Lee Novak scored twice for Birmingham as they held on to beat Blackburn in a five-goal Championship thriller.

Blues went 3-0 up within 36 minutes, with Lee Novak scoring from close range and then with a 30-yard effort, before Chris Burke punished a defensive error for their third.

Jordan Rhodes gave Rovers hope with a header and then lofted the ball over Darren Randolph to set up a nervy end.

They almost equalised in injury time as Scott Dann's header hit the post.

Blues finding form

Birmingham are now unbeaten in nine Championship games, level with Derby as the current best run in the division

For Birmingham, who are now unbeaten in nine league games, it was a first win at Ewood Park since 1968 as the Blues moved to within three points of 12th-placed Rovers, who had been unbeaten in four games.

Ruben Rochina made his first start since the opening day for Blackburn and almost had the first goal early on when he dragged his shot wide.

He was made to pay when Dan Burn squared for unmarked Novak to tap the ball home. The former Huddersfield striker then added a second from distance six minutes later.

Rhodes hit the post for Blackburn before they gifted Birmingham a third. Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood's poor clearance fell to Burke, who found space to fire home from the edge of the box.

After looking out of it at half-time, Blackburn were given hope when Rhodes headed home Ben Marshall's cross from close range. The Scotland international then lobbed Randolph from Dann's long ball six minutes later to reduce the deficit to a goal.

And, had Dann done better in injury time with his header, they would have rescued an unlikely point.

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer:

"I didn't think we were bad in the first half to be honest.

"I think Birmingham might have got in our half about three times and scored three goals. The level of performance first half was decent.

"We were happy enough at how we were with the ball, but they were poor goals from our point of view.

"The second half was absolutely outstanding and I've nothing but pride for them because we could quite easily have collapsed and died and showed no fight but this group of players don't know that and it's full credit to them because we turned that mentality around very quickly in a short space of time.

"On another day we might have got a point out of it."

Birmingham manager Lee Clark:

"To come away from home and win any match is fantastic.

"The first-half performance was a terrific away performance. We contained Blackburn and restricted them to minimum chances and scored some terrific goals on the break ourselves and could have scored a couple more so we're absolutely delighted.

"There were a few anxious moments but I've just said to the players if there were prizes given out in the division for heart, desire, commitment, passion, pride in the shirt and playing for the fans and club, they'd be running away with the division.

"Towards the end, the players to a man, when all those crosses were coming in - were different class."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Blackburn Rovers

  • 13 Eastwood
  • 27 Henley
  • 03 Spurr
  • 06 Lowe Booked
  • 16 Dann
  • 05 Hanley
  • 45 Cairney
  • 17 Williamson Booked (Gestede - 46' )
  • 11 Rhodes
  • 23 Rochina (Judge - 67' )
  • 12 Marshall (Taylor - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Kilgallon
  • 10 Campbell
  • 14 Olsson
  • 19 Taylor
  • 25 Judge
  • 34 Kean
  • 39 Gestede

Birmingham City

  • 01 Randolph
  • 31 Caddis
  • 04 Robinson
  • 20 Lee
  • 05 Bartley
  • 06 Burn
  • 07 Burke (Løvenkrands - 88' )
  • 24 Adeyemi (Reilly - 34' )
  • 19 Zigic Booked
  • 22 Shinnie (Ferguson - 76' )
  • 12 Novak Booked

Substitutes

  • 08 Mullins
  • 11 Løvenkrands
  • 13 Doyle
  • 17 Reilly
  • 27 Ferguson
  • 29 Brown
  • 33 Gray
Ref: Scott Duncan
Att: 14,344

Match Stats

Shots

25 11

On target

6 6

Corners

8 5

Fouls

4 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 2, Birmingham City 3.

90:00 +4:45 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 2, Birmingham City 3.

90:00 +3:38

Attempt blocked. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross.

90:00 +3:25

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

90:00 +3:23

Attempt blocked. Chris Taylor (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Scott Dann with a headed pass.

90:00 +2:07

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

90:00 +2:04

Attempt blocked. Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

90:00 +1:15

Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +1:15

Foul by Shane Ferguson (Birmingham City).

90:00 +0:10 Booking

Booking Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

89:46

Foul by Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers).

89:46

Shane Ferguson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Peter Løvenkrands replaces Chris Burke.

87:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Chris Taylor replaces Ben Marshall.

87:21

Scott Dann (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:21

Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

87:01

Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jason Lowe.

84:12

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:12

Foul by Oliver Lee (Birmingham City).

82:26

Foul by Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers).

82:26

Chris Burke (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

80:34

Foul by Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers).

80:34

Callum Reilly (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:48

Attempt missed. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Thomas Spurr.

77:57

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Adam Henley.

75:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Shane Ferguson replaces Andrew Shinnie.

75:10

Attempt missed. Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

74:08

Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:08

Foul by Kyle Bartley (Birmingham City).

71:42 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 2, Birmingham City 3. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Scott Dann.

70:14

Attempt saved. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross.

69:52

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

68:54

Attempt missed. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Andrew Shinnie.

67:33

Attempt saved. Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Burke.

66:35 Booking

Booking Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

66:18

Adam Henley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:18

Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

65:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Alan Judge replaces Rubén Rochina.

65:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 1, Birmingham City 3. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) header from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Ben Marshall with a cross.

63:06

Attempt blocked. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oliver Lee.

60:49

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

60:05

Delay in match Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) because of an injury.

57:31

Attempt blocked. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rubén Rochina.

54:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

53:37

Delay in match Lee Novak (Birmingham City) because of an injury.

53:20

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Rubén Rochina with a cross following a corner.

53:00

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

51:50

Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Scott Dann.

49:53

Rubén Rochina (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:53

Foul by Lee Novak (Birmingham City).

49:37

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross.

49:15

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

46:28

Attempt blocked. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Shinnie.

46:10

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Rubén Rochina with a cross following a corner.

45:58

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

45:00

Second Half begins Blackburn Rovers 0, Birmingham City 3.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Rudy Gestede replaces Lee Williamson.

45:00 +2:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Birmingham City 3.

45:00 +0:26

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Marshall with a cross following a corner.

44:58

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Callum Reilly.

44:57

Attempt blocked. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rubén Rochina.

41:54

Attempt saved. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lee Williamson.

40:38

Offside, Birmingham City. Lee Novak tries a through ball, but Nikola Zigic is caught offside.

40:05

Attempt saved. Dan Burn (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Oliver Lee with a cross.

39:26

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Thomas Spurr.

39:20 Booking

Booking Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:14

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Simon Eastwood.

37:56

Attempt saved. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Callum Reilly.

35:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Birmingham City 3. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

34:34 Booking

Booking Lee Novak (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

34:20

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

34:20

Foul by Lee Novak (Birmingham City).

33:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Callum Reilly replaces Tom Adeyemi because of an injury.

28:28

Adam Henley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

28:28

Foul by Lee Novak (Birmingham City).

27:20

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Rubén Rochina with a through ball.

25:35

Attempt missed. Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

25:11

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Adam Henley.

25:00

Attempt blocked. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Nikola Zigic with a cross.

24:15

Foul by Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers).

24:15

Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:33

Attempt missed. Rubén Rochina (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

19:40

Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:40

Foul by Oliver Lee (Birmingham City).

19:22

Attempt blocked. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

17:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Birmingham City 2. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards to the bottom right corner.

14:01

Attempt saved. Rubén Rochina (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jason Lowe.

11:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Birmingham City 1. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dan Burn.

10:21

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

7:52

Attempt missed. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

7:08

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

7:08

Foul by Oliver Lee (Birmingham City).

6:25

Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Henley.

4:46

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

4:00

Delay in match Dan Burn (Birmingham City) because of an injury.

3:41

Attempt missed. Rubén Rochina (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

2:44

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross following a corner.

2:13

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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