Sheffield Wednesday hit by late Scott Hogan equaliser but can take heart from their fight

Still Sheffield Wednesday have won more FA Cup ties (two) than Championship matches since Christmas, but even though Birmingham City snatched a 3-3 draw with Scott Hogan's stoppage-time equaliser, the 2,614 away fans must have left St Andrew's encouraged.

The side lacks a lot of things at the moment – confidence and a clear direction chief amongst them – but not heart.

The way the Owls started the game, it looked like their miserable slide down the table was only going to continue, but they showed a battling spirit to come away with a point which, on balance, was probably a fair one.

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They set up in a formation to keep things tight, and were behind within six minutes. Worse still, it was their own player, Jacob Murphy, who put Birmingham in front.

Barry Bannan scored Sheffield Wednesday's first goal

He made amends, but not as fully as he ought to.

Joey Pelupessy was playing right-back as Garry Monk reverted to the back five he tried and abandoned at Luton Town a couple of months earlier. The team selection by the Owls manager, who shook the hand of his opposite number and former assistant Pep Clotet having refused to do so when the sides met at Hillsborough, gave the impression of someone flailing around for answers from his horribly out-of-sorts squad.

Fernando Forestieri, a left wing-back at Kenilworth Road, was the lone centre-forward and at times dropped deep to leave the attack without a focus until changes were made at the interval.

All the best laid plains went out of the window as Birmingham started with a great deal of confidence, Wednesday none, reflecting both teams' form.

The Blues won three corners in the first six minutes and Murphy turned it into his own net off his thigh.

Wednesday were scrappy in the extreme and it looked like a question of how many they would lose by until claiming an equaliser from nowhere in the 20th minute.

Kieran Lee played a nice chipped pass out to Murphy and although his cross was cut out to desperate penalty claims, the ball came out for Bannan to run onto and drill a precise shot into the corner.

The former Aston Villa man became a growing influence on the game, meaning that although the first half continued to go Birmingham's way, the Owls could deliver some incisive passes when they had the ball around the home penalty area.

But the Blues burst their balloon on the half-hour, Lukas Jutkiewicz playing a good one-two with strike partner Hogan and 16-year-old Jude Bellingham showing nous beyond his years to shield the ball so that the former Middlesbrough striker could put his side back in front.

Wednesday just refused to take the hint and when, four minutes later, Maxime Colin fouled Lee, Bannan handed Forestieri the ball to send Lee Camp the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Twice at the end of the half Birmingham should have gone back in front for a third time but Ivan Sunjic, teed up by Bellingham, steered a shot wide and Kristian Pedersen headed a right-wing cross off target.

Wednesday's bench was much more attacking than their XI, with Steven Fletcher fit again, as was Morgan Fox, the only replacement defender. Atdhe Huhiu and January signings Connor Wickham, Alessio Da Cruz and Josh Windass provided alternative firepower.

It was Fox and Wickham Monk turned to at the interval, changing the formation to 4-4-2.

It did not change the balance of power, Birmingham making nothing of dangerous crosses from Hogan and Pederson, Bellingham having a shot blocked, then cynically brought down by Bannan. It was a calculated tackle from behind, with the midfielder deciding the inevitable caution was the least worst option.

Within a couple of minutes, the Owls were in front for the first time in the game.

Kieran Lee did well to take Julian Borner's clearance out of orbit, and he and Forestieri shuffled the ball across for Murphy to smash in after 66 minutes.

Although Cameron Dawson saved a Bellingham header, it was Lee Camp who was forced to be the outstanding goalkeeper of the closing stages as Birmingham ran out of ideas, increasingly dependent on Pedersen long throws, most of which the goalkeeper dealt with.

Murphy ought not to have given Camp the chance.

Fletcher had only been on the field a couple of minutes when his hack from behind earned him a booking and Birmingham a free-kick. When it broke down, Harris sprang the counter-attack and played Murphy in one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Camp came out on top.

His save from Wickham minutes later, tipping a volley over the bar, was terrific.

It proved crucial in the end when, in the first of four added minutes, Birmingham launched a long ball and Hogan stabbed an excellent equaliser to deny the Owls victory.

Birmingham City: Camp; Colin; Roberts, Clarke-Salter (Dean 77), Pedersen; Bela (Montero 82), Gardner, Sunjic (Crowley 69), Bellingham; Hogan, Jutkiewicz.

Unused substitutes: Harding, Kieftenbeld, Trueman, Boyd-Munce.

Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson; Pelupessy (Wickham 46), Iorfa (Fox 46), Lees, Borner, Palmer; Murphy, Lee, Bannan, Harris; Forestieri (Fletcher 72).

Unused substitutes: Nuhiu, Wildsmith, Da Cruz, Windass.

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire).