A sensational defensive display from Blues inflicted a first defeat on Brighton & Hove Albion at their American Express Community Stadium home this season.
Chris Burke’s 27th minute screamer coupled with dogged defending right throughout the Birmingham side, secured all three points for Blues; made all the more impressive by the position Brighton occupy at the top of the npower Championship.
Birmingham, who now sit three points off the play-offs in 13th, quickly adapted to their task at The AMEX – allowing Brighton to see much of the ball without threatening to break a rock solid Blues rearguard.
The Seagulls became increasingly frustrated by failing to find a way through – and could only muster a long range attempt via Stephen Dobbie’s left peg in the first-half.
Burke then shocked Gus Poyet’s team by firing home from just outside the box.
Will Packwood’s diagonal pass was headed down by Gordon Greer, who was under pressure from the tireless Leroy Lita, with Burke proceeding to smash the ball past a helpless Tomasz Kuszczak.
Lee Clark’s men performed excellently on the break up until half-time and could have doubled their advantage.
After a sustained amount of Brighton pressure Blues advanced up the opposite end of the pitch, where Burke played Lita through on goal. But the on loan Swansea City striker scuffed his shot, which Kuszczak saved easily.
Both sets of players were made to wait an extra 15 minutes to come out for the second-half, due to a problem with the floodlights.
Blues spent most of the second period camped in their own half, but despite an inspired Wayne Bridge driving Brighton forward, Jack Butland was never truly tested.
Bridge’s dangerous cross flashed across the face of goal on 52 minutes and Butland stood firm to catch Dobbie’s effort, but the real scare arrived deep in to stoppage time when Curtis Davies’ last ditch clearance stopped the South Coast outfit from having a free shot inside the area.
Buoyed by a brave victory in Sussex, Blues can travel to Cardiff City on Tuesday night with a confidence boost.
Brighton (in numerical order): Tomasz Kuszczak, Gordon Greer (C), Dean Hammond, Adam El-Abd (David Lopez 61), Ashley Barnes, Stephen Dobbie, Inigo Calderon, Gary Dicker, Liam Bridcutt, Wayne Bridge, Will Buckley (Kazenga LuaLua 72).
Subs not used (in numerical order): Lewis Dunk, Casper Ankergren, Ryan Harley, Marcos Painter, Torbjorn Agdestein.
Blues: Jack Butland, Paul Robinson, Curtis Davies, Steven Caldwell (C), Will Packwood (Hayden Mullins 82), Peter Lovenkrands (Nathan Redmond 69), Keith Fahey, Jonathan Spector, Wade Elliott, Chris Burke. Leroy Lita (Marlon King 88).
Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Mitch Hancox, Darren Ambrose, Nikola Zigic.
Goals: Burke (27)
Bookings: Elliott (67)
Referee: Wes Linden
Attendance: 26, 121 (1,111 Blues fans)