Birmingham gave their Sky Bet Championship survival hopes a huge boost with a 3-0 home win over Coventry which put a major dent in their visitors’ play-off hopes.

An own goal by Bobby Thomas in the 12th minute opened the scoring, Ivan Sunjic made it two three minutes before half-time and Jay Stansfield killed the contest with his 13th of the season.

The result was Blues’ biggest win since October – and only their second success in 11 – and moved them out of the relegation zone after Bristol City denied struggling Huddersfield with a last-gasp leveller.

Coventry’s third defeat in four left the FA Cup semi-finalists six points adrift of the top six with four games to go ahead of their big date at Wembley against Manchester United next weekend.

The Sky Blues threatened first with a firm, low angled drive from Milan van Ewijk that was deflected just wide.

Blues countered with a stabbed effort from Tyler Roberts and then a shot from Koji Miyoshi that brushed the side-netting.

And they soon got their noses in front.

Lee Buchanan’s throw-in on the left was worked to Roberts, who turned the ball inside for Keshi Anderson, whose cross hit Thomas and deflected in at the near post.

The closest Coventry came to scoring came in the 20th minute when Haji Wright hit the bar.

Goalkeeper John Ruddy came out of his box to head away a clearance, but only as far as Wright, whose volleyed lob bounced before hitting the woodwork.

Blues remained in the ascendancy and Stansfield twice should have done better instead of firing first over and then several feet wide from 20 yards.

Sunjic doubled the hosts’ lead with a rasping low drive from just inside the area after Paik Seung-ho’s corner was headed away by Liam Kitching, his effort catching keeper Bradley Collins unawares.

Coventry, following a triple substitution at half-time, began the second half looking much improved, creating two quick opportunities.

Kasey Palmer’s 25-yard drive was parried by Ruddy, then Ben Sheaf fired a rising effort over from just inside the area.

There was now an edge to the match and Stansfield and Van Ewijk were booked for shoving each other after the Blues striker was penalised when he thought he had won the ball back.

But Birmingham dashed any hopes of a Coventry comeback when Stansfield made it 3-0.

The on-loan Fulham forward clipped the ball past Collins after his superb diagonal run behind the defence which took him beyond Kitching was spotted by Roberts.

Tom Cleverley celebrated his first match in interim charge of Watford with three points thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win against strugglers Birmingham.

Emmanuel Dennis’ 44th-minute strike, following an error from the home side, proved enough for Watford to leave St Andrew’s with maximum points.

The Hornets steer further clear of the relegation zone and leave Birmingham embedded in the battle to stay up.

Blues made a bright start to the match, applying early pressure on the Watford defence, and Koji Miyoshi dragged wide the hosts’ first chance of the match.

Ethan Laird then narrowly flicked over Juninho Bacuna’s near-post corner before Bacuna found space in the penalty area and had a goal-bound shot blocked.

An energised Birmingham side continued to press for the breakthrough and Bacuna again had a shot blocked inside the penalty area when well placed.

Watford managed to momentarily threaten the Blues goal when Tom Dele-Bashiru curled a left-footed effort over the crossbar.

A second corner fashioned another chance for the hosts as Daniel Bachmann was forced to dive across his goal line and claim an Emanuel Aiwu header.

Birmingham were the masters of their own downfall as they gifted Watford the opening goal.

Aiwu could not control Cody Drameh’s throw-in across his own penalty area and Dennis got the better of the defender before finishing ruthlessly past John Ruddy.

The goal lifted the visitors and Dennis forced Ruddy into a smart low save to deny the striker a quick second goal before half-time.

Watford started the second half the brighter of the two sides and Lee Buchanan had to clear a Mattie Pollock effort off the line before Yaser Asprilla’s shot was cleared over the crossbar.

Birmingham managed to get back into the ascendency and Ivan Sunjic had a good chance to draw the hosts level.

Jay Stansfield drove forward and Sunjic picked up the loose ball in the penalty area but sliced a shot wide from close range.

Blues continued to search for an equaliser and Bachmann made an excellent save to beat away Miyoshi’s drive at goal after an initial effort from Aiwu was blocked.

Substitute Vakoun Bayo nearly made an instant impact for the visitors as his stretching shot flashed across Ruddy’s goal and wide.

Miyoshi spurned another opportunity for the hosts as they continued to apply the pressure on the Watford defence.

Tyler Roberts had a late chance on goal, but Bachmann got down well to save and preserve the points for the visitors.

Russell Martin believes Southampton’s togetherness and spirit will help in their push for an immediate Premier League return after they fought for a much-needed, last-gasp 4-3 win at 10-man Birmingham.

Having been relegated with a whimper last term before enduring a difficult start to life in the Sky Bet Championship, Saints then went on a club-record 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

That streak ended 18 days ago with the first of four defeats in five games, with three of those losses coming in the league as their hopes of automatic promotion began to fade.

Martin’s men desperately needed to return to winning ways to kick-start their promotion bid and substitute Joe Aribo’s stoppage-time strike completed a breathless victory at St Andrew’s.

“The identity of the team has changed and how it functions and how it plays, and what is important to the team,” the Saints boss said after catching his breath. “But the biggest change has been in that (spirit).

“I think how together they are, how much they believe in each other, how much they trust each other, how much they care for each other.

“And that just takes time and hopefully they see that the same thing from us as a group of coaching staff.

“It has been amazing and they are so together and they feel everything together.

“Football has a tendency to make you into a bit of a robot, really, emotionally, especially when you’ve been in the game for a long time.

“You have a bit of like scar tissue from previous battles but been amazing to see some of them open up and be a bit vulnerable.

“To play the way we play you have to be a bit vulnerable sometimes with the ball because it’s a bit scary. I have nothing but gratitude for that and I’ve loved watching it.

“That spirit will help us for sure in the last quarter of the season.

“I’d rather not win in the last minute, but I think it’s down to togetherness and spirit, and also the amount of work they put into opposition teams with the ball.

“They make teams have to run really, really hard and it tires people out.”

Saints were on top for large parts but twice came from behind in Birmingham, where Koji Miyoshi and Jay Stansfield efforts were cancelled out by Adam Armstrong and David Brooks respectively.

Che Adams went on to put the visitors ahead against his former club, who were reduced to 10 men when Blues skipper Dion Sanderson was sent off.

Birmingham dug deep in the absence of boss Tony Mowbray and Juninho Bacuna equalised, but Southampton were not to be denied as Aribo sparked stoppage-time celebrations.

Assistant Mark Venus, who felt Sanderson’s red card was undeserved, said: “It must have exciting for the fans. It was emotional sat there, to be honest.

“I think if you just look at the end of it, we got to 90-odd minutes with 3-3 with 10 men and just to concede the last goal is heartbreaking for everybody, really.

“I think they were dangerous every time they put the ball in the box and bottom line is we rode our luck.

“We played against a good team in the league and showed a lot of character.”

Substitute Joe Aribo struck at the death to seal stuttering Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls Southampton a dramatic, much-needed 4-3 victory away to 10-man Birmingham.

Russell Martin’s Saints were in desperate need of a morale-boosting win having lost four of their five games in all competitions since their club-record 25-match unbeaten run came to an end.

Birmingham threatened to further dent their fading automatic promotion bid on Saturday afternoon, but Southampton’s strong bench and unwavering spirit paid dividends as substitute Aribo struck deep in stoppage time.

It was a blockbuster end to a breathless encounter that began with Koji Miyoshi putting the Blues ahead inside two minutes, only for Adam Armstrong to deservedly level for Saints.

But Birmingham back caught the visitors out and Jay Stansfield put them back ahead against the run of play, meaning Saints had to rally after the break.

David Brooks scored a brilliant equaliser and Che Adams put Martin’s men ahead, with Blues skipper Dion Sanderson’s sending-off appearing to end this clash as a contest.

Further twists followed, though, as Birmingham – fighting for absent boss Tony Mowbray – levelled through Juninho Bacuna, before Aribo snuck Southampton a potentially huge stoppage-time winner at St Andrew’s.

This clash was a wild ride from the start, with Bacuna’s fine ball putting Miyoshi all too easily in behind to send an effort whizzing past Gavin Bazunu via a Ryan Manning deflection.

The 26-year-old appeared to handle in the build-up, but the goal stood and Birmingham nearly had a quickfire second, with Bacuna’s strike hitting a post and then going out off the back of the goalkeeper’s head.

Saints woke up after that fifth minute let-off as Brooks’ volley into the ground flew just over before Armstrong and Adams tried their luck.

Martin’s men would level in the 18th minute as Brooks slipped in Armstrong to prod through John Ruddy’s legs, with the home faithful’s appeals for offside falling on deaf ears.

The equaliser gave Southampton a pep in their step and Adams saw an audacious long-range effort take a touch off Sanderson and hit a post.

Birmingham were hanging on for dear life, only to go back ahead in the 41st minute. Jan Bednarek managed to flick on rather than clear Sanderson’s hopeful long ball, putting Stansfield behind to blast past Bazunu.

Armstrong saw a curling effort hit the bar and Will Smallbone fizzed across the face of goal as Saints pushed to reach parity before half-time.

Birmingham began the second half well as Taylor Harwood-Bellis escaped a penalty shout for handball before a Bacuna strike whistled just wide from 20 yards.

Again, Saints’ sloppiness at the start of a half sparked a vast improvement and they equalised in the 55th minute.

Brooks cut in from the right flank and was left inexplicably open to get hit stunning curling effort past Ruddy.

Southampton scented blood and took the lead four minutes later as Adams controlled a deep cross and showed patience before lasering home.

Birmingham fans’ frustration was quickly compounded by a straight card to Sanderson in the 62nd minute after leaving Smallbone in a heap.

The hosts’ complaints about the decision fell on deaf ears and Saints tried and failed to put the game to bed.

Instead, lively Stansfield saw a strike come back off a post and Bacuna reacted quickest to fire Birmingham level.

Adams hit a snapshot into the side netting as Saints pushed for a winner, which finally came during nine minutes of stoppage time.

Harwood-Bellis headed on a corner and Aribo showed strength and skill to steer home in front of the elated away end.

Birmingham manager Tony Mowbray saluted an “amazing achievement” after his team made it two home wins in a week by coming from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1.

Koji Miyoshi grabbed an 80th-minute winner after Jordan James cancelled out Jack Clarke’s 22nd-minute lead on the hour.

It meant City have recorded their first back-to-back home successes since October and they have climbed to 15th, six points above the Sky Bet Championship drop zone.

“I’m very proud of the group and their desire and determination to work really hard for each other on the back of a landscape of where we are in the league,” said Mowbray.

“After not winning many home games this season, it’s an amazing achievement for them.”

Despite the gap, Mowbray refuses to accept City are safe.

“We’re in a predicament and we’re still in the same position after a couple of teams won,” he added.

“We’re still six points away from trouble but it’s given us a bit of confidence and momentum and the belief that we can win against anyone at home.

“This is what the team needs to know to have that confidence and belief in themselves.

“The team is fighting hard for each other but this was about the supporters and the players on the pitch.

“We gifted Sunderland the first goal but we found a way to score two goals.”

Several supporter incentives meant Birmingham were watched by 27,449 – the biggest crowd at St Andrew’s for more than seven years.

Mowbray said he used the home crowd to spur on the players as they took the game to Sunderland after a lacklustre first-half performance.

“The message at half-time was ‘we will score, and if we score one, this place will take off and we’ll score two or three’, they made it happen,” he added.

“Days like this with a full stadium against a good team with a big support following them show that we can come out on top and win, and we did that together.”

Clarke intercepted Seung-Ho Paik’s square pass to Marc Roberts then raced on to coolly slot past John Ruddy.

James equalised after Miyoshi had two shots blocked when Tyler Roberts’ angled drive had been parried by goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.

Miyoshi prodded home ahead of Patterson after reacting quickest to Jay Stansfield’s deflected cross.

Sunderland have not won on their travels since Boxing Day and are currently 10th, five points off the top six.

Their head coach Michael Beale admitted: “Unless we improve our away form it (play-offs) is going to be difficult.

“We have to find a way of getting positive away results because it’s nowhere good enough.

“We’re certainly not giving up on anything with the amount of games we’ve got to go.

“But our away form all season has been a concern.”

Tony Mowbray celebrated back-to-back home wins against his most recent former clubs after Birmingham came from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1.

Koji Miyoshi capped a magnificent comeback by City after Jordan James equalised on the hour to make it two home victories in five days after they beat Blackburn 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Jack Clarke gave Sunderland the lead in the 22nd minute with his 15th goal of the season as the Black Cats dominated the first half.

But it was a different story in the second half as Blues, watched by 27,449 – the biggest crowd at St Andrew’s for more than seven years when 29,656 saw a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on October 30, 2016 – looked far hungrier.

Sunderland midfielder Jobe Bellingham – making his first return to St Andrew’s since leaving in the summer – beat Cody Drameh on the left but his cross was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Pierre Ekwah sent a rising drive over the bar then Mason Burstow seemed to have a golden chance to score when he latched on to Romaine Mundle’s deflected cross, but the ball hit his heel and sailed harmlessly over.

Mundle had the first on-target effort but his 25-yard drive arrowed straight at Ruddy.

Birmingham’s first chance was a blockbuster as Jay Stansfield crashed a full-blooded 25-yard volley goalwards only for goalkeeper Anthony Patterson to tip it over after Sunderland partly cleared a corner.

But the visitors’ bright start was rewarded when they took the lead.

Seung-Ho Paik’s square pass to Marc Roberts was easily intercepted by Clarke, who raced on to coolly slot past Ruddy into the bottom corner of the net.

Birmingham continued to give the ball away in dangerous situations and Paik was booked for catching Ekwah late, Bellingham curling over the resulting 20-yard free-kick.

Sunderland went close to a second goal in the 42nd minute.

Mundle got the wrong side of Krystian Bielik but his curling shot – aiming for the same corner of the net as Clarke did for the goal – was turned aside by Ruddy at full stretch.

Birmingham looked a different proposition after the break, however, and their improvement was rewarded with the equaliser on the hour.

Midfielder James slotted home after Miyoshi had two shots blocked – the first by Trai Hume on the line – after Tyler Roberts’ angled drive had been parried by Patterson.

Sunderland had the ball in the net again in the 68th minute – but any joy was short-lived as Burstow’s header from Clarke’s free-kick was ruled offside.

Birmingham’s revival was in full swing when Miyoshi put the hosts ahead with 10 minutes of normal time to go.

The Japan midfielder prodded home ahead of Patterson after reacting quickest to Stansfield’s deflected cross for his fifth goal of the season.

A stoppage-time goal from Koji Miyoshi earned Birmingham a 2-1 win over Hull in their FA Cup third-round replay.

The result earned Tony Mowbray his first victory since taking over as manager at St Andrew’s following the sacking of Wayne Rooney.

Birmingham had to come back from a goal down to win the tie after Jason Lokilo’s first goal for Hull put them ahead after 12 minutes.

Mowbray made five substitutions just past the hour-mark and it was a move that changed the game.

Two of those substitutes scored, with Jay Stansfield equalising three minutes after coming on.

Both sides named differing line-ups for the tie, with Birmingham making seven changes from the weekend and Hull 11, presumably with Friday’s match against Sunderland in mind.

Birmingham threatened more in the opening minutes, with Keshi Anderson and Gary Gardner testing goalkeeper Matt Ingram.

However, it was Hull who opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a superbly executed move.

Billy Sharp, in his first start for Hull, made the most of a slip by Krystian Bielik and found James Furlong on the left. His cross was converted first time by Lokilo from eight yards.

The former Crystal Palace youngster made a summer move to Humberside from Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam.

Hull went in search of a second goal, but Greg Docherty’s long-range effort swung away from the target.

Birmingham sensed an equaliser and when Jordan James delivered a ball into the area, Romelle Donovan just failed to connect with it in front of goal.

Gardner’s overhead kick was met by Bielik six minutes before the break, but he headed wide of the target.

Blues goalkeeper John Ruddy kept his side’s deficit to one goal when he made an important save from Hull forward Tyrell Sellars-Fleming.

Jordan James responded for Mowbray’s side with an angled shot that flew just wide of the far post.

Mowbray’s raft of changes had an immediate effect as two substitutes combined to score the equaliser. Miyoshi’s shot was pushed out by Ingram, with Stansfield converting the rebound for his eighth goal of the season.

Siriki Dembele almost scored a second for Birmingham when he floated a long-range effort narrowly wide.

With extra-time looming, Miyoshi forced the ball home after being supplied by Stansfield to book a fourth-round trip to Leicester.

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan felt his side played “against more than just 11 players” after a controversial penalty helped Birmingham come from behind to earn a 3-1 derby victory.

City’s equaliser came when referee James Linington pointed to the spot after Cedric Kipre’s clumsy lunge on the falling Koji Miyoshi and Juninho Bacuna scored from 12 yards.

From that moment, John Eustace’s hosts did not look back and Dion Sanderson headed the Blues in front in the 38th minute before substitute Gary Gardner sealed victory with an 87th-minute free-kick.

