Ten-man Birmingham clung on for a hard-earned point in a 1-1 draw at Brentford that came to life in a fiery second half.
Blues boss Garry Monk was sent to the stands after a touchline melee following Maikel Kieftenbeld’s red card for an off-the-ball incident with home striker Neal Maupay right under the nose of the fourth official.
Brentford had to come from behind after Michael Morrison’s glancing near-post header gave City the lead from a pinpoint Jota corner after 26 minutes of the Sky Bet Championship clash.
But Josh McEachran’s first ever senior goal, an unstoppable free-kick from a tight angle that goalkeeper Lee Camp could only palm into the roof of his net, pulled the Bees level just before the break.
Birmingham could have been out of sight by the interval, Lukas Jutkiewicz squandering two gilt-edged chances with the goal gaping.
At the other end Lewis Macleod saw a looping header dip just over the angle and Alan Judge’s speculative strike from the edge of the area lacked the power to test Camp.
Romaine Sawyers had the first clear chance for the hosts, but his clipped effort at the near post from a low Sergi Canos shot was well blocked by the Birmingham keeper.
Jacques Maghoma had Birmingham’s first clear-cut chance after 22 minutes, but an instinctive shot with the goal at his mercy was tipped wide by Luke Daniels.
Birmingham smelled blood and former Brentford winger Jota set up Jutkiewicz a minute later in acres of space, but Daniels again came to the Londoners’ rescue with a full-length save.
Brentford were living dangerously and only a Chris Mepham block denied Jutkiewicz just before the half hour, but it was only a temporary reprieve as Blues went ahead when the Bees defence stood and watched Morrison from the corner.
Maghoma should have stretched the visitors’ lead but again was wasteful in front of goal, before McEachran sent the hosts in level at the break.
Maupay saw a snap-shot blocked but the ball fell kindly for Alan Judge whose first-time volley was palmed clear by Camp.
A cat-and-mouse game that could have gone either way burst into life after 66 minutes when Maupay hit the deck and referee Tim Robinson reached for a red card for Kieftenbeld after consulting with the fourth official.
The card sparked a City melee in the dugout after which Monk followed his midfielder to the stand.
Brentford seized the initiative after the sending-off but Birmingham defended manfully and the closest the hosts came to taking maximum points was when Canos saw a dipping volley tipped wide by Camp.
Henrik Dalsgaard might have nicked it at the death for the hosts, but his header from a Moses Odubajo cross was tipped over by Blues hero Camp.