Birmingham City had to survive the final 14 minutes with 10 men as they held Coventry City to a goalless draw at the CBS Arena.
Ryan Woods was shown a straight red card for his 82nd-minute trip on main home dangerman Ian Maatsen.
But Lee Bowyer’s Blues survived the final eight minutes – and six minutes of added time – to end their run of two successive defeats.
They drop a place to 17th despite a ninth clean sheet of the season, while Coventry climb a place to fourth after failing to score at home for the first time since their return to the city.
Bowyer revealed after the game that Blues will appeal against Woods’ sending-off by referee Lee Doughty, claiming there was a covering defender and that it should only have been a yellow card.
This fixture twice failed to produce a goal when it was played at St Andrew’s last season – the first time in the Championship, almost a year ago to the night – and again when the sides were drawn together in the FA Cup fourth round in January.
But in a fast-paced derby of high intensity, there were plenty of chances at either end to avoid the same fate again.
Maatsen, Coventry’s main attacking threat, was twice denied by point-blank saves from Blues keeper Matija Sarkic, while the Sky Blues had a good case for a first-half penalty following Dion Sanderson’s shirt tug on Viktor Gyokeres.
But Birmingham gave their supporters in a healthy 22,676 crowd some good moments too.
Troy Deeney was always a presence, Riley McGree saw a first-half volley dip just over and, from Marc Roberts’ long throw, Scott Hogan should have done better when left unattended at the far post.
Then, following Woods’ red card, Coventry top scorer Gyokeres had the best chance to win it.
But the Swede, who has now gone eight games without a goal since his brace in the 4-1 win over Fulham, snatched at it when unmarked, blazing high and wide into the crowd.
Coventry City boss Mark Robins told BBC CWR:
“We haven’t been clinical enough – and that’s a bit of a frustration. But it shows how far we’ve come that we are so frustrated.
“It was a tight game, in a great atmosphere. But that’s derby games – and there was a bit more on it because of us ground-sharing with them.
“You don’t like to see red cards but he’s taken him out there. There was no way he was going to get the ball.
“That’s as cynical as they come. That’s an injury. It was a really poor challenge from a decent player.”
Birmingham City boss Lee Bowyer told BBC Radio WM:
“We dug deep – and to get a point from a good Coventry side was the least we deserved.
“Before the red card we looked the better side in the second half and caused them some problems.
“We will definitely be appealing against Ryan Woods’ red card. The ref said it was serious foul play and that he was out of control but you see these sort of challenges every week.
“It’s an old saying in football that you take one for the team. I could have understood if he was the last man, but he wasn’t.”
- 38HamerSubstituted forAllenat 74′minutes
- 10O’HareSubstituted forWalkerat 90+1′minutes
- 21SandersonBooked at 54mins
- 4RobertsBooked at 76mins
- 52OakleySubstituted forFamilia-Castilloat 65′minutes
- 6WoodsBooked at 82mins
- 34SunjicBooked at 90mins
- 9HoganSubstituted forJamesat 86′minutes
- 36DeeneySubstituted forJutkiewiczat 86′minutes
- Leigh Doughty
Match ends, Coventry City 0, Birmingham City 0.
Second Half ends, Coventry City 0, Birmingham City 0.
Attempt missed. Ian Maatsen (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Liam Kelly.
Attempt missed. Viktor Gyökeres (Coventry City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Jamie Allen.
Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Matt Godden (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City).
Substitution, Coventry City. Tyler Walker replaces Callum O’Hare.
Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Riley McGree.
Attempt missed. Liam Kelly (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.
Kyle McFadzean (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jordan James (Birmingham City).
Substitution, Birmingham City. Jordan James replaces Scott Hogan.
Substitution, Birmingham City. Lukas Jutkiewicz replaces Troy Deeney.
Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Scott Hogan (Birmingham City).
Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Ivan Sunjic.
Ryan Woods (Birmingham City) is shown the red card.
Ian Maatsen (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ryan Woods (Birmingham City).