Match ends, Burton Albion 2, Birmingham City 0.
Burton Albion scored a goal in each half to deservedly win their first competitive meeting with Birmingham.
The visitors, managed by former Burton boss Gary Rowett, pinned the Brewers back in the opening exchanges.
But Jackson Irvine then tested Blues keeper Adam Legzdins before former Birmingham loan signing Lloyd Dyer put Burton ahead with a superb finish.
Jamie Ward volleyed the second, before skipper Michael Morrison headed Blues' best chance wide from a late corner.
Burton's second victory in nine league games lifts Nigel Clough's side six places to 13th in the Championship, while Birmingham remain fifth after only their third defeat of the season - but their second on successive Fridays.
The home side initially struggled to get out of their own half, creating their first clear chance when former Burton keeper Legzdins used his legs to deny Irvine after former Aston Villa trainee Ward flicked on.
Northern Ireland international Ward then provided the pass for 34-year-old Dyer to run onto, and he gave the Blues keeper no chance with the outside of his left foot.
Ward forced Legzdins to a smart near-post save after outsmarting Ryan Shotton, but benefitted from a marginal offside decision to drive home the second as Burton made it six games unbeaten in matches played on Friday evenings.
Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Derby:
"Quite often this season we haven't got what we deserved but tonight we could have won by more than two. That is the next stage for us, to really get the results that our performances deserve.
"Psychologically, it is important for us to try and stay out of the bottom three if we can. It is going to be a battle to do that but nights like tonight undoubtedly help.
"Jamie Ward has made one and scored one. That is what we brought him in for - that little bit of quality. The balance between him and Chris O'Grady is important.
"Chris is working his socks off up there. He is such a great team player and appreciated by everyone in the dressing room."
Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett told BBC WM:
"We were very poor but Burton thoroughly deserved it. They showed a bit more energy and drive on a difficult evening for us.
"Derby and Sheffield Wednesday have found out the hard way here too. Nigel has got a good side, who play with real forward impetus and quality. They'll turn a lot of teams over here, playing like that.
"For the first 15 or 20 minutes, the game panned out how we wanted and we exploited the spaces. But then they got back into it, worked what we were doing and started to pin us back with their wing-backs.
"After that we didn't play with anywhere near enough quality. We're going to have to be a lot better than that against Aston Villa next week."
- 10AkinsBooked at 29mins
- 15NaylorBooked at 41minsSubstituted forWilliamsonat 88'minutes
- 16PalmerSubstituted forChoudhuryat 90+3'minutes
- 36IrvineBooked at 45mins
- 12WardSubstituted forMillerat 81'minutes
- 5ShottonBooked at 69mins
- 3GroundsBooked at 62mins
- 11CotterillSubstituted forDonaldsonat 57'minutes
- 26DavisSubstituted forAdamsat 57'minutes
- 19MaghomaBooked at 36minsSubstituted forStewartat 68'minutes
- Tim Robinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Burton Albion 2, Birmingham City 0.
Attempt blocked. Greg Stewart (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Che Adams.
Offside, Birmingham City. Maikel Kieftenbeld tries a through ball, but Lukas Jutkiewicz is caught offside.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Burton Albion. Hamza Choudhury replaces Matthew Palmer.
Delay in match Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) because of an injury.
Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Chris O'Grady (Burton Albion).
Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lee Williamson with a headed pass.
Substitution, Burton Albion. Lee Williamson replaces Tom Naylor.
Attempt missed. Tom Naylor (Burton Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Jackson Irvine with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
Foul by Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City).
Lucas Akins (Burton Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City).
Chris O'Grady (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chris O'Grady (Burton Albion).
Substitution, Burton Albion. Will Miller replaces Jamie Ward.
Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Greg Stewart with a cross following a corner.