Second-half substitute Lee Novak scores with his first touch to salvage a point for Birmingham City and deny Steve McClaren his third straight win as Derby County boss.
Lee Novak denied Steve McClaren his third successive win as Derby County boss as Birmingham City salvaged a point in the 1-1 draw at Pride Park this afternoon.
The clash took some 30 minutes before coming to life, with Birmingham proving the more likely of the two in breaking the deadlock.
Towering striker Nikola Zigic, who made his 100th league appearance for the club, rose highest to meet Barry Ferguson's corner but the Serbian's header crashed off the crossbar.
It would be long before it proved a costly miss, as Rams boss McClaren watched his team take the lead shortly after.
The Blues' defence failed to deal with a low cross into the area, as Ward capitalised on the goal-mouth scramble to tap home from close range.
McClaren's men failed to build on their lead in the second half, though, and Lee Clark watched on as one of his substitutions immediately paid dividends.
Novak, who had replaced Andrew Shinnie moments earlier, found himself on the end of a Ferguson cross, before thumping his volley past Lee Grant with his first touch.
The Rams struggled to create clear cut opportunities necessary to restore their lead and the Blues held out for a valuable point.
Half-Time Report: Ward gives Derby slender advantage >