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London Road Ground (ATT 8,350) 23rd February 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Russell

Peterboro Peterborough United vs Birmingham City Birmingham

ft

Birmingham 2

N Zigic (34)
C Burke (80)

Nikola Zigic's first-half goal helped Birmingham beat Peterborough 2-0

Last Updated: 23/02/13 6:55pm

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Nikola Zigic: Scored after being dropped last weekend

Nikola Zigic: Scored after being dropped last weekend

Nikola Zigic proved his worth to Birmingham as his first-half goal helped down Peterborough 2-0 and clinch three points in the battle for Championship survival.

The towering Serbian striker was dropped by Lee Clark from City's matchday squad for last weekend's defeat to Watford following some lacklustre training sessions, returning to contention for Tuesday's goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

And Zigic made his presence felt at London Road as he poked home his seventh goal of the season in the 34th minute after Bobby Olejnik could only parry Chris Burke's shot.

But Blues owed much to England goalkeeper Jack Butland after he had earlier produced a super double save to deny Tommy Rowe and Lee Tomlin.

Callum Reilly struck the crossbar shortly after Zigic's goal but Burke got a crucial second 10 minutes from time when his strike was deflected over Olejnik, clinching a first win in four games to end resurgent Posh's four-match unbeaten run.

Just six points and six places separated the two sides at the start of the day but Birmingham have now risen to 15th, seven points clear of danger, while Peterborough have sunk back to the foot of the table.

The visitors, having been on the back foot, enjoyed a spell of pressure midway through the half although Posh keeper Olejnik remained untested, but for a routine low stop to keep out Peter Lovenkrands.

But that all changed in the 34th minute as Birmingham broke the deadlock.

Burke cut inside off the right and unleashed a shot which Olejnik could only parry and Zigic was there to prod home.

Reilly almost made 2-0 soon after but his 25-yard strike rebounded off the crossbar, before Lovenkrands saw his poked effort fly narrowly the wrong side of a post as Blues went on to dominate proceedings.

Peterborough started the second half brightly and saw two penalty appeals waved away, either side of a poor header from Lovenkrands at the other end.

Burke found the side-netting for Birmingham but that was a precursor to his 80th-minute strike from 20 yards, which took a huge deflection to beat Olejnik.

The visitors wasted further chances to strengthen their lead but, nevertheless, still sealed a first-ever league double over Peterborough.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 44 89
3 Derby County 44 81
4 Queens Park Rangers 44 76
5 Wigan Athletic 43 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 44 66
7 Ipswich Town 44 65
8 Reading 43 64
9 Blackburn Rovers 44 64
10 Bournemouth 44 63
11 Nottingham Forest 43 62
12 Watford 43 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 44 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 44 50
18 Charlton Athletic 43 45
19 Doncaster Rovers 44 44
20 Millwall 44 44
21 Birmingham City 43 43
22 Blackpool 44 43
23 Barnsley 44 39
24 Yeovil Town 44 37