Blues got the better of Rotherham in a massive relegation 6 pointer. It was far from a pretty affair, but Birmingham came away with the all important 3 points.
The first 15 minutes of the match were incredibly open and both sides probably should’ve scored early on. Rotherham certainly had more chances in the opening stages, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.
From about the 20th minute onwards, the game considerably slowed down. The match became far more reliant on set piece chances and long throws.
Blues’ shotstopper Neil Etheridge got very lucky on two occasions in the first half, with two major blunders both coming from Rotherham corners.
Rotherham continued to be the better side in the second half, Freddie Ladapo was the biggest threat to Birmingham’s clean sheet.
There was a fair few knocks in the second half, with both sides desire to stay up very clearly on display.
The match was practically devoid of any quality in the final 45 minutes, and it looked like the game was definitely heading towards a 0-0 stalemate. Both teams were struggling to link passes together and error after error from both clubs lead to neither side building any proper momentum.
Rekeem Harper looked very calm on the ball when he was substituted on, and allowed Blues to have more possession in the closing stages.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 88th minute when all members of the back 3 combined to give Blues the lead. Marc Roberts delivered one of his trademark crosses from out wide, Kristian Pedersen did brilliantly to flick the ball on to the back post; Captain Harlee Dean then met Michael Ihiekwe in the air, and the ball found its way into the goal.
Blues – with the addition of veteran George Friend off the bench – saw the game out in the 6 minutes of added time.
It was an incredible victory for Lee Bowyer’s Blues, now his 4th win in just 6 games in charge.
Whether Blues deserved the 3 points or not is certainly debatable. However at this stage of the season, you just want the victory however they come.
Next up for Birmingham is a midweek meeting with Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest.
Neil Etheridge – 5
Marc Roberts – 6.5
Harlee Dean (C) – 7.5 (GOAL 88′)
Kristian Pedersen – 8.5 (MOTM)
Maxime Colin – 7
Steve Seddon – 6.5
Ivan Sunjic – 6.5
Gary Gardner – 7
Riley McGree – 6.5
Lukas Jutkiewicz – 7
Jon Leko – 7
Possession – Rotherham = 52%, Blues = 48%
Shots – Rotherham = 17, Blues = 14
Shots on Target – Rotherham = 2, Blues = 2
Blues Position after game – 18th (+2)