Sky Bet Championship: Birmingham draw 1-1 with Ipswich at St Andrew's
Last Updated: 02/09/13 6:26pm
Chris Burke: Scored Birmingham's goal in 1-1 draw with Ipswich
Christophe Berra marked his first appearance since a close-season move from Wolves with a crucial goal for Ipswich in their Sky Bet Championship clash with Birmingham at St Andrew's.
Berra's strike was also his first in English football since coming south from Hearts in 2009, and enabled Mick McCarthy's side to pick up a valuable away point.
Birmingham, however, bounced back to earn a draw with a 76th-minute goal from another Scotland international, Chris Burke, on his third start of the season.
Only some outstanding saves by goalkeeper Darren Randolph had kept Birmingham in the game until Burke popped up with his face-saving effort.
McCarthy made five changes from the side beaten by Leeds in an attempt to find a winning formula.
One of those included was Berra. The Scotland defender had a torrid time at Wolves last season and did not play for the last four months, and welcomed the opportunity to link up with his former boss at Portman Road and take the chance to resurrect his playing career.
There is little doubt that he shored up the Ipswich defence against a Blues attack struggling to find some goalscoring form.
As a result it was Ipswich who were able to mount the more dangerous moves with the ever-threatening David McGoldrick going close with a header from the promising Aaron Cresswell's left-wing cross.
The danger created by Cresswell moving forward down the left was emphasised in the 30th minute when Berra notched his goal.
Berra had been able to wander forward and was on hand to score with a stooping close-range header to the consternation of the Birmingham defence.
Encouraged by taking the lead Ipswich were able to threaten Birmingham's suspect back line and shortly before half-time McGoldrick powered in a shot which Randolph tipped onto the post.
Birmingham were more determined in the second half to get back on level terms and to make amends for their indifferent first-half display.
Lee Novak, struggling to find some goalscoring form since his arrival from Huddersfield, produced a fine deflected header from a Burke corner only to see Town goalkeeper Dean Gerken flick his effort over the crossbar.
But the main threat from Ipswich continued to come down the left flank.
McGoldrick fired a great cross-shot just wide, while Cresswell maintained his impressive form with a shot on target which forced Randolph to distinguish himself again with a fine save.
Birmingham lifted themselves in the last 20 minutes and staged their comeback when Burke scored with a left-footed shot which was deflected past Gerken by Ryan Tunnicliffe, but the result left Lee Clark's side still looking for their first home league win of the season.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 31st Aug
Leeds0 - 1QPR
Barnsley2 - 1Huddersfld
Birmingham1 - 1Ipswich
Blackburn4 - 1Bolton
Blackpool1 - 0Watford
Brighton1 - 1Millwall
Charlton2 - 1Leicester
Derby0 - 3Burnley
Doncaster0 - 1Bournemth
Middlesbro'1 - 1Sheff Wed
Wigan2 - 1N Forest
Yeovil0 - 1Reading
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||42||73|
|6||Brighton and Hove Albion||43||65|