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Championship

Clark hails Butland heroics

20 January 2013

Birmingham manager Lee Clark praised teenage goalkeeper Jack Butland for the stunning save which prevented Brighton snatching a last-ditch win at St Andrew's.

Butland, who made his England debut at the end of last season and later played for Great Britain at the Olympics, denied Dean Hammond with a spectacular stop down to his right deep in stoppage time to preserve the 2-2 scoreline in the npower Championship class.

The 19-year-old is attracting attention from a host of clubs, and Clark said: "I hope that save puts another ?2million on his value!"

A blunder by Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak moments earlier had allowed Birmingham to draw level. Brighton appeared to be heading for their fourth win in January until Kuszczak fumbled a weak close-range header from Nikola Zigic.

Clark had every sympathy for Kuszczak, saying: "It was great for us but unfortunate for the goalkeeper. He played particularly well and then he made that mistake. Outfield players make many mistakes and don't get punished. But a keeper makes one and it usually ends up in the goal."

Brighton manager Gus Poyet had been hoping the Seagulls would gain revenge for a 1-0 defeat earlier in the season but afterwards he was "frustrated" with the result.

Poyet said: "The best thing that occurred early on was to concede a goal. We were sloppy and not playing at the tempo I like.

"After that goal we were a good team to watch and we created problems until the 92nd minute when Birmingham equalised.

"The last four minutes contained the mistake by my goalkeeper and a brilliant save from Butland.

"We scored two very good goals and the bonus for us was Ashley Barnes. He works well everywhere."


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