Sam Field produced an amazing overhead first-half goalline clearance to keep QPR in it
Birmingham City were held to a draw for the second successive home game as lowly Queens Park Rangers battled hard to maintain this season's improved away form.
Blues had hit late winners in both their first two home games this season and had to come from behind to earn a point off Gary Rowett's Millwall three weeks ago.
But they could not find a way past QPR keeper Asmir Begovic, while Birmingham stopper John Ruddy was in equally good form.
The real standout moment of the night, however, was former West Bromwich Albion midfielder Sam Field's astonishing acrobatic clearance to prevent his team-mate Steve Cook from scoring an embarrassing first-half own goal.
QPR's point, on the back of away wins at Cardiff and Middlesbrough, perhaps made up for the unhappy evening they suffered in the second city on their last visit to St Andrew's 11 months ago, which turned out to be a fateful night for them.
Then under Michael Beale, the then high-flying Hoops would have gone top of the second tier if they had won.
Instead, Blues' 2-0 win, sparked by an outstanding overhead-kick from on-loan Arsenal defender Auston Trusty, sent them on a nosedive down the Championship table, hastened by Beale's high-profile departure to Rangers, unchecked by new boss Neil Critchley and ended only by the two late season wins under Ainsworth which kept them up.
The one thing that appears to be different to last season is their comparative defensive meanness.
Since being battered 4-0 at Watford in their season opener, QPR have only conceded eight goals in seven league games - and this was their second successive away clean sheet.
No way past Ruddy and Begovic
Despite a lot of early menace down the right from on-loan Jay Stansfield, the closest Birmingham came before the break was a frantic scramble which culminated in a remarkable goal-line clearance from Field, who hooked Cook's attempted clearance out from underneath his own bar.
Stansfield also dangerously bobbed and weaved his way into a number of other potential openings, but the ball did not bounce kindly enough thanks to the close intervention of some gutsy last-ditch QPR defending.
The closest either side came to a goal before the break came when Paul Smyth cut in from right for the visitors and unleashed a low left-foot shot which forced a save from the solid Ruddy.
With Blues disrupted by a late first-half hamstring injury for Keshi Anderson, it was the same pattern after the break as the two 36-year-old custodians vied to outdo each other.
Begovic made important saves from Scott Hogan and the lively Stansfield, while Ruddy perhaps outshone him when he got down sharply to keep out Lyndon Dykes' header from substitute Albert Adomah's right-wing cross, reacting with a brilliant tumbling save.
But while Blues have still not lost a home Championship match this season and ended a run of two straight away defeats at Watford and Preston, they will surely be the more disappointed of the two sides.
Birmingham are on the road next Saturday when they go to Norwich, while QPR host Coventry City.
Birmingham City boss John Eustace told BBC Radio WM:
"Overall, a point is a fair result and John Ruddy saved us with an outstanding save there at the end.
"It was important that we were competitive and had some good chances.
"But QPR were always a threat and we had to stay alert - and we limited them to only a few chances."
QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth:
"I'd have taken a point before the game, although you always want all three.
"But Birmingham are a good team and John Eustace is a good manager and it's a tough place to get something.
"We almost got in trouble a couple of times then, but for John Ruddy making a fantastic save at the end there from Lyndon Dykes we might even have come away with something. But we're probably the happier side at the end."
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 21Ruddy12Drameh5SandersonBooked at 67mins26Long3Buchanan7BacunaBooked at 54mins6Bielik11MiyoshiSubstituted forDembéléat 71'minutes28StansfieldBooked at 90mins14AndersonSubstituted forBurkeat 43'minutes9HoganSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 71'minutes
- 1Begovic2Kakay5S Cook15Fox11SmythBooked at 61minsSubstituted forAdomahat 65'minutes17Dozzell8FieldBooked at 45mins22Paal9Dykes10Chair30ArmstrongSubstituted forWillockat 75'minutes
Referee:Matt DonohueAttendance:19,803Match StatsHome TeamBirminghamAway TeamQPRPossessionHome54%Away46%ShotsHome12Away8Shots on TargetHome4Away4CornersHome6Away7FoulsHome13Away13Live Text Post update
Match ends, Birmingham City 0, Queens Park Rangers 0.
Second Half ends, Birmingham City 0, Queens Park Rangers 0.
Attempt missed. Krystian Bielik (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Juninho Bacuna with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Sam Field.
Jay Stansfield (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jay Stansfield (Birmingham City).
Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Siriki Dembélé (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Osman Kakay (Queens Park Rangers).
Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Morgan Fox (Queens Park Rangers).
Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Andre Dozzell (Queens Park Rangers).
Attempt missed. Osman Kakay (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.
Foul by Siriki Dembélé (Birmingham City).
Chris Willock (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by Krystian Bielik.
Foul by Siriki Dembélé (Birmingham City).
Andre Dozzell (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.
Page 1 of 6rewindpreviousNavigate to the next pagenextNavigate to the last pageforward