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Bruce's Villa held in Birmingham derby

Britain Football Soccer - Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrews - 30/10/16 Aston Villa players look on as flare is thrown onto the pitch Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Craig Brough Livepic
Britain Football Soccer - Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrews - 30/10/16Aston Villa players look on as flare is thrown onto the pitchMandatory Credit: Action Images / Craig BroughLivepic

LONDON (Reuters) - Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce had to settle for a 1-1 draw on Sunday in the Championship (second tier) derby away to bitter local rivals Birmingham City, the club he managed for six years.

It kept Villa unbeaten in four games since Bruce replaced Roberto di Matteo, moving them up one place to 15th and putting the home side seventh, just outside the playoff places.

Villa went ahead in the 29th minute when Gary Gardner met Jordan Ayew's free kick with a powerful header, after which he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate with the away fans.

Ten minutes earlier Birmingham thought they had scored but the assistant referee decided that Clayton Donaldson's header, which bounced down off the underside of the crossbar, was not completely over the line.

They deservedly equalised in the 70th minute when David Davis drove in from the edge of the penalty area.

(Reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Toby Davis)

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