Burton boost survival hopes with victory over struggling Birmingham
Burton eased their relegation fears with a valuable 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Birmingham that increases the pressure on Blues boss Gianfranco Zola.
The visitors completed the season double over Birmingham thanks to goals in either half from Lloyd Dyer and Lucas Akins at St Andrew's.
The result sees them leap-frog over Birmingham, who are now just three points above the drop zone following their latest body blow.
It was another poor, disjointed and dejected performance from a demoralised Blues who have now collected just four points from a possible 27 under the control of Zola.
Akins' goal prompted an immediate chant of "we want Zola out" from the disgruntled home fans as Birmingham slipped further into trouble near the foot of the Championship.
It could have been different, though, if home striker Lukas Jutkiewicz had not missed an open goal in only the fourth minute.
Burton goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin came racing out in an attempt to punch the ball clear only to fail in his objective
The ball fell to Jutkiewicz who, with the goal at his mercy, screwed his shot wide.
The visitors, making their first ever visit to St Andrew's, responded with a chance of their own and it was only a timely intervention by Ryan Shotton which prevented Dyer hitting the target
Burton lost McLaughlin in the 29th minute when he was injured after David Davis fell on top of him, with Stephen Bywater taking his place.
That injury was a setback for the Brewers but within seven minutes they were celebrating after capitalising on some poor play in midfield to break through and score.
Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak bravely blocked Luke Varney's shot only for the much-travelled Dyer - who had a loan spell with Birmingham two years ago - to convert the rebound from close range.
To add injury to insult Kuszczak picked up a knock in that incident and failed to reappear for the second half.
His spot was taken by Adam Legzdins, who had only been on the pitch for seven minutes when Burton made it 2-0.
The visitors dominated play at the start of the second half and were rewarded when, following a corner on the right, Akins scored on the turn from inside the six-yard box.
That prompted the Birmingham fans to vent their anger, but the result could have been even more chastening in the end as Varney hit the post late on for Burton, who claimed their first win in four matches.
Source : PA