A comfortable victory saw Birmingham leapfrog promotion rivals Middlesbrough to go fourth in the Championship.

Nikola Zigic opened the scoring on 11 minutes with a low header from Chris Burke's cross.

Joe Bennett fired home for the visitors shortly after the break only to be denied by a late offside flag.

Two goals in three minutes from Marlon King and Keith Fahey then killed off the contest to give Birmingham their first win in six games.

Former Rangers winger Burke, last week voted among the top 10 players in the Championship  in a poll of the league's managers, was involved in most of Birmingham's best work, also setting up King's strike to take his assist tally to 13 this season - the highest in the division.

The Scot's inch-perfect cross set up Zigic to open the scoring with a low header at the near post for his ninth of the season.

It came against the run of play after Boro, who arrived having won only once at St Andrew's in 33 years, started positively as Lukas Jutkiewicz forced a solid parried save from home keeper Boaz Myhill.

Burke nearly doubled the Blues' lead with a 30-yard strike that was well saved by Jason Steele before Boro's Adam Hammill and Jutkiewicz both wasted good chances to level.

After the break, Bennett thought he had equalised with a well-taken finish from Hammill's through-ball only to be frustrated by a late flag.

But Birmingham were coasting after Burke squared the ball to King, who finished from 12 yards on 57 minutes.

Just three minutes later, a swift counter-attack led from his own half by Fahey resulted in the Irishman completing his run with a cool finish under Steele.

Middlesbrough, who now slip to sixth in the table, were denied a late consolation by a contender for save of the season from Myhill, who somehow got down to deny Seb Hines.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Birmingham

  • 01 Myhill
  • 03 Murphy
  • 04 Caldwell Booked
  • 06 Ramage (Pablo - 53' )
  • 24 Davies
  • 07 Burke
  • 08 N'daw Booked
  • 11 Townsend (Elliott - 79' )
  • 18 Fahey
  • 09 King (Huseklepp - 75' )
  • 19 Zigic

Substitutes

  • 05 Pablo
  • 10 Huseklepp
  • 14 Gomis
  • 15 Elliott
  • 22 Redmond

Middlesbrough

  • 01 Steele
  • 04 Bates
  • 15 Hines
  • 29 McMahon Booked
  • 02 Hoyte (Main - 72' )
  • 03 Bennett Booked
  • 08 Thomson
  • 10 Bailey
  • 11 Hammill (Martin - 72' )
  • 18 Arca (Smallwood - 72' )
  • 30 Jutkiew'z

Substitutes

  • 22 Martin
  • 33 Smallwood
  • 09 Emnes
  • 16 Ogbeche
  • 25 Main
Ref: Scott
Att: 19,927

Match Stats

Shots

8 9

On target

7 4

Corners

7 5

Fouls

13 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:25 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +3:31

David Murphy delivers the ball.

90:00 +1:28

Boaz Myhill takes the indirect free kick.

90:00 +1:28 Booking

Booking Joe Bennett is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pablo Ibanez by Joe Bennett.

89:56

Nikola Zigic is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Jason Steele.

89:48

Chris Burke produces a cross.

89:23

Foul by Erik Huseklepp on Tony McMahon, free kick awarded. Tony McMahon takes the free kick.

88:58

Joe Bennett crosses the ball.

87:05

Wade Elliott takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Joe Bennett manages to make a clearance.

86:55

Wade Elliott takes a shot. Matthew Bates gets a block in.

86:09

Curtis Main concedes a free kick for a foul on David Murphy. Free kick taken by Wade Elliott.

84:22

The ball is delivered by Malaury Martin, Curtis Main takes a shot. Boaz Myhill makes a save.

83:52

Inswinging corner taken by Malaury Martin from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Wade Elliott.

83:18

Malaury Martin takes the inswinging corner, Nikola Zigic manages to make a clearance.

81:25

Lukas Jutkiewicz takes a shot. Blocked by Boaz Myhill.

79:58

The referee blows for offside against Lukas Jutkiewicz. Boaz Myhill takes the indirect free kick.

79:51

Centre by Malaury Martin.

78:50

Nikola Zigic challenges Seb Hines unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Jason Steele.

78:09 Substitution

Substitution Wade Elliott comes on in place of Andros Townsend.

77:58

The ball is delivered by Erik Huseklepp.

74:26 Substitution

Substitution Marlon King leaves the field to be replaced by Erik Huseklepp.

73:19

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Malaury Martin, David Murphy manages to make a clearance.

73:08

Centre by Joe Bennett, Steven Caldwell makes a clearance.

71:20 Substitution

Substitution Richard Smallwood comes on in place of Julio Arca.

71:20 Substitution

Substitution Malaury Martin joins the action as a substitute, replacing Adam Hammill.

71:20 Substitution

Substitution Curtis Main on for Justin Hoyte.

70:23

Free kick crossed right-footed by Tony McMahon from left channel.

70:23 Booking

Booking Steven Caldwell is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

70:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Hammill by Steven Caldwell.

68:58

Andros Townsend takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele.

67:17

The ball is crossed by Andros Townsend, Seb Hines makes a clearance.

66:52

Nikola Zigic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tony McMahon. Jason Steele restarts play with the free kick.

65:15

The ball is swung over by Adam Hammill.

64:00

Corner taken by Andros Townsend, Curtis Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Bailey. Jason Steele takes the free kick.

