Enraged Rotherham United manager Steve Evans labelled referee Dean Whitestone’s refusal to give his side a penalty “the worst decision I’ve ever seen” and claimed a child could do a better job.
Matt Derbyshire was denied a spot-kick when he went down under Rob Kiernan’s second-half challenge as the Millers sought an equaliser while 2-1 behind.
Referee Whitestone waved away his claims and goals by Robert Tesche and Clayton Donaldson proved enough for the hosts despite Derbyshire pulling one back.
“It was the worst refereeing decision I’ve ever seen,” fumed Evans. “We have just seen the DVD. It is as nailed on as they come. It’s a penalty and a red card. If you don’t give them then you might as well give the game up.
“You might as well get a 12-year-old in who has Blue blood in his veins to come and referee. I’m not questioning the integrity of Dean Whitestone, I’m just saying he was atrocious – you can write that in capitals for the Football League.
“Certain people don’t want us in the Championship. We have a lot of respect for the people at Birmingham City but the place went silent when Matt went down, everyone knows we should have been given it.”
He added: “Every point is precious. If they go down to 10 men I think we beat them.”
Birmingham went in front in the 27th minute when Tesche found space just outside the box and after a one-two with Donaldson, side-footed coolly into the bottom-right corner.
It was 2-0 before the half was out as David Cotterill’s free-kick was only parried by Emiliano Martinez, allowing Donaldson to capitalise with a diving header. Rotherham gained a foothold early in the second half when goalkeeper Darren Randolph only palmed Lee Frecklington’s shot to Derbyshire, who tapped home.
Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Morrison, Kiernan, Grounds, Tesche, Gleeson, Cotterill, Shinnie (Davis 82), Gray (Dyer 67), Donaldson. Unused substitutes: Fabbrini, Robinson, Thomas, Novak, Doyle.
Rotherham United: Martinez, Hunt, Morgan, Broadfoot, Lafferty, Wilson (Bowery 52), Frecklington, Smallwood (Yates 85), Pringle, Sammon (Newton 63), Derbyshire. Unused substitutes: Green, Milsom, Collin, Rowe.
Referee: D Whitestone (Northants).