Blues kicked off 2016 in a winning fashion as they battled their way to a narrow victory against Brentford at St. Andrew’s.
The game looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw, before Maikel Kieftenbeld fired home an 89th minute winner.
Jacques Maghoma had earlier given the hosts a 55th minute lead, but Brentford levelled on 77minutes after a goalkeeping error from Tomasz Kuszczak.
Gary Rowett had elected to go with the same starting 11 that did so well to beat MK Dons last time out.
On a drizzly winter’s afternoon at St. Andrew’s, it was the visitors that set out their attacking intentions early on. Although when they did make it into Blues’ opening third of the pitch their final ball was often lacking.
It took eight minutes before Blues fashioned their first real attacking move when Jon Toral broke from the half-way line.
The on-loan Arsenal man burst forwards towards the Bees’ area, but with Maghoma free in space to his left he failed to pick out his team-mate and eventually the ball was cleared away from the danger zone.
Kieftenbeld was fortunate to escape a booking after fouling John Swift just outside his own penalty area. Alan Judge stepped up to take the resultant free-kick but curled his effort wide of Kuszczak’s post.
As the half went on Brentford continued to pile on the pressure, with Blues being forced to defend in numbers in front of their own box.
After 41 minutes Blues had their first attempt on goal when Paul Caddis’ cross was met by Toral, but he just failed to get his header on target and it drifted wide of the upright.
As the game entered stoppage time at the end of the half Toral was guilty of a robust challenge on Jake Bidwell for which he received a caution. Brentford’s James Tarkowski was also booked for his reaction to the same incident.
Half-time: Blues 0 Brentford 0
Blues were forced into a change after the break with James Vaughan joining the action in place of Clayton Donaldson. Donaldson was unable to return after the interval, having suffered from what appeared to be a back injury late in the first-half.
Blues made a really positive start and within the space of the opening few minutes, Viv Solomon-Otabor tested Brentford keeper David Button with a stinging shot.
At the other end of the pitch Brentford’s Ryan Woods let fly from 30 yards but his attempt flew well wide. Lasse Vibe then tried his luck from closer in, but it ended in the same result.
St. Andrew’s erupted in joyous celebration after 55 minutes when Blues took the lead courtesy of a finely taken Maghoma goal
Toral was the creator as he threaded a neat pass in behind the Bees defence and into Maghoma's path, who showed great composure to drill a low shot past Button.
Blues taking the lead seemed to really up the intensity of the contest, with Rowett’s men pressing for a second and Brentford looking for an equaliser.
Brentford had a glorious opportunity to level after 73 minutes when Judge was clean through on Kuszczak’s goal but somehow he managed to blast the ball over the bar when it would have been easier to score.
The hosts then fashioned two chances in quick succession as Vaughan volleyed just wide and then Maikel Kieftenbeld blasted a shot over the bar from distance
But it took an unfortunate and rare goalkeeping mistake from the normally reliable Kuszczak on 77 minutes to gift Brentford an equaliser.
Judge tried his luck with a shot from distance, but Kuszczak was unable to hold onto it and managed to drop it in front of Hoffman, who had the simple task of firing the ball home from close range.
Blues were naturally deflated to concede in such circumstances.
But with just a minute of normal time remaining the roof was almost raised off St. Andrew’s when Kieftenbeld found the back of the net.
Vaughan put in a sparkling run down the left before sending a pass across the Bees' box where the Dutch midfielder was there to meet it and power the ball home.
Blues now take a break from league action as they play host to Premier League Bournemouth next week in the third round of this season’s FA Cup.