A stoppage-time goal by Chris Burke snatched the points for Birmingham last night after Burnley had threatened to become the fourth team this season to hamper the home side's progress in the Championship by leaving here with a draw.
The Scottish midfielder's fifth goal of the season, fired home from close range after David Murphy had crossed low from the left, consigned Burnley to a fourth straight defeat and ensured that Jean Beausejour's goal after a minute and 48 seconds was not wasted and Marlon King would not be still more embarrassed by what may well be Birmingham's miss of the season.
King somehow shot wide of an open goal from six yards after Nikola Zigic had set him up to give Chris Hughton's team a two-goal half-time lead and Burnley did not spare his blushes, drawing level four minutes into the second half and looking good value for a point until man of the match Burke, who had hit the woodwork in the build-up to the opening goal, pounced at the death to move Birmingham to eighth in the table, two points outside the top six, with games in hand of all those above them.
Hughton admitted the result was a relief in the light of King's miss and after failing to beat Leeds and then Peterborough in their last two home fixtures. "They are a determined group of players but we should have made things easier for ourselves and we do need to win our home games," Hughton said.
Burnley's calamitous start followed a mistake by centre-back David Edgar. Goalkeeper Lee Grant pushed Burke's shot against the bar but could do nothing as Beausejour pounced on the loose ball, the winger driving the ball home impressively from a tight angle.
The Chilean's first League goal of the season ensured Burnley would fail to keep a clean sheet for the eighth match in a row, but after King's miss, following another mistake by Edgar and an unselfish squared pass by Zigic 10 minutes before half-time, Burnley struck.
A free-kick by Ross Wallace came off the Birmingham wall for a corner, quickly taken by Keith Treacy. Wallace delivered a cross, from which Zigic's clearing header went only as far as Marvin Bartley, whose volley beat Boaz Myhill from just outside the box.
Burnley's poor run has left them only two points outside the bottom three. "We lost to a late goal against Leeds on Saturday and to do so again is tough to take," manager Eddie Howe said.
Birmingham City (4-4-2): Myhill; Carr, Davies, Caldwell, Murphy; Burke, Spector, Fahey, Beausejour (Redmond, 69); King (Wood, 88), Zigic. Substitutes not used Doyle (gk), Ibañez, Elliott.
Burnley (4-4-2): Grant; Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Easton; Wallace, Bartley, McCann (Marney, 59), Treacy (Amougou, 88); Rodriguez, Vokes. Substitutes not used Stewart (gk), Stanislas, Hines.
Referee R Madley (West Yorkshire).
* Cardiff moved up one place to third in the Championship table but were denied victory at the Ricoh Arena when Lucas Jutkiewicz scored his seventh goal of the season to level Peter Whittingham's strike, as struggling Coventry gained only their second point in six matches.