Birmingham City 4 Rotherham United 2: Defensive lapses cost struggling Millers dearly

Danny Ward scored one of Rotherham's two goals at St Andrew's.  Picture: Tony Johnson
Danny Ward scored one of Rotherham's two goals at St Andrew's. Picture: Tony Johnson
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THE PRESSURE increased on Rotherham United manager Alan Stubbs last night as his team fell to a ninth Championship defeat of the season at St Andrews.

Birmingham were finally taken over by Trillion Trophy Asia on Monday after protracted negotiations and they got their new era off to winning start against the struggling Millers.

Goals from Michael Morrison, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Jacques Maghoma and David Cotterill did it for Blues, but they were far from their best, with three of the goals coming from defensive blunders.

Still Gary Rowett’s men were able to extend their unbeaten home run to five games and optimism around St Andrew’s will be high. Rotherham, who have lost all seven of their away games conceding 23 goals in the process, were far better in attack than they were in defence and goals from Danny Ward and Jon Taylor kept them in it.

After Jutkiewicz had put two headers just wide Birmingham deservedly took the lead in the 15th minute. The Millers failed to clear a corner and when Jonathan Grounds sent the ball back in Morrison rose highest to send the ball looping over Lee Camp.

Rotherham had been threatening down the right and that is where they made their 31st-minute equaliser. Substitute Greg Halford fed the ball into the area, which Jake Forster-Caskey dummied, allowing Ward to sweep home into the bottom corner.

But Stubbs’s men criminally allowed Birmingham to regain their lead just four minutes later when left-back Darnell Fisher fluffed his header, allowing Cotterill to cross for Jutkiewicz to head past Camp.

Eight minutes later, Blues took a 3-1 lead when Maghoma fired into the bottom corner.

The Millers then got back in it in the 56th minute through Taylor and that gave them some impetus as Izzy Brown tested Adam Legzdins, who also kept out Lee Frecklington’s header.

But Birmingham made it safe when Cotterill converted from the spot after Che Adams was felled by Camp late on.

Birmingham City: Legzdins, Spector, Morrison, Shotton, Grounds, Cotterill (Robinson 87), Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Maghoma, Donaldson (Adams 73), Jutkiewicz (Brown 64). Unused subsitutes: Fabbrini,Wiggins,Stewart, Kuszczak.

Rotherham United: Camp, Kelly, Kelvin Wilson (Halford 14), Ball, Fisher, Vaulks (Blackstock 84), Taylor, Frecklington, Forster-Caskey, Brown, Ward. Unused subsitutes: Mattock, Forde, Price, Allan, Newell.

Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancashire).