An extremely mixed week for the West Midlands clubs this week which saw only one team winning any of their fixtures. In the Championship, the Blues gained a creditable point at home to high flying Blackpool, whilst Walsall gained two very solid points on the road in League One, against Crawley and Sheffield United. Meanwhile in League One Coventry’s sparkling run of from came to a resounding end with two thumping home defeats against Tranmere and Rotherham. Finally, Wolves who started the weekend in top spot of the third tier picked up a draw and a win against Brentford and Tranmere respectively.
Starting in the Championship, Birmingham City earned a superb home point against promotion chasing Blackpool. In a closely fought encounter it was the home side that opened the scoring when on loan Jesse Lingard scored his 6th of the season just before the half hour mark. However, Lee Clark’s side could only hold their lead for less than ten minutes before Ricardo Fuller drew the Tangerines level. Birmingham’s wait for a first home win since October 1st goes on, but as Clark said post match, “If you cannot win, do not lose the match”. The point keeps City outside of the relegation zone in 21st place.
Dropping down into League One, Walsall picked up two points from their two fixtures this week. At the weekend, The Saddlers visited Crawley and despite having the better chances, particularly through Westcarr who hit the post, they had to settle for a point. On Tuesday Smith’s men visited troubled Sheffield United and came from behind to register their second away point in three days. Porter put the home side ahead on the stroke of half time after dispatching a controversial penalty, awarded after Lalkovic was deemed to have handled the ball. However, soon after the break Westcarr levelled the game up and that would be how it would stay. The points return has kept The Saddlers on the cusp of the playoffs only one point outside, but will need to start turning more of these positive performances into three points.
Coventry City’s recent form had many questioning whether they were play off contenders in spite of their points deduction. This week however was a startling reality check of how far The Sky Blues still have left to come. The week started with a ‘home’ fixture against bottom of the pile Tranmere Rovers, however the side from the Wirral demolished City 5-1 with a Ryan Lowe hat trick the highlight. Pressley’s men followed that up with their second home reverse of the week, this time 3-0 to Rotherham. The away side scored all 3 of their goals in a 15 minute period in the second half. With the Sky Blues, small squad stretching to breaking point, the manager has made it clear his intention to bring in players on loan before the window ends this week.
Finally, Wolves recorded four points this week to see them end the week at the summit of League One. On Saturday, they played out an entertaining clash with high flying Brentford, with the sides placed 1st and 2nd in the form league both were looking for the win. But the deadlock remained in tact, Wolves recording their 3rd clean sheet in 4. Griffiths had the best chance for the home side when he hit the post, but to keep a Brentford side who had won the previous six was no mean feat and a draw was the fair result. Following their home draw Jackett’s men slipped to 2nd but quickly regained top spot following a comfortable home win against Tranmere. An evening of almost total domination was not reflected in the goals column as Wolves were guilty of being profligate for much of the evening. However, Griffiths with his 12th of the campaign and a first for Edwards was more than enough to see Wolves record another victory.