Bowyer, far right, celebrates his audacious match-winning strike at the Molineux
By Sam Lyon
Lee Bowyer's early strike proved enough to earn Birmingham a deserved win over struggling rivals Wolves and push the Blues up towards mid-table security.
The midfielder grabbed the only goal of the game with a superb clipped strike from 20 yards out into the corner.
But it could have been more for the Blues, with Bowyer, Cameron Jerome and Sebastian Larsson forcing fine saves.
Wolves came close through Matt Jarvis's snap-shot, but they rarely looked like ending a winless run of nine matches.
It is the first time Birmingham have recorded back-to-back Premier League victories since 2004, and is the perfect way to mark Alex McLeish's two-year anniversary as Blues boss.
Wolves didn't compete in first half - McCarthy
But for Wolves, the result and performance were an all too stark reminder of the struggle they face to remain in the Premier League this season.
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy pulled no punches following the 4-0 mauling at the hands of Chelsea last week in saying his side were in a relegation battle - and on this evidence, it will be a long and hard one.
While defeats to the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal may be forgivable among the Molineux faithful, a reverse against fierce rivals Birmingham is another prospect entirely - especially given the manner of the loss.
For all their huff and puff, Wolves rarely looked like breaching a relatively modest away defence and a sum of only two shots on target in the entire match told its own story.
Birmingham, on the other hand, produced a determined display that will give their supporters plenty of hope of surviving in this league this season.
They were kick-started by Bowyer's audacious opener, the midfielder taking his tally for the season to five with a beautiful clipped lob into the far corner on three minutes.
And the Blues could - and arguably should - have been further ahead by half-time, Larsson and Jerome, twice, both bringing decent low saves out of Marcus Hahnemann from range and Bowyer then seeing his deflected driven effort from the edge of the area tipped over.
Such was Birmingham's dominance that McCarthy replaced Greg Halford with Michael Kightly on the half hour - and then brought Stephen Ward on for Michael Mancienne at the break.
It preceded Wolves's first noteworthy effort of the match, Kevin Doyle, recalled to the starting line-up after being rested last week, driving inches past the post from 20 yards out.
McLeish hails 'massive win' for Blues
But it was Birmingham that continued to look the more cultured team, resisting Wolves's attacks comfortably and looking to grab a second on the counter.
Their approach almost bore fruit when Jerome burst forward from a Wolves corner and fed James McFadden, only for the Scot's shot across goal to deflect off Ward's desperate challenge and fly wide.
To Wolves's credit, the hosts kept plugging away, and Birmingham keeper Joe Hart had to produce a smart reaction save to keep out Jarvis's snap-shot from a corner late in the piece.
The hosts piled on the pressure in the closing stages, throwing cross after cross into the box as they desperately tried to snatch what would have been a smash-and-grab leveller.
Birmingham held firm, though, and while the final whistle prompted cheers from the away support in the knowledge the win lifts them up to 11th in the table, the home fans' boos suggested McCarthy has work to do if he is to convince them he is the man to protect Wolves' Premier League status.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy: "I picked a team I thought would go out there and compete, but it didn't happen.
"From the first whistle we haven't made a tackle or laid a finger on anyone and, as a result, Birmingham were a good street better than us. We improved late in the game, yes, but we didn't deserve anything from it.
"The supporters deserve a lot better than what we dished up for them today, that's for sure."
Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish: "That is a massive win for us. These are the games that will decide our season and to get a fantastic win, and in the manner that we did it, was brilliant.
"From the keeper right through the team, it was a magnificent performance and our only disappointment was that we didn't take the chances to put it beyond them.
"We won't be shouting from the rooftops just yet, though, we'll keep our feet on the ground and keep doing what we're doing."
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