Birmingham City failed in their bid to go top of the Barclays Premiership Reserve League North after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of fellow high-fliers Manchester City.
Two second-half goals condemned the visitors to defeat, although they did have enough chances for at least a share of the spoils.
Striker Njazi Kuqi went close in the 19th minute with a powerful right-foot shot and midfielder Peter Till also had a good chance, shooting over from 30 yards.
Two minutes into the second-half, striker Sam Alsop was desperately unlucky as City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver, back from injury, doing well to deny the agile hitman. Alsop went close minutes later, but this time fired wide when well-placed to give his side the advantage.
At the other end, Birmingham goalkeeper Colin Doyle made a superb save from his own player. Marcos Painter then deflected a Sylvain Distin cross goalwards, but Doyle somehow managed to block the effort.
However, the pressure told and the hosts scored twice in the space of eight minutes to go top of the league after three wins and one draw.
Stephen Ireland gave the home side the lead in the 61st minute, slotting home from a Lee Croft cross, before fellow midfielder Mark Laird netted. n Unbeaten Aston Villa left it late before clinching the points in a one-sided 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic at Villa Park.
With Patrik Berger and Lee Hendrie running midfield, Kevin MacDonald's men dominated from start to finish. But after Luke Moore had given them a seventh-minute lead from Jamie Ward's pass, chances went begging before Wigan got back on terms after 70 minutes. Alan Mahon looped a great left-footed shot wide of Stuart Taylor from well outside the 18-yard box.
Villa seemed to have blown it, but Gabriel Agbonlahor redeemed two earlier bad misses with a competent finish seven minutes from the end. n Wolverhampton Wanderers paid the penalty for defensive blunders as West Bromwich Albion clocked up their first success of the season against Glenn Hoddle's second string
Defender Jody Craddock gifted Albion their first goal when he failed to cut out a 35th-minute ball from Ibraham Sissoko and Stuart Nicholson gave goalkeeper Stefan Postma no chance.
Then in the 54th minute, Craddock and Postma were both beaten too easily as Rob Davies found the target from a narrow angle.
Wolves reduced the arrears in the 71st minute as Patrick Flynn netted a low cross from Mark Davies while George Ndah had a number of good scoring chances. He ballooned one early shot too high and headed another chance wide, then he was off-target again in the 33rd minute when he should have found the net.