Blues claimed a deserved point against top of the table Middlesbrough at St. Andrew’s on Wednesday evening.
Gary Rowett’s had taken the lead courtesy of a Paul Caddis penalty conversion just before half-time. But despite being reduced to ten men in the same incident, Boro claimed a share of the spoils with a late Patrick Bamford equaliser.
Rowett made just a solitary change to his starting line-up as he brought in teenage winger Demarai Gray for Lloyd Dyer.
With less than three minutes played Boro broke swiftly via Adam Forshaw. After running some 30 yards with the ball, he laid it off to Emilio Nsue on the right of the box. Nsue tried his luck with a first time shot but Darren Randolph got a finger to it and deflected it behind for a corner.
It took until the tenth minute for Blues to have their first effort on target when Clayton Donaldson chested the ball down for Andy Shinnie and the Scot struck a firm effort from 20 yards out that Dimitrios Konstantopoulos did well to push away low down at full stretch.
Having withstood plenty of early Boro pressure, Blues were gradually beginning to get more of a foothold in the game.
They won a corner and from the resultant cross into the box Jonathan Grounds got to it first, but his close range shot was deflected wide for a second corner.
With just over half an hour on the clock Gray went on a mazy run down the right and tested Boro’s keeper with a low effort which he tipped behind.
Cotterill swung the ball into a packed penalty area and first Shinnie saw his shot stifled and then Jonathan Grounds had his effort deflected behind.
Blues were given a massive boost three minutes before half-time time when Boro were reduced to ten men after their goalkeeper was sent off for bringing Donaldson down with the striker through on goal.
After a lengthy delay for treatment Konstantopoulos finally left the field to be replaced by Tomas Meijas.
The new keeper’s first action was to pick the ball out of the back of the net when Caddis sent him the wrong way from the spot.
Half-time: Blues 1 Boro 0
Despite being a man down Boro emerged after the break with plenty of attacking intent, but Blues were looking threatening themselves particularly on the counter-attack.
With 56 on the clock Boro defender Ryan Fredericks was given a deserved yellow card after blatantly taking out Gray with a body check as the Blues youngster burst along the touchline.
Then with an hour played David Davis was forced to limp off with a knee problem and he was replaced by Callum Reilly.
A minute later Grounds saw his header tipped over the bar following a corner.
With 74 minutes gone Boro were right back in the contest thanks to an equalising goal from Bamford.
Bamford played a one-two with teammate Grant Leadbitter before slotting his shot past the advancing Randolph from eight yards out.
Buoyed by their equaliser the visitors continued to press, but it was Blues who had the next chance as Grounds shot just wide against his former side from close to 30 yards.
Blues had an ideal opportunity to win the match deep into stoppage time when Caddis sent a peach of a deep cross in but Donaldson and substitute Wes Thomas both went for the same ball and it resulted in Donaldson heading it just inches over the bar.