Birmingham 2 Ipswich 1: Zigic nicks it but Jewell rages at female official over penalty

Birmingham 2 Ipswich 1: Zigic nicks it but Jewell rages at female official over penalty

Paul Jewell waited on the St Andrew’s pitch after the final whistle to confront assistant referee Amy Fearn after Nikola Zigic’s stoppage-time winner darkened his mood.

The Ipswich manager was furious after referee Rob Lewis and his colleague failed to award a penalty when home skipper Steve Caldwell hauled over Lee Miller with the scores level nine minutes from time.

Fuming: Paul Jewell rages on the touchlines after Ipswich's winner

Fuming: Paul Jewell rages on the touchlines after Ipswich's winner

MATCH FACTS

Birmingham: Myhill (Doyle 46), Murphy, Davies, Caldwell, Spector, Beausejour (Redmond 73), Gomis (Mutch 82), Fahey, Burke, King, Zigic. Subs not used: Ridgewell, Rooney.

Scorer: Zigic 9, 90+1.

Ipswich: McCarthy, Edwards, Sonko, Smith, Cresswell, Martin, Drury, Leadbitter, Emmanuel-Thomas (Ellington 74), Murphy, Scotland (Chopra 79). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Carson, Ainsley.

Booked: Leadbitter.

Scorer: Martin 18.

Referee: Rob Lewis.

Attendance: 16,528.

Jewell, who was marking his first
anniversary at Ipswich, was fuming even before the giant Serbian lifted
Birmingham boss Chris Hughton to within two points of the play-off
places in the dying seconds.

‘Unfortunately, it was a penalty to
every man, but not a woman,’ he fumed.

‘Although the referee didn’t have
a good sight, the lineswoman, or whatever she’s called, had a great
view of it. It was a stonewall penalty — and a sending-off.’

Jewell had good reason for complaint
as the hosts would have been staring at their first home league defeat
of the campaign had the spot-kick been converted.

As it was, the evening
ended in triumph for Zigic, whose name was booed before kick-off by
some home fans.

Late drama: Nikola Zigic seals three points for the home side

Late drama: Nikola Zigic seals three points for the home side

The forward had scored just twice
this season before but doubled his tally with two close-range
strikes that highlighted Jewell’s problems.

The first, in the ninth
minute, came as he glanced David Murphy’s long throw beyond on-loan
Ipswich goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Level pegging: Lee Martin (left) celebrates his strike

Level pegging: Lee Martin (left) celebrates his strike

Birmingham had been in little trouble until Lee Martin levelled with a spectacular 25-yard strike eight minutes later.

In the second half Marlon King
hammered a shot against a post as Hughton’s side pressed. But the final
drama was saved for the final seconds, as the statisticians would have
predicted. Ipswich have conceded more goals than any other Championship
side in the closing 15 minutes of matches — the time Birmingham are at
their most dangerous.

On target: Nikola Zigic watches his effort beat Alex McCarthy

On target: Nikola Zigic watches his effort beat Alex McCarthy

Man of the match Curtis Davies
flicked on another Murphy throw, and Zigic slipped the ball under
McCarthy.

‘It was the late, late show, again,’ said Hughton. ‘It shows
character and resilience. I’m delighted for Nikola. He deserves a bit of
patience.’