Birmingham v Aston Villa: St Andrew's free 'clappers' criticised by both bosses

Robert Snodgrass has to wait to take a corner at St Andrew's
Aston Villa midfielder Robert Snodgrass was among those who had to dodge cardboard clappers

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce queried old club Birmingham City's "ridiculous decision" to hand out free "clappers" before Sunday's goalless derby.

The cardboard clappers had a disruptive effect on the game at St Andrew's with a number thrown towards Villa players as they prepared to take set-pieces.

"Somebody would have been hurt if they had got hit," said Bruce.

The game had to be halted on a number of occasions by referee Andrew Madley in front of a 24,403 crowd.

"Thankfully, nobody got caught but whoever made that ridiculous decision needs to look at it again," Bruce said.

"I don't think they'll do it again. They were tied together with elastic and weighed more than you think."

From the moment Villa winger Robert Snodgrass was delayed in taking his side's first early corner at the home Tilton End, the game had to be stopped on several occasions.

Stewards had to be brought on to clear their pitch of the clappers, and other missiles, including a plastic bottle which fell near Villa keeper Sam Johnstone.

Cardboard clapper
A large number of cardboard clappers were handed out to home supporters

A Villa official also confirmed that midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady had handed over a coin that had been thrown at him during the first half.

"The clappers actually have hindered us," admitted Blues boss Steve Cotterill. "It stopped our momentum.

"Maybe it's something the club will look at again in the future."

The game ended in only the third 0-0 draw in the last 24 second city derbies but with injury concerns for both managers.

Cotterill must await the results of a scan to determine the extent of striker Isaac Vassell's knee injury, while Bruce already rates Jonathan Kodjia a doubt for Wednesday night's trip to Preston after aggravating an ankle problem.

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