Gallery: Heartbreak as Ipswich Town are undone by two long throw-ins
IPSWICH Town slumped to an 11th defeat in 14 games as Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic netted following two long throw-ins at either end of the match.
The 6ft 7in striker headed home in the ninth minute following yet more sloppy defending from Paul Jewell’s side.
However, Martin ran from inside his own half before rifling in a shot from the edge of the area in the 18th minute and the visitors grew in confidence.
Town were very much in this match throughout, but were dealt a hammer blow in the 91st minute when Zigic scrambled the ball home following yet another long throw-in from the left.
It sealed a fourth straight defeat for Ipswich who are now in serious danger at the bottom end of the Championship table.
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Meanwhile, Birmingham – now undefeated in 12 home league games – climb nearer the play-offs following their eighth win of the season at St Andrew’s in the league.
Following a lacklustre opening to the match, Birmingham broke the deadlock in the ninth minute with the simplest of goals.
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Towering striker Zigic got between Ibrahima Sonko and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas to meet David Murphy’s long throw from the left and flicked a fairly innocuous looking header towards goal.
Town’s defence let the ball bounce dangerously though and, almost in slow motion, it looped past scrambling debutant keeper Alex McCarthy and in off the far post.
The Blues were struggling to deal with the 6ft 7in Zigic in the air and he came within a whisker of netting another header in the 16th minute. This time though his effort from a corner hit the side-netting.
Ipswich were looking short of ideas in attack, but their route one tactics on a porr playing surfcace paid off in the 18th minute when Lee Martin scored a superb equaliser out of nowhere.
Keeper McCarthy launched a big kick upfield, Martin picked up the ball from just inside his own half and set off on a direct run. And after skipping past Murphy to get inside he unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the area which arrowed into the net.
You could see the confidence visibly flood back into Paul Jewell’s men after the leveller and they were arguably the better side for the remainder of the half.
Scotland shot wide following some good footwork soon after the restart and the home fans began to grow increasingly agitated.
Their team responded and twice went close to taking the lead around the 70 minute mark, Zigic messing up a free header before Marlon King’s sweetly struck volley cannoned off the post.
Town carried on battling though and had a big shout for a penalty in the 81st minute. Birmingham didn’t deal with a routine ball into the box and Martin, having got the wrong side of Steven Caldwell, went down following a tangle of legs. Referee Robert Lewis waved away strong protests though.
Then came the stoppage-time heartache as Town once again failed to deal with a long throw from Murphy down the left, Zigic eventually stabbing the ball home.
In truth, it was harsh on Ipswich, but the fact remains that more defensive errors have cost them.
– Reaction to follow.
BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-4-2): Myhill (Doyle 46); Spector, Davies, Caldwell (cpt), Murphy; Burke, Gomis (Mutch 82), Fahey, Beausejour (Redmond 74); King, Zigic.
Subs: Ridgewell, Rooney.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-1-1): McCarthy; Edwards, Sonko, Smith, Cresswell; Martin, Leadbitter (cpt), Drury, Murphy; Emmanuel-Thomas (Ellington 74); Scotland (Chopra 79).
Subs: Lee-Barrett; Ainsley; Carson.
Referee: Robert Lewis