Middlesbrough reclaimed the lead in the Championship, although they had to work hard for it, playing for the whole of the second half with 10 men after their goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos had been sent off late in the first half.
The Greek goalkeeper was dismissed for a foul on Clayton Donaldson that also gave away a penalty from which Birmingham went in front.
But Middlesbrough overcame the loss to claim an equaliser with 16 minutes remaining when Patrick Bamford struck his 12th goal of the season, enabling Aitor Karanka’s team to extend their unbeaten run to eight Championship matches.
Birmingham are now six without a win, although their first-half display merited a point. Andrew Shinnie had drawn the best save of the match to that point from the Greek stopper, who had to dive full length to his right to push shot out for a corner.
The result leaves them nine points clear of the relegation places, although hanging over them is the threat of a 10-point deduction after the club’s parent company went into receivership. Birmingham expect to be invited to discuss the situation with the Football League in the coming days.
The penalty came just as manager Gary Rowett was in the ear of the fourth official for what he seemed to think was a lack of even-handedness in referee David Coote’s dispensing of justice, following a yellow card for David Cotterill. In the event, it was only moments afterwards the visitors were down to 10 men as Donaldson intercepted Ben Gibson’s underhit back pass and was sent tumbling by Konstantopoulos as he charged into the penalty area.
There was a delay as Konstantantopoulos required treatment after injuring himself in giving away the penalty, then for Karanka to replace striker Jelle Vossen with substitute goalkeeper Tomas Mejias.
Paul Caddis kept his composure during the stoppage, however, and fired his penalty kick down the middle.
Bamford has been a key figure in Middlesbrough’s promotion challenge and he took the chance to seize what may prove to be an important point, pushing the ball past Darren Randolph after a one-two with Grant Leadbitter.
Birmingham City (4-1-4-1): Randolph; Caddis, Spector, Robinson, Grounds; Gleeson; Cotterill, Davis (Reilly, 60), Shinnie (Thomas, 76), Gray (Dyer, 69); Donaldson. Substitutes not used Doyle (gk), Novak, Kiernan, Zigic.
Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Konstantopoulos; Fredericks. Omeruo, Gibson, Friend; Nsue (Adomah, 62), Forshaw, Leadbitter, Tomlin (Reach, 85); Vossen (Mejias, 44), Bamford Substitutes not used Clayton, Kike, Husband, Whitehead.
Referee D Coote (Nottinghamshire).Reuse content