Huddersfield Town saw its home run of seven games unbeaten halted by Birmingham City after David Cottertill’s second half free-kick gave the visitors all three points.
A difficult 90 minutes of football gave Chris Powell only his second home loss since taking charge of the Terriers in September.
Town did have chances through the game. Grant Holt had the best chance in the first 45 minutes of play, though ‘keeper Darren Randolph was on hand to deny the Wigan loanee in the 39th minute.
The visitors proved a tough outfit to break down throughout the game and Gary Rowett’s side seemed to push on after the interval.
Demarai Gray looked sharp throughout, giving both Lee Peltier and Jack Robinson a tough task of marking the energetic wide-man. However, it was Cotterill who made the difference.
Anthony Gerrard initially clashed with Clayton Donaldson on the edge of the penalty area, allowing the 27-year old midfielder to fire a powerful free kick through the hands of Alex Smithies shortly after the hour mark.
From then on Town looked stifled by the visitors and resorted to using all three substitutions in a last gasp attempt to salvage something from the tie.
Nahki Wells, James Vaughan and Joe Lolley were all introduced by Powell – as Grant Holt, Harry Bunn and Jonathan Hogg made way for the attacking trio.
Gary Rowett reciprocated, bringing on Callum Reilly and Lee Novak for Demarai Gray and the goal-scorer.
Joe Lolley came close to breaking Birmingham hearts after being on the pitch only momentarily. The young attacker’s snapshot forced Randolph into making his only legitimate save of the second half.
The Blues’ final substitution was made deep into the five minutes of stoppage time indicated by the fourth official – David Edgar replaced Andrew Shinnie who picked up a late injury.
This was not to be the last action of the afternoon as Jack Robinson’s tireless work won Town a corner in the penultimate moments of the 90 minutes.
The chance then fell to Anthony Gerrard – making his first league start this season – to smash the ball home, however his scuffed effort summed up Town’s less than lucrative afternoon.
The Terriers travel to Rotherham on Boxing Day and will be keen to put things right, following these back-to-back defeats.
Town's team (4-3-3):
Alex Smithies; Jack Robinson, Anthony Gerrard, Mark Hudson (c), Lee Peltier; Jacob Butterfield, Conor Coady, Jonathan Hogg (Joe Lolley 88’); Harry Bunn (James Vaughan 75’), Grant Holt (Nahki Wells 75’), Sean Scannell
Lloyd Allinson; Paul Dixon, Tommy Smith; Danny Ward