Blues fell to their first defeat of the season as they lost 3-2 to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Despite a much-improved second-half from Lee Clark’s men, the hosts’ two first-half goals from Reda Johnson and Rodri were added to at the death by Jermaine Johnson and that proved too much of a deficit to overcome.
Substitute Nikola Zigic scored a consolation for Blues and Marlon King scored a penalty deep into stoppage time, but the visitors could not draw level.
Blues made three changes to the team that drew with Charlton at the weekend as Nathan Redmond, Wade Elliott and Jonathan Spector were recalled to the side at the expense of Ravel Morrison,
Will Packwood and Peter Lovenkrands. Meanwhile, captain Stephen Carr still was not fit enough to take part.
The Owls gave a debut to their new signing Rodri, signed on loan from Barcelona, but were missing Anthony Gardner who was ruled out with a hamstring problem.
Wednesday had the first opening of the game as Jermaine Johnson released his namesake Reda down the left-hand side, he picked out new boy Rodri, but he side-footed wide from six yards out.
Blues had their first chance in the tenth minute after Redmond’s right-wing free-kick fell to Stephen Caldwell in the box. The Scot took a touch before firing, but former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland parried the effort behind.
However, the Owls took the lead just four minutes later. Jack Butland spilled Michail Antonio’s cross and Reda Johnson nodded home a simple chance
Butland had a chance soon after to compose himself again soon after as Rhys McCabe’s corner found Miguel Llera, but the Spaniard’s hooked effort was a simple take for the England goalkeeper.
Blues’ first chance to respond came in the 22nd minute as a loose ball fell to Redmond. The youngster cut inside onto his right-foot and curled an effort just over from 25 yards out.
But a couple of minutes later, Reda Johnson almost doubled his personal tally for the night as he met another McCabe corner. However, on this occasion, his glanced header went wide of the far post.
Wednesday were looking dangerous down the flanks and the two wingers combined in the 28th minute. Good play from Jermaine Johnson down the left –wing set-up Antonio who had joined him on the flank. The former Reading man cut inside onto his favoured right-foot but drilled a good effort wide.
Blues were being restricted to long-range efforts and Darren Ambrose fired marginally over from 30 yards on the half-hour mark.
The visitors nearly caught the Wednesday defence out as Butland’s long ball found Elliott’s feet. The former Burnley man swiveled and shot left-footed in one fluid movement, but Kirkland made the save.
Just a couple of minutes later though, the Owls doubled their advantage. Reda Johnson broke down the left-flank and slipped in Rodri who drilled a left-footed shot past Butland.
Darren Ambrose had two chances as Blues grew into the game with half time looming. One strike was saved by Kirkland and the other from the former Palace man went just over after a sustained spell of possession.
Clark made a half-time substitution as he replaced Elliott with Zigic and Blues started the half on the front foot.
The second period was just two minutes old when Redmond cut inside to fire a shot from 25 yards. The effort was blocked with the rebound falling to King whose effort was tipped over by Kirkland.
From the resultant Ambrose corner, Hayden Mullins headed over from 12 yards out after rising highest in the box.
Soon after, King rolled Reda Johnson and was brought down for a free kick, which David Murphy curled just over from 30 yards out.
Blues were presented with their best chance so far of the game ten minutes into the second half. The ball fell loose just inside the visitors half and Ambrose swept a fantastic through ball to Chris Burke whose right-footed effort across goal just evaded the far post.
It was a much better display after the break and two minutes after the hour-mark Kirkland rescued Wednesday again. A free-kick was cleared by the Owls’ defence, but the ball fell to Mullins who slipped it through to King down the right hand side of box, but his effort was palmed behind by Kirkland
As Blues pressed, Wednesday had a chance to counter in the 65th minute with Jermaine Johnson as the Jamaican’s mazy run ended with a shot that was blocked well by Caldwell. Ten minutes later he fired another effort from range wide as Wednesday looked to strangle all life out of the game.
However, Blues were not prepared to allow that to happen and they struck back in the 78th minute. Burke switched the play to Redmond and the youngster’s cross was stepped over by King and Zigic stole in at the back post to tap home.
Blues pressed for an equalizer and were eventually caught on the counter-attack in the last minute. Substitute Nejc Pecnik slipped through the lively Jermaine Johnson who stroked the ball past Butland to restore the two-goal advantage.
A determined run from Chris Burke was abruptly halted in the fifth minute of stoppage time by Jose Semedo and with the last kick of the game, King stroked the penalty home.
Sheff Wed: Chris Kirkland, Lewis Buxton, Mark Beevers, Miguel Llera, Reda Johnson, Jermaine Johnson, Rhys McCabe, Jose Semedo, Michail Antonio (Chris Maguire, 90), Rodri (Gary Madine, 61), Chris O'Grady (Nejc Pecnik, 82)
Subs (Not Used): Stephen Bywater, Joe Mattock, David Prutton, Giles Coke,
Bookings: Rodri (37)
Goals: R. Johnson (14), Rodri (40), J Johnson (90)
Blues: Jack Butland; Jonathan Spector, Curtis Davies, Stephen Caldwell, David Murphy; Chris Burke, Hayden Mullins, Darren Ambrose, Nathan Redmond; Wade Elliott (Nikola Zigic H/T); Marlon King.
Subs (Not Used): Colin Doyle, Pablo Ibanez, Will Packwood, Morgaro Gomis, Ravel Morrison, Peter Lovenkrands.
Bookings: Mullins (23) Zigic (71)
Goals: Zigic (78), King (90+5)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham