NEWCASTLE (AFP) - Newcastle defender Steven Taylor got the winner as his side's 2-1 victory over 10-man Birmingham at St James' Park kept the visitors dangerously close to the Premier League relegation zone on Saturday. Alan Pardew's side took the lead after Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell was sent off for deliberate handball and Shola Ameobi converted the resulting first-half penalty. Taylor then powered home a second from Joey Barton's corner before Lee Bowyer's effort deflected in off Fabricio Coloccini to give Birmingham hope. Alex McLeish's team were unable to find an equaliser and they are remain only four points above the bottom three with two matches to play. Newcastle always looked the more threatening team and Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster got down well to turn away Barton's skidding 30-yard drive in the early stages. Birmingham fell behind in the 36th minute. Stephen Carr cleared Ameobi's header off the line and Foster pulled off a fine save to keep out Coloccini's follow-up. Hitzlsperger gives Hammers survival hope: Thomas Hitzlsperger kept West Ham United's hopes of avoiding relegation alive with a 78th minute equaliser after Jason Roberts had given Blackburn Rovers an early lead in a 1-1 draw at Upton Park on Saturday. But the Hammers remain at the foot of the Premier League and had they failed to recover from Roberts's goal, their fate would have been all but sealed. However, with two games remaining, they still have a slim chance of breaking clear -- although their chances would have been strengthened further if Robbie Keane had not missed a simple opportunity to score in the 87th minute. Rovers, meanwhile, were left to count the cost of squandering two points that meant their own safety was still to be secured. And with games against Manchester United and Wolves to come, they could yet get dragged back into the bottom three. West Hams decline has gathered pace in recent weeks with Avram Grant's side coming into this game on the back of five successive defeats. The Londoners were forced to go into this game without Scott Parker, the inspirational midfielder and the English Football Writers' Player of the Year. Blackburn who carved out the first opening with Roberts laying the ball off for Morten Gamst Pedersen who was allowed too much time to line up a shot he fired wastefully wide. The home side responded quickly forcing a fifth minute corner that Manuel da Costa met with a header and was denied the opening goal by Pedersens goal-line clearance. Unfortunately for the Hammers, da Costa proved to be less effective in his defensive duties and the centre-back was caught out when Blackburn took the lead in the 13th minute. In Birmingham, Wigan climbed out of the bottom three on Saturday after a battling 1-1 draw away at Aston Villa. However, they can return to the bottom three later on Saturday should Blackpool get a point at Spurs while Wolves can also go above them if they beat West Brom. Wigan grabbed an early lead through Frenchman Charles N'Zogbia as he was found by Hugo Rodallega just inside the box and he rifled the ball home past Brad Friedel for his eighth goal of the season, seven of them in the league. He touched a freekick to Bulgarian veteran Stiliyan Petrov, who passed back to him and the England striker beat Ali Al Habsi from 25 yards out for his seventh goal.