Enraged Rotherham 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 after their 2-1 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Birmingham.
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.
However, referee Whitestone waved away his claims as goals by Robert Tesche and Clayton Donaldson proved enough for the hosts despite Derbyshire having pulled one back earlier.
“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 today - 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.
“The opposition manager (Gary Rowett) put his hands up straight away.”
He added: “Every point is precious. If they go down to 10 men I think we beat them.”
City 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 on the rebound.
Rotherham gained a foothold less than three minutes into the second half when City goalkeeper Darren Randolph only palmed Lee Frecklington’s shot to Derbyshire, who tapped home.
However, the crucial moment came when Derbyshire bore down on goal only to go down when tangling with home defender Kiernan as the centre-half looked to atone for his own slip.
Birmingham manager Rowett remained cool on the sidelines as Evans ranted and raved a few feet away and was equally philosophical at full-time.
“I’ve watched it back three or four times and I actually don’t think it was a penalty, in my opinion,” he said.
“I can understand why Steve would want it given but I’ve watched it and the legs tangled but I don’t think there was a clear foul by anyone, plus the ball is running away. I’m sure Steve will say I said otherwise.”
The win takes Birmingham to 50 points and 15 off the bottom three, having been entrenched in the relegation zone when Rowett took over earlier this season.
“Some people said it was ‘Mission Impossible’ when we came in but we always believed we could turn it around,” he added.