Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City: Lee Bowyer happy with a point but left puzzled by red card decision

Blues picked up a valuable point on the road but it was overshadowed by Ryan Woods’ late dismissal

Ten-man Birmingham City stopped their two game losing run with a hard fought point against high-flying Coventry City on Tuesday night.

For the second consecutive game the Blues found themselves with a man disadvantage as Ryan Woods was sent off in the final 10 minutes for what referee Leigh Doughty deemed as ‘serious foul play.’

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And although Lee Bowyer’s side did spend a lot of the match under the cosh, they did vastly improve in the second-half and looked just as likely to nick a winner as the Sky Blues in the later stages.

However, Woods’ controversial dismissal made that a near impossible task and left the manager frustrated at full-time.

Ryan Woods of Birmingham City and team mates protest towards Match Referee, Leigh Doughty during the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Birmingham City

“I think I see it every week, in every game,” Bowyer said.

“There are tackles like that that get made in our division, in the Premier League. If someone is breaking, they get a foul and brought down. The old saying is ‘you take one for the team’ and that’s what Ryan Woods has done.

“It’s happened to our players a lot of times this season too. When Chongy was fit, Chongy was making those breaks and getting brought down like that but they never got red carded for it.

“There’s no point talking about the officials because we know what’s been happening to us of late. It was his decision the ref and I’d like to think when he sees it back his mind would change.

“I wouldn’t say it’s out of control because he knows what he’s doing. They are breaking with pace and he has to make the foul. He has to.

“Is it nice to see? No. But it’s happened to my team and my players every week. I guarantee you can watch every game tonight and it’s happened then but they didn’t get a red card.”

The Blues manager did confirm in his post-match press conference that the club would be appealing the red card decision and with the squad already threadbare, it has become even more important to see it overturned.

And though it did become the biggest talking point of the game, Bowyer was pleased with how his side managed the final stages with ten men and second-half in particular, was happy with what he saw from his makeshift eleven.

“I thought first half we were really sloppy and nervous in possession and kept giving the ball away too easily and at half-time we tried to give them a bit of belief and trust each other and settle down on the ball and take more care and I think we did that in the second half.

“I thought we grew into the game and the longer it went on I felt we were probably the more likely one to score. A couple of things falling in around Scotty Hogan but he couldn’t sort his feet out to get the finish off.

“It’s really tough. The side we played first game of the season against Sheffield United, our starting eleven and our subs to tonight.

“We’ve had to bring off young Marcel [Oakley], 18, he did great and was playing through pain for five minutes and he was trying to run it off but just couldn’t and we’re bringing on young JJ [Jordan James] who’s 17 for the last 10 minutes when we’re down to 10 men.

“It’s some big responsibilities. It’s a lot of trust from me to him but he did really well at the weekend when I brought him on at half-time so yeah, we’re light but the players I can’t fault them, they give 100% every time they step onto the pitch.

“I’m pleased for our fans, they didn’t stop singing and helped us get over the line there as well.

“Tough point but I think that’s what we deserved.”

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