Taylor gaffe costs Blues
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: 29/10/05 4:55pm
A goalkeeping howler from Maik Taylor condemned Birmingham City to a 1-0 home defeat to Everton.
Taylor failed to stop Simon Davies' 43rd minute shot after a tense encounter at St Andrews, which ended with The Toffees moving off the bottom of the table.
For Birmingham, they slip to second from the bottom after a fourth consecutive defeat, which has also seen them fail to score in any of those games.
Given their respective plights this season, it was understandable that the first half was a catalogue of stray passes, wayward shooting and poor control.
There was no lack of effort, though, but the importance of picking up three points hampered the quality of football on show.
To both managers' credit, Birmingham and Everton were committed to going forward with Mikel Arteta's cross being flicked wide by Duncan Ferguson.
Tim Cahill shot wide from distance, while at the opposite end, Jermaine Pennant curled a free kick straight at Nigel Martyn.
Only a failed medical denied Mikael Forssell a move to Everton in the summer and the Birmingham striker looked to show what David Moyes missed out on, but the Finn could only slice a shot wide.
Maik Taylor had to make the best save of the first half when Cahill glanced Tony Hibbert's cross towards goal but the Blues keeper produced a sprawling stop.
James Beattie headed over before Birmingham were forced into a change when Nicky Butt went off to be replaced by Neil Kilkenny.
The Birmingham youngster looked to make an immediate impact by shooting wide before Taylor's gaffe gifted Everton a half time lead.
Andy van der Meyde, making his first start for the club, teed up Davies 30 yards from goal, and though the Welshman's shot packed power and precision, Taylor should have turned it away, but he only got hesitant fingers to the ball on its route into the net.
Birmingham came out for the second half with renewed purpose but their shooting lacked any real conviction.
Martyn dived energetically to turn away an awkwardly-struck volley from Emile Heskey, while Pennant's driving run was not matched by the end product which saw him shoot tamely at the keeper.
The hosts vainly appealed for a penalty after Damien Johnson tumbled to the turf after losing a physical duel with Davies before the impressive Kilkenny shot at Martyn.
Everton's forays forward were becoming increasingly limited but a weak punch from Taylor saw Cahill's acrobatic overhead kick land on the roof of the goal.
Kilkenny was easily Blues' brightest spark and he was unlucky not to net his first goal for the club when his low, curled free kick rebounded off the inside of the post, possibly after brushing Martyn's glove.
Birmingham loaded up in attack by bringing on Walter Pandiani but were indebted to a superb saving tackle from Johnson to prevent Everton substitute Kevin Kilbane shooting at Taylor.
Pandiani had a golden chance to level matters in the last 10 minutes after Heskey used his aerial presence to head the ball on but his strike partner rashly volleyed high into the stand.
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|Birmingham City||Team Name||Everton|
|6||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||4|
|9||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||5|
|12||Total Fouls Conceded||15|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||8||13|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||8||9|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||8||4|