King pair checks Middlesbrough and lifts the gloom for Birmingham City

Birmingham City 3 Middlesbrough 2

St Andrew’s

These are distracting times for Birmingham City, whose acting chairman, Peter Pannu, has become embroiled in a nasty spat with the former Queen's Park Rangers chairman, Gianni Paladini, over a prospective takeoever, while the club president Carson Yeung prepares to go on trial in Hong Kong next week on charges of money laundering. A bit of good news on the field, therefore, must be especially welcome.

It came in the shape of a win– their first in five matches – over promotion candidates Middlesbrough, achieved by twice coming from behind, with a fine strike by substitute Wade Elliott and two goals, including the winner, from the striker Marlon King, whose 13th goal of the season nine minutes from time blocked Middlesbrough's return to the top two in the Championship.

But the evening had began with manager Lee Clark seeing his side's porous defence breached all too easily as Middlesbrough took a 15th-minute lead. The combination of Josh McEachran and full-back Andrew Halliday quickly found room to work productively along the left flank and it was a Halliday cross that Birmingham failed miserably to deal with, allowing Grant Leadbitter to steal through the middle unchallenged to head the ball in, goalkeeper Jack Butland getting a solid hand to it but unable to keep it out.

The Blues were almost found out again when they could not stop Justin Hoyte making an overlap on the right and were a little lucky that the Boro striker Lukas Jutkiewicz could not keep his header on target. But the home side were then unlucky themselves, on two counts, as a King shot clipped an upright, and the officials failed to notice that it was keeper Jason Steele's fingertips that had prevented an equaliser.

Compensation arrived, however, in first-half stoppage time when a clumsy challenge by André Bikey on King conceded a penalty that the home striker converted himself.

Clark replaced the attack-minded Ravel Morrison with Elliott for the second half, but his side conceded again when Scott McDonald restored Boro's lead. Birmingham's defending veered from slack to chaotic as McDonald picked up the ball inside a penalty area crowded with blue shirts and somehow found a way to squeeze it past Butland despite Pablo Ibanez's desperate attempts to dispossess him.

Yet, within four minutes, Birmingham were level again through a terrific effort by Elliott, who controlled a half-cleared ball on his chest just outside the box and volleyed left-footed over a cluster of defenders, the ball dipping under the bar to give Steele no chance.

It spurred Birmingham into a powerful finish in which they claimed the winner after 81 minutes when McEachran's sloppy pass was seized upon by Peter Lovenkrands, who had replaced Zigic. Lovenkrands released King, who still had a lot to do from a wide angle on the right but beat Steele with a fine finish, driven into the opposite corner of the net.

Birmingham City (4-4-2): Butland; Caddis, Davies, Ibanez, Robinson; Spector, Mullins, Morrison (Elliott, ht), Hall (Burke, 69); King, Zigic (Lovenkrands, 75). Substitutes not used: Doyle (gk), Caldwell, Diop, Redmond.

Middlesbrough (4-1-3-2): Steele; Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday; Bailey; Ledesma (Smallwood, 67); Leadbitter, McEachran (Zemmama, 83); Jutkiewicz (Miller, 67), McDonald. Substitutes not used: Leutwiler (gk), Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Referee: R East (Wiltshire).

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor