The FA Cup - Fourth Round
Coventry0Birmingham0

Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City: Battling 'hosts' earn replay

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Highlights: Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City

Coventry City and Birmingham will return to St Andrew's for a replay after the Sky Blues produced a battling 'home' performance to hold their Championship opponents to a draw in the FA Cup fourth round.

League One Coventry, who are using Birmingham's ground for home games this season after they were unable to agree a deal to stay at the Ricoh Arena, were resolute against their stadium landlords.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Birmingham's Jefferson Montero went closest to settling the tie with a close range volley which Marko Marosi did well to keep out before Coventry substitute Max Biamou was denied by Lee Camp's flying save late in the game.

Coventry had a great chance to seal a place in the fifth round in stoppage time but substitute Callum O'Hare, who is on loan from Birmingham's neighbours Aston Villa, could not make a clean connection in the six-yard area.

With Birmingham officially the 'away' team in their own stadium, there was much off-field interest in the tie and both sets of fans in the 21,193 crowd - Coventry's biggest of the season - contributed to a cracking atmosphere.

Some Coventry fans have been refusing to attend 'home' matches at St Andrew's - choosing to attend away games only.

However, a number are likely to be St Andrew's for next month's replay as the Sky Blues will officially be the away team.

The away team at home

Having struck an arrangement to use Birmingham's facilities for home matches this season - after being unable to agree a deal to stay at the Ricoh - Coventry hosted the Blues as the 'home' side.

It meant Pep Clotet's side used the away dressing room while thousands of Blues fans were stationed in the away section of their own stadium.

Despite the familiar setting, Clotet treated the match like a normal away fixture with his players, who played in their yellow and blue third strip, meeting at the club's training ground in the morning before boarding the team coach to take them eight miles to the ground.

After both clubs agreed a near 50-50 ticket split, more than 9,000 Birmingham fans - their biggest 'away' following for years - helped generate a lively atmosphere.

Coventry City merchandise at St Andrew's
Coventry City enjoyed 'home' advantage at St Andrew's

Both sets of fans traded good natured chants. After Coventry fans bellowed 'You're supposed to be at home' at their rivals, Birmingham fans responded with 'We want our ground back' - while both sets of fans joined in a derogatory chant aimed at West Midlands rivals Aston Villa.

Before kick-off, Blues fans clapped after an announcement from Coventry over the public address system thanking Birmingham for "allowing us to play to our home games at your home".

So close yet so far

Coventry will be kicking themselves after coming close to securing victory in the closing moments.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Liam Walsh's ball into the penalty area was headed across goal for O'Hare but he could not take advantage.

Marosi, who was playing in the ninth tier of English football seven years ago, produced a fine stop to keep out Montero shortly after half-time but Birmingham were not clinical in front of goal.

Jude Bellingham, the 16-year-old midfielder linked with a move to Manchester United, went close with a powerful strike but Coventry restricted their opponents to only five shots.

Because of the groundshare arrangement this was the 34th time the St Andrew's pitch had been used by Birmingham and Coventry this season - it will host yet another match after this stalemate.

Man of the match - Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City)

Fankaty Dabo of Coventry City
Put in a shift and a half in the Sky Blues defence as Birmingham were limited to just two shots on target.

What's next?

While Coventry are back in League One action at Fleetwood on Tuesday (19:45 GMT), Birmingham have a week to prepare for Nottingham Forest's visit to St Andrew's next Saturday (15:00).

Line-ups

Coventry

  • 1Marosi
  • 4Rose
  • 15Hyam
  • 5McFadzean
  • 23Dabo
  • 6Kelly
  • 20Walsh
  • 31McCallum
  • 25WestbrookeSubstituted forBiamouat 68'minutes
  • 26ShipleySubstituted forO'Hareat 69'minutes
  • 24GoddenSubstituted forBakayokoat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Mason
  • 8Allen
  • 9Biamou
  • 13Wilson
  • 16Pask
  • 17O'Hare
  • 21Bakayoko

Birmingham

  • 1Camp
  • 5Colin
  • 12Dean
  • 14Clarke-SalterBooked at 88mins
  • 3PedersenBooked at 87mins
  • 22BellinghamSubstituted forGardnerat 85'minutes
  • 34Sunjic
  • 16McEachran
  • 15MonteroSubstituted forMaghomaat 85'minutes
  • 18MrabtiSubstituted forBelaat 56'minutes
  • 10JutkiewiczBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Roberts
  • 11Bela
  • 19Maghoma
  • 20Gardner
  • 23Ramos Wade
  • 24Giménez
  • 26Davis
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
21,193

Match Stats

Home TeamCoventryAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home5
Away5
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home3
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Coventry City 0, Birmingham City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Coventry City 0, Birmingham City 0.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Dominic Hyam.

Kyle McFadzean (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Gardner (Birmingham City).

Liam Walsh (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Josh McEachran (Birmingham City).

Booking

Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Sam McCallum (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).

Booking

Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Callum O'Hare (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Liam Kelly (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Booking

Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Maxime Biamou (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Gary Gardner replaces Jude Bellingham.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Jacques Maghoma replaces Jefferson Montero.

Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Maxime Colin.

Substitution

Substitution, Coventry City. Amadou Bakayoko replaces Matt Godden.

Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Maxime Colin.

Matt Godden (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City).

Attempt saved. Maxime Biamou (Coventry City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Liam Walsh (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Coventry City. Callum O'Hare replaces Jordan Shipley.

Substitution

Substitution, Coventry City. Maxime Biamou replaces Zain Westbrooke.

Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Jake Clarke-Salter.

Kyle McFadzean (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City).

Liam Walsh (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City).

Foul by Liam Walsh (Coventry City).

Harlee Dean (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Kyle McFadzean (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City).

Foul by Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City).

Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dominic Hyam (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal