Jordan James rescues draw for Birmingham against Swansea
Substitute Jordan James rescued a 2-2 draw for Tony Mowbray’s Birmingham as the battle of the new managers ended all square with Luke Williams’ Swansea at St Andrew’s.
Harry Darling put the visitors ahead before Siriki Dembele quickly equalised only for Jamal Lowe to restore the Swans’ lead after the break before Wales international James drove home in the 95th minute.
Darling also hit the bar but Blues wasted several chances as the hosts ushered in the Mowbray era after Wayne Rooney’s departure.
Swansea, in former Notts County manager Williams’ second match in charge, are unbeaten in four, while Blues are now without a win in seven including the FA Cup.
Birmingham, showing five changes from the 3-0 defeat at Leeds, pressed from the kick-off and the lively Dembele created two half-chances.
Koji Miyoshi’s low attempt sailed narrowly wide from 16 yards, then the latter’s cross hit Matt Grimes to give Scott Hogan the chance to launch a spectacular overhead kick that flew straight at Carl Rushworth.
Blues went even closer to taking the lead in the 25th minute after Bashir Humphreys was dispossessed by Jay Stansfield.
From the on-loan Fulham forward’s cross, Dembele’s shot was blocked by Rushworth then Krystian Bielik’s follow-up was diverted away by a defender.
Swansea punished Blues to take a 36th-minute lead with their first serious effort on goal.
Defender Darling stole in unmarked to power home a bullet header from Josh Tymon’s corner.
But their advantage was short-lived as Dembele equalised with a fine solo goal on 38 minutes.
The left winger sprinted away from his marker before curling a low right-footed shot beyond Rushworth and into the far bottom corner of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Birmingham ended the first half as they started it – on the attack. Stansfield’s fierce follow-up was deflected behind after Hogan got in front of Rushworth forcing him to drop Miyoshi’s curling attempt.
The hosts should have gone ahead within a minute of the restart.
The inspired Dembele darted clean through for a one-on-one with Rushworth who denied him, after Hogan flicked on Dion Sanderson’s pass.
Swansea almost scored again with two quick chances before regaining the lead.
Darling’s looping header from a deep free-kick crashed off the bar then goalkeeper John Ruddy blocked Lowe’s angled shot.
Lowe was not to be denied again though after getting ahead of Sanderson to poke home Tymon’s left-wing cross in the 59th minute for his sixth goal of the season.
Birmingham looked dead and buried after tailing off in the last half-hour but, out of nowhere, James produced a moment of magic when he drilled home from 25 yards after a short pass from fellow substitute Juninho Bacuna.
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