July 2, 2022

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Huddersfield 1-1 Birmingham: Fraizer Campbell opener cancelled out by Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts’ scrambled equaliser preserved a Birmingham unbeaten record at Huddersfield that stretches a quarter of a century.

Not since 1996 have the midlands club lost in this particular fixture, although they had to come from behind here after Fraizer Campbell’s drive from the edge of the box threatened to provide the hosts with just a second league victory of 2021.

Despite their lowly position, no team in the Championship has lost fewer games on the road than Aitor Karanka’s Birmingham and they opened up a six-point buffer over the bottom three courtesy of a no-frills display.

Marc Roberts reacted fastest to scramble home an equalizer for Birmingham at the goal mouth

Marc Roberts reacted fastest to scramble home an equalizer for Birmingham at the goal mouth

Marc Roberts reacted fastest to scramble home an equalizer for Birmingham at the goal mouth

Roberts found the back of the net less than 10 minutes after the hosts had taken the lead

Roberts found the back of the net less than 10 minutes after the hosts had taken the lead

Roberts found the back of the net less than 10 minutes after the hosts had taken the lead

It was a result that arguably suits them more than a Huddersfield team that has forgotten how to win under their own Spanish boss Carlos Corberan. They have done so just once in 12 matches.

There was blood and sweat in his team’s efforts, however, particularly from Richard Stearman on his return to the Huddersfield starting XI – the one change from the weekend defeat to Preston.

The blood from an early aerial clash with Harlee Dean, which required a subsequent change of shirt, and the sweat from chasing down everything Birmingham threw at the home defence during the first half – most notably on the half hour, shortly after following Dean into referee Mathew Donohue’s notebook, when he threw himself in front of an Ivan Sanchez effort.

Former Manchester United man Fraizer Campbell saw his driven effort but the hosts ahead

Former Manchester United man Fraizer Campbell saw his driven effort but the hosts ahead

Former Manchester United man Fraizer Campbell saw his driven effort but the hosts ahead

His commitment as a centre-back would have impressed the onlooking Darren Moore, watching Huddersfield in his capacity as the new Sheffield Wednesday manager.

A Yorkshire derby in a fortnight is one of the other significant fixtures in the division’s relegation stakes.

Until Campbell’s opening goal, however, there was little threat from the home team at the other end of the field.

Pipa showed good footwork to curl in a shot from the left and provide Neil Etheridge with a first save of the evening eight minutes before the break.

But it lacked the kind of venom that Campbell applied in the 63rd minute: Naby Sarr clipped the ball into the box and when Dean only half-cleared, it was thrashed in from the edge of the area by the former England striker.

Parity was restored within four minutes, though, as a wickedly-whipped corner from Ivan Sanchez pin-balled off multiple knees inside the six-yard box and Roberts, a former Halifax and Barnsley defender, lunged to stab over the line.