Murphy strike denies Birmingham

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:18

Murphy strike denies Birmingham

Up until the midfielder’s 86th-minute strike, it was blue and not purple that had looked like being the colour at Elland Road with United threatening to fall further into the relegation mire.
The Whites were seven without a win prior to this and outspoken owner Massimo Cellino went against his fear of the colour purple in order to negate his other superstition, the No 17 that marked this game on the calendar.
But the Italian’s purple scarf was not enough to stop in-form City going ahead through a Paul Caddis penalty, and that was the way it looked like staying until Murphy’s intervention.
Cellino will find out next week if his appeal against a Football League ban has been successful, but whether or not he remains at the helm, Leeds, in spite of this, have a job on to stay in the Sky Bet Championship.
Head coach Neil Redfearn on Thursday saw his captain Stephen Warnock given to Derby and other departures are expected with no new faces likely until Cellino’s future is resolved.
For Birmingham, their current form could carry them all the way to a play-off spot, having lost just two of 12 since Gary Rowett took over.
The sides have been moving in different directions, something best summed up between the sixth and seventh minute. Striker Steve Morison blazed over from six yards then Birmingham broke and Liam Cooper brought down Clayton Donaldson in the box. Caddis stepped up and did the rest.
Birmingham’s pace in attack was causing Leeds all sorts of problems and chances continued to fall to David Cotterill and Stephen Gleeson, who was denied by a fantastic Marco Silvestri save.
Leeds had opportunities of their own, Scott Wootton heading wide and Pepe Bellusci being denied by Darren Randolph but it was Birmingham who carried the most devilment.
Silvestri was called into action again to deny Demarai Gray before the break, but Leeds were better for the rest and hit the post six minutes after it, Morison unlucky to see a flick header come back out.
Donaldson did the same at the other end as Birmingham threatened on the counter, while Cotterill worked Silvestri with a long-range free kick.
Leeds appealed for a late penalty as Sam Byram went down in and around Paul Robinson but no decision came, but when Murphy slammed home a loose ball from 10 yards, Leeds scented a winner.
They claimed another penalty when the ball appeared to hit a Birmingham hand amid a skirmish, but no decision came and the points were shared.

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