Birmingham win marred by Donaldson injury
Birmingham bounced back to winning form when they accounted for struggling Ipswich 2-1 but it may have come at a cost.
It was was a night of mixed fortunes for leading scorer Clayton Donaldson, who converted a 43rd-minute penalty to open the scoring but just a minute later had to be carried off the pitch with a bad leg injury which could keep him sidelined.
The advantage carved out by Donaldson was consolidated eight minutes into the second half when Birmingham's skipper Michael Morrison scored a well-taken goal to consign struggling Ipswich to another defeat.
But they had to hang on as battling Ipswich hit back with a 69th-minute goal from Adam Webster to set up a tense finish.
Birmingham, desperate to regroup after two successive heavy defeats during which time they conceded seven goals, struggled to find any shape in the early stages against an Ipswich side eager to improve on recent performances.
Birmingham's defensive frailties were nearly exposed when David McGoldrick rammed his effort over the bar.
McGoldrick continued to figure prominently in an effort to give Ipswich the upper hand but with the worst away goalscoring record in the Championship, the Tractor Boys were unable to make any real impact.
It was, however, generally a wide open game which afforded Ipswich opportunities to mount several promising counter-attacks which usually foundered near goal.
To their credit Ipswich, with only three wins from their previous 13 games, were often the more dangerous as they were prepared to take the game to the opposition with the industrious Luke Varney emerging as a threat.
But Birmingham worked their way back into the game and created the first real attempt on goal in the 25th minute when the previously inconspicuous Lukas Jutkiewicz forced Bartosz Bialkowski to make a fine save flinging himself to his right.
Tomas Kuszczak likewise distinguished himself after Tom Lawrence worked his way down the left and pulled the ball back into the path of McGoldrick, who saw his effort brilliantly saved by the Birmingham goalkeeper.
It was certainly a timely save as Birmingham went ahead in the 43rd minute when Varney handled a Jutkiewicz shot in the area following a corner and Donaldson converted the penalty to give Birmingham a somewhat fortuitous lead.
A minute later Donaldson was involved in a midfield clash with Webster and had to be stretchered off with a leg injury to be replaced by Che Adams.
Early in the second half Ipswich were caught napping as Birmingham produced a defence-splitting move only for Maikel Kieftenbeld to screw his shot wide of the post.
Inconsistent Ipswich suddenly wilted and in the 53rd minute Birmingham increased their lead when David Cotterill's left-wing corner was headed home in the six-yard box by skipper Morrison.
Ipswich made a last throw of the dice when they sent on Freddie Sears and Jonathan Williams.
They were rewarded when Webster was on hand to head home a Lawrence cross in the 69th minute and in the closing stages enjoyed their best spell of the game, but could not find an equaliser.
Source : PA