Last Updated: Fri, 29 Mar 2013 19:54
Crystal Palace's promotion hopes suffered a major blow as Birmingham ran riot in a 4-0 win at Selhurst Park.
After Watford were held to a late draw by Burnley earlier in the day, the Eagles knew they could move second in the npower Championship with three points.
However, Ian Holloway's side were a shadow of their normal selves and suffered an embarrassing home defeat as rejuvenated Birmingham won a third successive match.
Nathan Redmond's fine solo effort got City off the mark in the 24th minute, with the teenager showing great skill to ghost past the Palace defence before firing home.
Damien Delaney's own goal six minutes later doubled the visitors' advantage. Ravel Morrison saw a close-range header denied by Julian Speroni, making his 300th Palace appearance, and from the resulting corner the defender headed into his own goal under pressure from Nikola Zigic.
It looked like a comeback could be on after Palace began the second half impressively. However, Palace lacked a cutting edge without the suspended Wilfried Zaha and were soon made to pay.
Mitch Hancox, returning from a hamstring injury, played in Morrison and he directed past Speroni in the 64th minute.
The 1,069 travelling fans were celebrating yet again five minutes later as on-loan Newcastle midfielder Shane Ferguson curled home a superb 20-yard free-kick.
Substitute Andre Moritz twice came close as the hosts looked to reduce the deficit but City were still threatening and Morrison forced Speroni into action.
Moritz again came close as the clock wound down but there was to be no Palace response, leading to boos from the home faithful at the full-time whistle after their 18-match unbeaten league record at Selhurst Park came to a crashing end.
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