We have worked hard on our goals against column. There are too many times, particularly at home, when we have been easy to score against.”

Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett:

“It is still very much in the balance. There are a lot of teams up there and it is who can handle the pressure of having to win almost every game.

“I said at the start of the season that, if we can be in and around the play-offs with 10 games to go, then it would be an unbelievable achievement for us this season.

“We are and we haven’t been out of the top 10 all season. If we can get a result from our game in hand then we are probably one win away from getting in and around the top six.

“After the international break we have three home games in a week which I think will be decisive. There is still a lot of football to be played.”

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