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Late Zigic effort enough for Blues


Nikola Zigic

Nikola Zigic

Nikola Zigic

Nikola Zigic scored an injury-time winner as Birmingham recorded a 1-0 victory over Stoke at St Andrew's.

The Serbia international headed home a cross from substitute Cameron Jerome for his third goal in three games.

It was no more than Birmingham deserved after dominating possession and eased their relegation fears.

Birmingham, who achieved back-to-back league wins for the first time in 14 months, were the first to threaten. Sebastian Larsson sent over a testing centre from the right and Zigic powered his header over the bar.

Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic was called into action for the first time in blocking a header from Liam Ridgewell after Barry Ferguson had headed a cleared free-kick from Larsson back into the box.

Stoke enjoyed a spell of possession and John Carew had a shot blocked by Ridgewell inside the box before Jermaine Pennant curled a free-kick only a couple of feet past the post after being brought down by Larsson.

Birmingham started the second half on the offensive and a 50-yard crossfield ball from Craig Gardner was controlled by Larsson who cut inside before sending a dipping drive wide.

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But at the other end Carew was only just off target with an angled effort.

Blues had a strong appeal for a penalty rejected when Robert Huth appeared to block a fierce drive from David Bentley with his hand.

Jerome teed up Roger Johnson but he dragged his shot wide before Zigic headed the winner from close range from a Jerome centre after Begovic had parried Bentley's drive.

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