Tony Mowbray was shaking his head in a bemused manner for some time after the final whistle.
Just when his Blackburn Rovers side seemed to be coasting, albeit in challenging conditions at Ewood Park, Birminham City pulled off a smash and grab salvage mission.
From 2-0 down to 2-2 in next to no time, the comeback epitomised the spirit Garry Monk has instilled in his Blues squad.
As for his opposite number, Mowbray was simply shellshocked.
“It’s quite amazing to think we threw away two points having worked so hard to get into a 2-0 lead in difficult conditions for football,” he said. “We shot ourselves in the foot.
“There was a swirling wind, rain for 90 minutes and it wasn’t a great game because the conditions didn’t allow for getting the ball down and playing too much football.
“We manufactured our way to drop two points. But we have to accept it and be frustrated by it. We’ve come back from 2-0 down ourselves, at home to Reading, that’s the way it is.
“It’s a disappointing dressing room because we had the points in the bag. They didn’t have a shot in the second half up until David goes walkabouts in his penalty area and gives a penalty away. Then it’s some pretty poor positional play for the second goal.”
MINI MATCH REPORT
Birmingham City scored twice in three second half minutes to snatch the hardest won of points at Blackburn Rovers, writes Brian Dick.
Garry Monk’s men were two down with only 12 minutes to go when Craig Gardner and Che Adams both struck to make it 2-2.
It was an outstanding display of character after Blues had slipped behind to goals from Danny Grahama and Adam Armstrong.
Before the game Blues had to reorganise in defence with Marc Roberts coming in for Michael Morrison.
But the centre half lasted only nine minutes before hobbling off, bringing Wes Harding into the fray.
Within ten minutes the hosts had gone ahead, with Roberts’ absence at set-pieces proving crucial.
Harrison Reed floated a free kick into the middle where Graham found himself totally unmarked to head home.
Blues actually had a couple of decent openings with Connor Mahoney floating an inswinger from the right just wide of David Raya’s far post.
And Jacques Maghoma’s low cross found Adams near the penalty spot. The striker had time to take a touch but his shot cannoned off Richie Smallwood and up into Raya’s arms.
Rovers doubled their lead straight after the restart as Armstrong got in down the left and sent over a low cross which Harlee Dean toed away from the goal.
The ball was recycled to Armstrong wide to the left of the six yard box and the 21-year-old fired low across goal inside the far post.
But Blues came back from the dead with as the game entered the closing stages.
First Maxime Colin won a penalty when Raya clattered into him as he chased a deflected cross.
Gardner stepped up and gave the visitors hope in the 78th minute.
Then with their next attack Lukas Jutkiewicz was freed down the left and he swept in a low pass which Adams poked in from close range.
WHAT THE BOSS SAID
Birmingham City boss Garry Monk: “It’s an excellent point in the end for us – a fantastic response to being two down,” Monk said.
“We knew in the first half it was poor from us, with the conditions and everything that was going on they did the basics much better than we did.
“We came in a goal down, talked about it at half time – then to go out and concede again doesn’t make it any easier.
“You need character, you need attitude and you need to be able to show a response.
“And we did that, especially in that last 20-25 minutes we were fantastic, we got ourselves back and possibly could have gone on and got a third.
“Overall, considering how good Blackburn have been here, it’s extremely difficult to come here and get points.
“To come away with that point, with the circumstances of the game you have to be very happy with that.
Here’s a selection of comments from Blues fans on social media:
Stuart McNaught: Best team and manager we’ve had for a while – let’s hope we can keep them together and maybe have a pop at the play-offs. Either way as long as we’re not playing for survival on the last day I’ll be happy.
Damian Reed: This championship is a slog, it’s a marathon. You can’t be your best every week. Once Craig Gardner and Jota came on it made a huge difference for me. The two best players on the pitch. Also Wes Harding was fantastic, the kid’s got a top future. KRO.
Conan Norton: It’s a team that never gives up. Brilliant work and result.
Manni Singh: This time last season. We were shambles. Garry Monk has done something special. Monk’s Blue Army.
How will Birmingham City get on against Wigan Athletic?
0+ VOTES SO FAR
WHO’S UP NEXT?
Wigan Athletic v Blues, DW Stadium, Championship, 3pm, Saturday, December 22
Blues are on the road to Lancashire again next weekend, Travelling to take on Wigan at the DW Stadium.
They are six points better off than the Latics, who lost 1-0 at bottom of the table Ipswich Town this weekend.
Source : BirminghamMail