LEEDS United had their seven-match unbeaten run ended when they had a rare off night in front of goal and lost 1-0 at fast-rising Birmingham.
Nikola Zigic scored the only goal of the game in the 36th minute to end the Whites revival and deny them the victory that would have lifted them into third place in the Npower Championship.
After scoring three goals in each of their last three away games it was a stronger defence Leeds found themselves up against, although they did go close through Robert Snodgrass and Ross McCormack and had a couple of penalty shouts waved away by referee Chris Foy.
Adam Clayton went closest to a goal for United with a well struck volley that was matched by an equally good save by home keeper Boaz Myhill.
Manager Simon Grayson was not too downhearted at the narrow defeat.
He said: “I thought we played very well. We worked their back four and the goalkeeper but we just couldn’t put the ball in the net.
“I think we deserved something from the game. We were the team who passed the ball around well and created some good opportunities.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t do the hardest thing that happens in football and score a goal, but we know Birmingham are a very organised and experienced team and you’ve seen from their record so far they don’t give much away.
“But I don’t think we could have done too much more in terms of trying to win the game.
“You have to give credit to them. They have an experienced back four. They are not eye-catching, but they are very efficient. They won’t be far away come the end of the season.”
Birmingham’s winner came nine minutes before half-time when tall Serbian striker Zigic netted after the Leeds defence failed to deal with a cross
The hosts did not create many more openings, but Zigic could have had a hat-trick as he was denied in stoppage time in both halves by United keeper Paul Rachubka.
Birmingham City 1
Leeds United 0
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Birmingham: Myhill, Carr, Caldwell, Davies, Ridgewell, Burke, Spector, Fahey, Beausejour, Zigic, King (Wood 70).
Leeds: Rachubka, Connolly, Lees, O’Dea, White, Snodgrass, Howson, Clayton (Vayrynen 77), Pugh (Sam 73), McCormack, Keogh (Becchio 63).
Referee: Chris Foy.