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St Andrews Stadium (ATT 19,853) 17th January 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Jones

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Cardiff City Cardiff

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Bowyer earns Blues point on debut

Ledley puts Cardiff in front before midfielder's late equaliser

Last Updated: 17/01/09 6:00pm

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Bowyer: Equaliser on debut

Bowyer: Equaliser on debut

Lee Bowyer's first goal for Birmingham City salvaged a last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to fellow promotion contenders Cardiff City.

Last season's FA Cup runners-up appeared on course for an important three points after Joe Ledley broke the deadlock just past the hour mark.

But midfielder Bowyer, on loan from West Ham United, arrived on cue in the final minute to mark his debut with the equaliser.

Alex McLeish made six changes to his Blues XI from the side knocked out of the FA Cup in midweek with January signings Bowyer, Scott Sinclair and Hameur Bouazza all making their debuts.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones, however, kept faith with the same side that beat Reading in the cup two weeks ago.

Blues attacked from the first whistle with Kevin McNaughton appearing to block the lively Bouazza's left-wing cross with his hand inside the opening minute although nothing was given, before Cameron Jerome twice came close to breaking the deadlock.

Maik Taylor had to be alert to tip Jay Bothroyd's powerful strike over the bar at the other end before Paul Parry prodded inches wide in an exciting start to the encounter.

Both sides continued to attack at pace and Ledley was guilty of blazing a good chance over from the edge of the area after 20 minutes.

Hustled

Cardiff hustled and kept the ball well as the half wore on but the threat both sides showed in the final third slowly disappeared.

Radhi Jaidi looked to receive an elbow to the face in the penalty area during the closing stages of the half but referee Michael Jones waved away the protests.

There was a fairly low-key start to the second half with neither side troubling the scoreline.

But all that should have changed 10 minutes into the second half as substitute Chris Burke, making his debut for the Bluebirds, burst clear through on goal after Ledley's pass.

Yet a combination of keeper and defence came to Blues' rescue.

Nevertheless, Cardiff took the lead they deserved on the overall balance of play just minutes later. Burke whipped a cross in from the right and Jaidi could only half clear to Ledley who finished in style.

Blues had to take the game to their opponents and Lee Carsley's turn and snap-shot forced Enckelman into a fine save midway through the second half.

But the home side were not doing enough to find a way back into the game as the encounter went into the final 15 minutes.

Bowyer, though, popped up in the right place at the right time to snatch a share of the spoils for the hosts in dramatic style.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 24 48
2 Ipswich Town 23 44
3 Middlesbrough 24 43
4 Derby County 23 42
5 Watford 24 41
6 Brentford 24 40
7 Norwich City 24 37
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 24 37
9 Blackburn Rovers 24 35
10 Nottingham Forest 24 31
11 Charlton Athletic 23 31
12 Cardiff City 24 31
13 Sheffield Wednesday 23 31
14 Birmingham City 24 31
15 Bolton Wanderers 24 29
16 Reading 24 29
17 Fulham 23 28
18 Huddersfield Town 24 28
19 Rotherham United 24 26
20 Leeds United 23 24
21 Millwall 24 23
22 Wigan Athletic 23 20
23 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 20
24 Blackpool 24 14

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