Birmingham City 1 Leeds United 0: Mullins sinks Whites

Leeds United will compete in the Championship again next season after a 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City left them beyond the reach of promotion and relegation.

Hayden Mullins’ 71st-minute goal condemned United to another poor result away from home and inflicted a first loss on new Leeds manager Brian McDermott at St Andrews.

Results elsewhere ruled his side out of the intense battles at either end of the division.

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Leeds side rode their luck before the break, relying on the woodwork to maintain parity, but they were first to threaten after the interval when Ross McCormack’s ambitious free-kick beat Jack Butlands’ fingertips and clipped the top of the crossbar.

The Scotland international saw another effort fly wide soon after, deflecting off a defender after Stephen Warnock picked him out inside Birmingham’s box, and a third chance went begging when McCormack teed up a cross and volleyed it beyond Butland’s left-hand post.

Birmingham struggled to maintain their impetus going forward and a Nikola Zigic volley was a rare effort on Paddy Kenny’s goal. Sam Byram went closer when Butland’s error gave him a difficult opportunity which the defender hooked into the side-netting.

But City produced the opening goal from very little as Kenny parried a Nathan Redmond strike into the path of Mullins an invited the midfielder to tap home the loose ball from close range.

Butland protected Birmingham’s lead with a good save from Rodolph Austin on 75 minutes and United did not trouble the keeper again.