Joe Lolley, a product of Birmingham’s academy, returned to St. Andrew’s to earn Huddersfield a rare Championship away point with an opportunist first half equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Making only his third start since being signed from Kidderminster for £300,000 13 months ago the 22-year-old turned in a bright performance to justify manager Chris Powell’s vote of confidence to give him an outing against his former club.
Birmingham, who salvaged a draw with two injury time goals at Derby last week, again battled hard but often found Huddersfield to be resolute opposition.
They struggled to build upon David Cotterill’s 10th minute goal and enabled Huddersfield to hit back with Lolley’s 27th minute equaliser.
It was certainly a big improvement from a Huddersfield side which had lost their previous three games.
The Terriers made a positive start in an attempt to redeem themselves and there were some encouraging individual performances.
They were in no small way assisted by some indifferent passing by Birmingham which left their defence exposed.
James Vaughan should have capitalised upon the situation when he was put clear by Jacob Butterfield but a combination of poor shooting and seemingly lack of confidence he wasted the opportunity to put the Terriers into the lead.
It quickly proved to be an expensive lapse as Birmingham quickly took full advantage although there had not appeared to be any significant danger.
There was a measure of misunderstanding when the talented Demarai Gray pulled the ball back for the advancing Cotterill who totally failed to see the opening.
To his credit Cotterill was in the right place at the right time to collect a low pass from Paul Caddis before side-stepping Jack Robinson and scoring with a low shot well to the right of Alex Smithies.
Huddersfield’s prospects were seemingly not enhanced when they replaced their leading scorer, Harry Bunn, with Sean Scannell, who could have equalised within a minute of putting in an appearance.
Instead, he rushed his shot near the far post following a good cross from the ever-dangerous Lolley.
Lolley demonstrated his considerable threat when he took advantage of a hesitant Birmingham defence to notch a 27th minute equaliser as he scored from close range following a Robinson corner on the left.
Undoubtedly the introduction of Scannell had a marked effect on Huddersfield’s performance as the winger’s direct play down the left flank was always a potential danger.
Only a brilliant flying save by Darren Randolph prevented Joel Lynch converting Butterfield’s corner a minute before the break as Huddersfield regained their confidence to pressurise Birmingham in the early part of the second half.
An equally fine save by Smithies from a 65th minute Caddis free kick kept Huddersfield in the game, while substitute Wes Thomas wasted as glorious opportunity to regain the lead for Birmingham.
It was, however, Huddersfield who were the more positive in their search for an elusive winner and Birmingham’s shaky defence somehow survived to share the spoils.