Stuart Dallas as the double for Leeds as they win at Birmingham
Stuart Dallas got Leeds back to winning ways as his classy double earned them a 2-1 Skybet Championship victory against Birmingham at St Andrew's.
Northern Ireland international Dallas made the breakthrough in the 11th minute before increasing Leeds' advantage with a spectacular volley five minutes into the second-half and doubling his goal tally for the season in the process.
Clayton Donaldson gave Birmingham hope with a close-range striker in the 53rd minute but Leeds held firm in the face of a City onslaught to earn their first win in five games - after taking a solitary point from the previous four - and also end a run of back-to-back away defeats.
The only sour note for Leeds came in stoppage time when Alex Mowatt was sent off for his challenge on Ryan Shotton.
Birmingham had gone into the game hoping to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.
But they only really got going when they were 2-0 down and remain nine points adrift of the top six with just five games remaining.
Leeds made a fast start and gave a sign of what was to come before Dallas broke the deadlock.
Mirco Antenucci tried his luck from long range in the sixth minute before former Birmingham loanee Chris Wood was inches away from converting a right-wing cross from Gaetano Berardi.
They were warnings that Birmingham did not heed and City paid the price for that when Dallas found himself unmarked and in acres of space 20 yards from goal after a pass form the lively Antenucci.
Dallas did not need a second invitation and let fly with a low drive that whistled past goalkeeper Adam Legzdins and just inside his near post.
Leeds were unfortunate not to add to their lead four minutes later when Charlie Taylor's left-wing cross picked out Lewis Cook and his shot from 14 yards was blocked by a harassed Birmingham defence.
Leeds were completely dominant at this stage and Birmingham were relieved to see Wood head a Taylor corner over the bar in the 25th minute.
When Birmingham did finally threaten to mount an attack of their own it was ended in rather crude fashion by Berardi who upended David Davis on the left wing in the 32nd minute with a challenge that earned the Swiss full-back a yellow card.
It was a rare moment of attacking intent from Birmingham and they were lucky not to fall further behind in the final minute of the first half.
Cook made huge strides along the right flank before cutting into the area and seeing his shot beaten away at his near post by Legzdins.
But Leeds did not have to wait long to double their lead through a stunning strike from Dallas.
He latched on to a header from Wood, flicked the ball up with his left foot and volleyed it past a stunned Legzdins with his right from 20 yards.
Leeds looked to be in cruise control at this stage, but Birmingham grabbed a lifeline just three minutes later when Paul Caddis as fouled by Liam Cooper on the edge of the area.
David Cotterill's free-kick was palmed out by Marco Silvestri - straight to Donaldson who was able to bundle the ball home from six yards.
Birmingham were a completely different proposition after Donaldson's ninth goal of the season and they were only denied an equaliser in the 67th minute when Jonathan Grounds' header was cleared off the line by the well placed Cook.
Silvestri then came to the rescue of Leeds by beating out Kyle Lafferty's powerful 75th-minute drive from just inside the area before swiftly denying him again seconds later.
Lafferty, who Leeds had tried to sign on-loan from Norwich before he made a temporary switch to Birmingham, then turned provider to tee-up Diego Fabbrini who somehow managed to sky his shot over the bar from seven yards.