Patrick Bamford fired 10-man Middlesbrough to the top of the Championship as they battled back to earn a 1-1 draw.
Boro had been staring down the barrel of defeat after Paul Caddis put Blues ahead from the spot in first-half stoppage time, the visitors finding themselves a man down with goalkeeper Dimitri Konstantopoulos sent off for conceding the penalty.
But a storming second-half fightback earned its reward when on-loan Chelsea marksman Bamford struck for the 12th time this season in the 74th minute.
The draw may have ended Middlesbrough’s run of six successive Championship wins, but a point was the least they deserved for their second-half display.
Middlesbrough’s neat passing style saw them dominate the early exchanges but it was Birmingham who went closest to breaking the deadlock with Andrew Shinnie, Ben Gibson and Demarai Gray all going close.
On the strroke of half-time, the troublesome Clayton Donaldson was upended by a crude challenge from Konstantopoulos, referee David Coote having no hesitation in dismissing the Boro goalkeeper.
After Boro took off striker Jelle Vossen to send on Tomas Mejias, the first thing he had to do was pick the ball out of the net as Caddis’s penalty fizzed past him.
After the break, Jonathan Grounds and David Cotterill squandered excellent chances and they were made to pay when Grant Leadbitter teed up Bamford to beat Darren Randolph from six yards.
Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Spector, Robinson, Grounds, Davis (Reilly 60), Gleeson, Cotterill, Shinnie (Thomas 77), Gray (Dyer 69), Donaldson. Unused substitutes: Kiernan, Novak, Zigic, Doyle.
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Fredericks, Omeruo, Gibson, Friend, Leadbitter, Forshaw, Tomlin (Reach 85), Bamford, Nsue (Adomah 62), Vossen (Mejias 45). Unused substitutes: Clayton, Garcia, Husband, Whitehead.
Referee: David Coote (Notts).