Last-minute Blues deny Derby top spot in the Championship

Derby County Huddle

Derby County were denied top spot in the Championship by two injury-time strikes from Birmingham City

Birmingham City pulled off the comeback of the weekend, scoring twice in injury time to nick a point at the iPro Stadium and leave Derby hearts broken. Goals from Jamie Ward and Tom Ince seemed to have secured the points for the Rams but a Paul Caddis penalty and a close-range header from Clayton Donaldson kept Derby from the top spot in the Championship.

Birmingham City fell behind in the first half after Jamie Ward tucked home Darren Randolph's parry of Johnny Russell's shot, and then conceded early in the second half when Tom Ince got inside of left back Jonathan Grounds and slotted home.

However, as the 90th minute ticked over, loanee Robert Tesche was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Ince and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Once Caddis scored the resultant penalty, Blues threw everything forward, sending 'keeper Randolph up for a free-kick and then the resulting corner from which Birmingham scored with Donaldson getting the final touch in a bundle of four players contesting a header from four yards out.

Referee Iain Williamson came in for a lot of criticism from Derby fans after the game for allowing more than five minutes of injury time when only three went up on the fourth official's board - time presumably added for the delays between the time the foul occurred and Caddis stroking home the spot kick.

In a bizarre coincidence, the last time Iain Williamson took charge of a Birmingham City game it also ended in dramatic fashion as Paul Caddis scored against Bolton at the death to keep the Blues in the Championship.

The result ensures that Birmingham remain deeply entrenched in mid-table, 14 points clear of the bottom three with 10 games to play while Derby are within a pack of teams in the top five places separated by a single point.

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