Corberan found it difficult to control his anger after the Championship clash and put himself at risk of being punished with his post-match comments.

“Today we competed against more than just 11 players,” said Corberan.

“It’s difficult to analyse the game without talking about the penalty because it changed the game.

“When you’re a coach and you put your life into this work – and I put my life into this work – how do you feel?

“It was one action where the player (Miyoshi) slipped in front of Kipre, you have to consider if it was a penalty.

“Their other two goals came from a second phase set-piece and a free-kick.

“In a month’s time, no one will remember this, but I will never forget this. This action has had a massive impact.

“I feel emotionally it affected the concentration of our players because in football and in life when something is unfair, it’s difficult to accept.”

John Swift put West Brom ahead in the fifth minute with his sixth goal of the season.

Then came the hotly-disputed equaliser in the 23rd minute, with Bacuna sending Alex Palmer the wrong way for his first Championship goal of the season.

Birmingham went ahead when Dion Sanderson guided a header high into the net from Cody Drameh’s deep cross before Gardner curled home a delightful free-kick from the edge of the area.

Blues head coach Eustace admitted: “I thought he was blowing for a corner but I didn’t see the incident.

“But I think it was a true Birmingham City performance – we played some exciting football at times but we had to dig in and fight at times and that togetherness is what this football club is all about.

“We had to do that at times and I couldn’t be any prouder of the players and the fans.”

City celebrated with a lap of honour and Eustace added: “I love winning games and I’m an emotional person.

“Tonight was a special night – we were playing West Bromwich Albion at home in front of a full house, live on the telly and it was a big game.”

A controversial penalty proved to be the turning point as Birmingham came from behind to beat West Brom 3-1 at St. Andrew’s.

Cedric Kipre’s clumsy lunge on Koji Miyoshi was deemed a spot-kick by referee James Linington and Juninho Bacuna equalised in the 23rd minute.

From that moment, John Eustace’s side did not look back and Dion Sanderson headed Blues in front in the 38th minute before substitute Gary Gardner grabbed a third with an 87th-minute free-kick.

That seemed a long way off in the sixth minute when John Swift put West Brom ahead with his sixth goal of the season.

The 28-year-old forward coolly passed the ball into the net first time from 20 yards from Grady Diangana’s square ball, the shot going in off the post.

The timing and precision of the strike meant goalkeeper John Ruddy had no chance of saving Swift’s second goal of the week.

Some City fans thought they had equalised in the 12th minute but Miyoshi’s shot ripped high into the side netting from a tight angle after Jay Stansfield headed Juninho Bacuna’s corner across goal.

Birmingham were level in the 23rd minute with a penalty which was hotly disputed by West Brom’s players.

At first glance the decision looked harsh as Miyoshi was falling anyway before Kipre’s lunge on him, but there was a follow-through from the latter which presumably made up the mind of referee Linington.

Bacuna made no mistake from the spot for his first Championship goal of the season, sending his kick low to the left of Alex Palmer, who dived the opposite way, and perfectly inside the post.

In a typical derby, action swung from end to end and a bouncing header from West Brom’s Alex Mowatt was held by Ruddy.

But it was Blues who dominated the rest of the half. The lively Bacuna saw a low shot deflect just wide off Kyle Bartley before John Eustace’s side took the lead in the 38th minute.

Sanderson guided a header high into the net from Cody Drameh’s deep cross after West Brom partly cleared a corner.

Sanderson, the former Wolves academy graduate, ran in front of the West Brom fans to celebrate enthusiastically.

West Brom wasted a golden chance to equalise in the 59th minute. Darnell Furlong slid in unmarked at the far post to meet Matt Phillips’ cross but his shot from six yards out flew inches wide.

Furlong had another chance soon afterwards but his far-post header flew straight at Ruddy.

But Blues need not have worried as Gardner curled home a delightful free-kick to seal Blues’ second home win in a week after Kipre was booked for bringing down substitute Scott Hogan in the D.

John Eustace was keeping both feet firmly on the ground after goals from substitutes Koji Miyoshi and Lukas Jutkiewicz maintained Birmingham’s impressive start to the Championship campaign.

Miyoshi, a 40th-minute replacement for the injured Ethan Laird, volleyed his first Blues goal in spectacular fashion deep into first-half stoppage time.

And Jutkiewicz settled the outcome six minutes from time with a close-range finish, shortly after being sent on for Keshi Anderson.

