Birmingham v Wolves

Although I had a map of the route to the football ground, fitting it all onto a sheet of A4 meant that not all the roads were labelled which wasn’t too helpful in the multi-level arrangement around Birmingham New Street.

So first plan was to find somewhere for breakfast that had wi-fi – namely, a JD Wetherspoons. Everywhere has one so it shouldn’t take long and, by random luck, I stumbled upon one The Dragon Inn.

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Unfortunately, although the full English breakfast was fine, the wi-fi wasn’t so I couldn’t work out where I was. The bar staff were pretty clueless as to exactly where the pub was on my map too so I fell back on to tried-and-tested techniques – navigating by the sun  (which made a change from last time I came to a football match here, back in 2004, where I had to navigate by the helicopter hovering over St. Andrews).

Soon I was on a main road with the comforting sign of Birmingham fans strolling off towards the ground a mile away, passing some quality Forty Eight Crew graffiti.

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Getting to the ground was uneventful and soon I was sitting waiting for the kick-off. The ground wasn’t full, only 26,000 seats filled out of 30,000, as opposed to the sold-out Premiership match I’d been to 7 years ago. That had been a Sunday lunchtime match too. Wonder why the drop? Looking back, last year’s equivalent match was 24,000 so maybe the economy has affected turnout?

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I did try to take some photos of the match but sometimes you just want to watch the play and not worry about trying to capture the action. The zoom isn’t too great and there’s a slight delay taking the shot but the camera is OK.

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Celebrating the Wolves goal was nice; sadly Birmingham levelling removed this delight. I just stood there, mouth open in disbelief, as Mancienne’s header set up Larsson to score past Hennessey. Such a stupid error.

Birmingham weren’t short on stupidity either as Gardner was sent off for his 2nd yellow card – the first for reacting to a tackle by O’Hara and the second for diving after a tackle by Craddock. We really thought that Wolves would be able to get a win from the match but somehow Birmingham shut up shop for the next hour and the game eventually ended level.

On the way back to my hotel to collect my bags, I spotted a few interesting / curious / whatever buildings. First up is a pub so unlike its name as it’s possible to be.

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Next is the Bonser Warehouse (1860) on Digbeth High Street; I love the roofs on this sort of building as they always remind me of old comedy/horror comics with pictures of bats flying out.

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Did Wayne Hennessey pop in here for a drink after the match?

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And finally here’s a juxtaposition of ancient and modern at the Bullring – St. Martins in front of the Selfridges store.

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