Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City: Terriers all but relegated despite draw with lowly Blues

Birmingham City's Koji Miyoshi (left) celebrates his first-half opener against Huddersfield Town
Birmingham City's Koji Miyoshi fine first-half strike was his sixth league goal in 28 starts this season [Getty Images]

Huddersfield Town were all but relegated from the Championship despite a battling draw against fellow strugglers Birmingham City, whose own status now depends on results going their way in the final round of fixtures.

Koji Miyoshi's perfectly directed first-time strike put Blues ahead in the final minute of an uneventful first half but Rhys Healey's powerful shot early in the second half ensured the survival of both teams is hanging by a thread.

Ultimately, only a victory would have been good enough to see the Terriers take their survival bid to the final day and they now need to beat Ipswich Town and overcome a huge goal difference of 15 goals with Plymouth Argyle - and also hope Birmingham fail to win their last match.

Blues remain in the final relegation spot in a five-way race to avoid the drop, but now must beat play-off bound Norwich City to stand a chance of avoiding the drop.

With Huddersfield all but down because of their inferior goal difference, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth and Birmingham are still in danger, and even a final-day victory may not be enough for Blues.

The draw at an incredibly nervy John Smith's Stadium was little use to either side, but perhaps a fitting result as the Terriers as good as dropped down to the third tier for the first time in 12 years.

Town have lost fewer games than Cardiff City, who are 12th, but the Terriers have drawn 18 games this season, more than anyone else in the division.

Birmingham edged the first half but had to wait until the 45th minute to go ahead, Miyoshi finishing into the far corner at the back post from Keshi Anderson's inviting left-wing cross.

Healey smashed home the leveller after a slick team move and a delightful cross from Jack Rudoni, and while both sides desperately tried to find a winner, clear chances remained rare.


Down Town

Huddersfield will wave farewell to the Championship following a season in which they changed manager three times.

Veteran boss Neil Warnock kept them up last season after a miraculous end-of-season run and signed a one-year deal in the summer, but he left the club in September and was replaced by former Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore.

Moore won only three of his 23 matches in charge and was sacked in February to be replaced by Andre Breitenreiter.

The German won his first game in charge at Watford but just one victory has followed in the subsequent 12.

Inevitable relegation back to the third tier ends a turbulent two years for the club, who reached the Championship play-off final under Carlos Corberan.

Since the Spaniard surprisingly left in the July following the Wembley defeat by Nottingham Forest, the Terriers have had five managers and changed owners, with American Kevin Nagle taking over last summer.

Town, who spent two seasons in the Premier League between 2017 and 2019, will join Yorkshire rivals Rotherham in League One.

Relegation Blues?

A painful return to English football's third tier for Birmingham City remains on the cards - for only the second time in their history.

A prospect that looked light years away back in September when, after an unexpectedly good start to the season under Eustace, global sporting superstar Tom Brady made his much-trumpeted entrance as new co-owner.

Results quickly turned and, although back-to-back wins lifted Blues back up to sixth in the Championship table in early October, the American owners had already made the decision to offload the uncharismatic Eustace and bring in Wayne Rooney as Blues boss.

It then all went disastrously wrong with Rooney managing just two wins in his 15 matches before the plug was pulled in early January.

Tony Mowbray had to step away because of health issues, prompting a recall for former boss Gary Rowett, and even more instability could follow if he fails to guide Blues to safety next week.

Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter told BBC Radio Leeds:

"It's a disappointing day but we weren't relegated because of today. The performance was absolutely ok.

"We started well. The second half we played much better and the crowd was behind us and the stadium was positive.

"The team played with willingness, heart and passion but we didn't show passion in every game so we didn't deserve to stay in the league. The mood is sad."

Birmingham head coach Gary Rowett told BBC WM:

"I get the frustration...but we are also down there and we have no right to win a game. "I thought there were some really bright moments in the first half. It was a really poor goal for us to concede and to concede that kind of goal at this stage of the season. You have to switch on as a player and make sure that doesn't happen. "I thought both teams put it all out there on the line and competed fabulously well."