After Hatton failed to make the most of an early opportunity - his centre intended for the unmarked Withe was easily cut out by Thompson - intelligent running by Hughes opened up the Birmingham defence but he shot well over.
In the 13th minute, Liverpool took the lead - somewhat luckily. A Keegan corner was met at the near post by Toshack, whose back-header struck Gallacher, the ball flying off Toshacks head again and into the net before he knew what had happened.
Four minutes later, Birmingham retaliated with a penetrating run by Francis but his shot was easily saved.
After a fine run by Hall his centre was headed on to the top of the bar by Toshack.
But after Toshack had a great shot well saved by Latchford in the 31st minute, Withe and Francis replied for Birmingham with two penetrating runs which had the home defence at full stretch. Both times however with only Clemence to beat their finishing was weak.
Liverpool had substitute Cormack brought on at the start of the second half in place of the injured Case and, soon after, were reduced to 10 men when Neal went off for treatment to an eye injury.
Just as Neal was returning Liverpool increased their lead in the 58th minute. An astute pass by Cormack, intended for Keegan broke to Toshack who lashed the ball into the net.
Hatton (80 min) scored for Blues but Toshack (86) completed his hat-trick.
Copyright - The Coventry Evening Telegraph