Blues boss Eustace said: “It was an outstanding effort by the whole group, but it’s important not to get carried away because this team has still got to grow together.

“Koji Miyoshi came off the bench against Leeds and was really exciting. Today again he showed what an important player he is going be for us.

“He was out for nine months before joining us, so we have to be careful how we manage him. But his talent is there for all to see and he will get better with games.

“We had a few injuries that could have hurt us. Ethan Laird and Siriki Dembele picked up muscle strains, which might have been disruptive.

“But we adapted really well. Juninho Bacuna moved to right-back and looked as if he had played there all his life.

“We set out to be strong and competitive in all areas of the pitch and that was the case throughout the game.

“We paid Bristol respect because Nigel Pearson has been with them for a while now and is building something.

“They are a good side whose strengths we had to counter and to a man the players did their jobs.

“Last season we were beaten here. But this is a new group of players with a new mentality.

“Obviously, the season has started well for us. But we will stay level-headed and keep working hard because the Championship is so competitive that you have to turn up every week.”

The Robins had centre-back Rob Dickie sent off for a second yellow card on 75 minutes and could have no complaints, even though Nahki Wells missed a great chance to level on 82 minutes just before Jutkiewicz’s clincher.

Manager Pearson admitted: “It was a bad day at the office for us. We didn’t play very well.

“We were laboured in our passing and made too many unforced errors, with things like the ball slipping under players’ feet.

“We should have been level at the break but went in a goal down because an individual switched off and didn’t do his job at a set-piece.

“I still believe we are better than we were last season and will do well. We were on the front foot even with 10 men towards the end and missed a great chance to equalise.

“But we didn’t manage the key moments well. You have to take your chances when they come along in the Championship and not concede poor goals because the difference between winning and losing in so many games is very small.

“We are looking at the possibility of doing some business before the transfer deadline, but it will have to be right for the club and in line with what we are building.

“I didn’t go overboard when we won away last week and it’s certainly not all doom and gloom today.”

Goals from substitutes Koji Miyoshi and Lukas Jutkiewicz gave Birmingham a 2-0 Championship away win against a Bristol City side who finished with 10 men.

The visitors took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Keshi Anderson’s corner was not cleared and Miyoshi, just introduced for the injured Ethan Laird, found the roof of the net with a sweet right-footed volley.

The home side’s task became more difficult when centre-back Rob Dickie was shown a second yellow card on 75 minutes for blocking a run by substitute Jordan James, having already been booked for dissent in the first half.

And any hope the home side had of a recovery was snuffed out six minutes from time when Jutkiewicz, introduced on 73 minutes as a replacement for Anderson, converted a low right-wing cross from close range.

Birmingham were good value for a win that maintained their promising start to the season, while inflicting a first defeat on their hosts.

Robins boss Nigel Pearson gave a first start of the season to winger Anis Mehmeti, while Birmingham were unchanged from their 1-0 home victory over Leeds.

Blues made a bright start and their first attack saw Scott Hogan head over from Juninho Bacuna’s left-wing cross.

Defences dominated for much of the first half and chances were at a premium. Siriki Dembele fired over from distance for Birmingham on 21 minutes.

Four minutes later the hosts’ first meaningful goal attempt saw Sam Bell’s shot blocked. Dickie headed over from the resulting corner.

Birmingham looked more dangerous and Max O’Leary had to save a Bacuna shot on 35 minutes. Then came the injury to Laird that saw Miyoshi sent on as a 40th-minute replacement.

The Japanese substitute made an immediate impact, forcing a good save from O’Leary before breaking the deadlock deep into three minutes of injury time.

Both managers made changes at the break, Pearson sending on Haydon Roberts and Mark Sykes for Cameron Pring and Harry Cornick while Blues boss John Eustace introduced James for Dembele.

Bristol City began the second half on the front foot, Zak Vyner failing to make contact with a Mehmeti corner and a Sykes run halted by a foul that earned Lee Buchanan a booking.

But Birmingham soon responded and Bacuna grazed a post with a left-footed shot before Miyoshi sent another effort wide.

Both sides were fully committed but still it was Blues creating more openings as a James shot brought a diving O’Leary save.

Dickie’s dismissal only seemed to fire up the home side and substitute Nahki Wells should have equalised on 82 minutes when shooting wide from Bell’s low cross.

It proved an expensive miss as Jutkiewicz quickly settled the outcome.

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