Birmingham 2 Bolton 1: King's spot kick sinks travel sick Trotters
23:46 GMT, 18 September 2012
Bolton's miserable form on their travels continued as they were beaten by Birmingham, for whom Leroy Lita scored on his home debut.
Marlon King's 48th-minute penalty, awarded when assistant referee Steven Copeland flagged for a foul by Marcos Alonso, proved decisive in an action-packed encounter after a stunning free-kick from Chris Eagles had cancelled out Lita's early opener.
Owen Coyle's side now boast the unenviable record of four defeats from as many away matches this term, while Birmingham have lost just one of their last 26 league games at St Andrew's.
Spot on: Marlon King scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot
Birmingham: Butland, Caddis (Davies 54), Caldwell, Ibanez, Murphy, Burke (Redmond 71), Mullins (Fahey 46), Spector, Elliott, Lita, King.
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Lovenkrands, Morrison, Asante.
Goals: Lita 16, King 48 pen.
Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Alonso, Lee (Petrov 59), Mark Davies, Spearing (Andrews 17), Eagles, Ngog (Afobe 59), Kevin Davies.
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ricketts, Sordell, Pratley.
Booked: Knight, Mark Davies, Lee.
Goal: Eagles 44.
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Lita – on loan from Swansea – was left with a simple finish in the 16th minute as right-back Paul Caddis latched on to a superb pass from the recalled Wade Elliott, who delivered an outstanding display, before selflessly sliding the ball across the six-yard box.
Eagles' curling strike from 30 yards ensured the teams went into half-time on level terms, yet King wasted little time in restoring Birmingham's advantage.
The striker was bundled over by Alonso as he looked to connect with David Murphy's left-wing cross and dusted himself down before confidently sending Adam Bogdan the wrong way from 12 yards.
Both sides showed one change from the weekend. Elliott replaced Peter Lovenkrands in Birmingham's line-up, while Bolton dropped Keith Andrews to the bench, with Chung-Yong Lee gaining a starting berth.
Bolton were given an early warning in the seventh minute when a delightful cross from Caddis picked out Lita, whose header deflected narrowly wide of the near post.
Opening up: Leroy Lita scores the first for Birmingham
David Ngog had the ball in the net for the visitors soon after, but the linesman's flag had long since gone up for offside.
Caddis and Lita duly linked up to good effect to put Birmingham ahead following Elliott's defence-splitting pass, and Bolton were forced into a substitution prior to the restart, with Andrews replacing the injured Jay Spearing.
After a brief lull, another fine through-ball from Elliott put Chris Burke in the clear, but Wanderers goalkeeper Bogdan stayed big to make a vital save.
Lee and Ngog saw subsequent chances go begging, but the visitors grabbed a deserved leveller a minute before half-time through Eagles' fourth of the season.
Friendly welcome: Fabrice Muamba a former player of both Birmingham City and Bolton goes on the pitch
There was warm applause during the interval when guest of honour Fabrice Muamba, who played for both clubs before being forced to retire on medical grounds, was welcomed on to the pitch.
Birmingham introduced Keith Fahey in place of Hayden Mullins and made a flying start to the second half; after King's spot-kick, Caddis tested Bogdan with a powerful shot from distance and Lita fired wide after latching on to a poor header from Zat Knight.
The impressive Caddis was withdrawn soon after, having landed awkwardly on his shoulder during a Bolton attack that saw Jack Butland deny Matt Mills.
Feeling down: Owen Coyle looks dejected at the final whistle
Coyle subsequently introduced Benik Afobe and Martin Petrov, and both substitutes went close, the former with a thunderous volley, either side of Elliott curling a 65th-minute shot wide for the hosts.
There was still time for Birmingham substitute Nathan Redmond to bring a fingertip save from Bogdan following a sensational solo run, while Butland remained alert to pull off a host of late stops as Bolton piled on the pressure.