63:46

The ball is crossed by Chris Burke, Joe Bennett gets a block in.

62:52

Justin Hoyte delivers the ball, Headed effort from close range by Lukas Jutkiewicz goes wide left of the target.

62:13

Adam Hammill produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

61:52

Marlon King is caught offside. Matthew Bates takes the indirect free kick.

61:01 Booking

Booking Tony McMahon goes into the book.

61:00

Adam Hammill challenges Keith Fahey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Boaz Myhill restarts play with the free kick.

59:23

The assist for the goal came from Guirane N'Daw.

59:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Keith Fahey - Birmingham 3 - 0 Middlesbro Keith Fahey scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Birmingham 3-0 Middlesbrough.

57:48

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lukas Jutkiewicz by Curtis Davies. Strike on goal comes in from Adam Hammill from the free kick.

56:45

Assist by Chris Burke.

56:45 Goal scored

Goal! - Marlon King - Birmingham 2 - 0 Middlesbro Marlon King scores a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Birmingham 2-0 Middlesbrough.

56:41

The ball is sent over by Chris Burke,

55:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Thomson on Keith Fahey. Guirane N'Daw takes the indirect free kick.

54:48

Joe Bennett is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Boaz Myhill takes the free kick.

54:00

Curtis Davies delivers the ball, save by Jason Steele.

52:53 Substitution

Substitution Pablo Ibanez is brought on as a substitute for Peter Ramage.

49:15

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Chris Burke, Matthew Bates manages to make a clearance.

48:34

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andros Townsend from the right by-line to the near post, Joe Bennett makes a clearance.

47:46

Justin Hoyte is ruled offside. Boaz Myhill takes the free kick.

47:29

The ball is swung over by Adam Hammill, clearance by Curtis Davies.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +2:08 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

45:00 +1:54

The ball is crossed by Chris Burke.

43:35

The ball is delivered by Chris Burke.

42:35

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andros Townsend from the right by-line, Jason Steele manages to make a clearance.

41:20

Foul by Marlon King on Seb Hines, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jason Steele.

38:40

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Hammill from the right by-line, save by Boaz Myhill.

38:31

The ball is swung over by Adam Hammill, clearance by David Murphy.

38:18

The ball is sent over by Peter Ramage, Matthew Bates makes a clearance.

36:33

Corner taken by Chris Burke, save by Jason Steele.

35:04

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Hammill, clearance by Peter Ramage.

33:31

Unfair challenge on Matthew Bates by Marlon King results in a free kick. Jason Steele takes the free kick.

32:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Fahey by Nicky Bailey. David Murphy takes the free kick.

32:24

The ball is delivered by Tony McMahon, Steven Caldwell makes a clearance.

30:56

Close range header by Chris Burke goes over the bar.

29:35

The assistant referee signals for offside against Joe Bennett. Boaz Myhill takes the free kick.

27:31

The offside flag is raised against Julio Arca. Indirect free kick taken by Boaz Myhill.

25:23

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Seb Hines by Nikola Zigic. Kevin Thomson restarts play with the free kick.

21:45

Guirane N'Daw gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adam Hammill. Strike on goal comes in from Tony McMahon from the free kick.

20:31

Effort on goal by Kevin Thomson from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

20:26

The ball is crossed by Kevin Thomson, clearance made by Steven Caldwell.

19:38

Justin Hoyte produces a cross.

18:05

Adam Hammill has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.

17:30

The official flags Marlon King offside. Free kick taken by Matthew Bates.

16:38

The ball is crossed by David Murphy, Guirane N'Daw takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele.

15:13

Chris Burke takes a shot. Save made by Jason Steele.

14:35

Andros Townsend crosses the ball, Joe Bennett manages to make a clearance.

13:41 Booking

Booking Guirane N'Daw goes into the book.

13:30

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Hammill by Guirane N'Daw. Tony McMahon takes the indirect free kick.

12:01

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Bates on Nikola Zigic. Guirane N'Daw restarts play with the free kick.

10:30

The assist for the goal came from Chris Burke.

10:30 Goal scored

Goal! - Nikola Zigic - Birmingham 1 - 0 Middlesbro Nikola Zigic grabs a headed goal from close in. Birmingham 1-0 Middlesbrough.

10:19

The ball is sent over by Chris Burke,

9:32

A cross is delivered by Joe Bennett.

7:54

Inswinging corner taken by Andros Townsend from the right by-line played to the near post, Seb Hines manages to make a clearance.

7:42

A cross is delivered by Marlon King, clearance by Matthew Bates.

5:22

The ball is sent over by Marlon King, save made by Jason Steele.

5:04

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Curtis Davies by Lukas Jutkiewicz. Indirect free kick taken by Curtis Davies.

3:35

Lukas Jutkiewicz is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Boaz Myhill takes the direct free kick.

2:52

David Murphy concedes a free kick for a foul on Adam Hammill. Free kick crossed right-footed by Adam Hammill from right wing.

2:06

Lukas Jutkiewicz takes a shot. Save by Boaz Myhill.

1:53

The ball is delivered by Peter Ramage, clearance made by Matthew Bates.

1:05

The ball is swung over by Julio Arca, clearance by David Murphy.

0:12

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Seb Hines by Marlon King. Matthew Bates takes the free kick.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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