Boro beaten by magic Marlon
Marlon King bagged a brace as Birmingham twice came from behind to beat high-flying Middlesbrough 3-2 in a pulsating Championship clash at St Andrew's on Friday night.
Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.
Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's volley, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.
But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.
Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.
The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes when Andy Halliday's left-wing cross was nodded home by Leadbitter from six yards.
Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.
Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.
King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.
Boro started the second half strongly and McDonald beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.
Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard volley.
And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.