February 11, 2015 by bluenosebible
Birmingham City 0-1 Millwall
Written by: Oliver Osborn
Birmingham City have lost for the first time in the league in 2015 after relegation-threatened Millwall claimed a crucial victory at St. Andrews.
Alan Dunne’s second-half header was enough to provide the Lions with their second successive away win and their first at St. Andrews since 1968.
A good passing move between Martyn Woolford and Stefan Maierhofer put the former through on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat.
The winger’s lobbed effort came back off the crossbar and bounced back into the arms of Darren Randolph.
Gary Rowett’s side were struggling to break the visitors down and create chances for themselves, but Clayton Donaldson’s chance midway through the half should have given Birmingham the lead.
A long ball forward from Jonathan Grounds found Donaldson, who worked hard to get one-on-one with David Forde
The striker took his time to pick a spot, but had the shot well saved by the Irishman.
As the interval approached, Donaldson became the provider for David Davis to take a shot from 25 yards out, but the midfielder’s deflected effort was met with a good diving save from Forde in the Millwall goal.
Ian Holloway’s men were the stronger side in the opening 45 minutes and it didn’t take them long to take the lead through captain Alan Dunne.
A left wing free kick to the back post from Lee Martin found Dunne who headed towards goal.
Jonathon Spector cleared the shot, but could only find the central defender again to score his second goal of the season.
Blues pushed to find a way back into the game and the closest they came was through Grounds having a header thunder back off the crossbar from David Cotterill’s corner.
The defeat means Birmingham drop down to 11th, with Millwall staying third from bottom of the table.
In their next fixtures, Millwall travel to Leeds United on Saturday while Blues take on Middlesbrough the following Wednesday.
Birmingham manager Gary Rowett:
“It was a frustrating night and a frustrating performance in many ways. I felt when we went out from the start it felt a little bit flat and felt a little bit as though we were going to turn up and win the game.
“It just doesn’t happen like that. I thought Millwall blocked the game up well and it was very difficult for us to find space and we just didn’t move the ball quick enough.
“We didn’t cause them enough problems in the final third and that was the most disappointing thing.
“Games like that are going to happen and we have to try and find a solution. It was a poor goal to concede and from then on we huffed and puffed.”
Millwall manager Ian Holloway:
“We had to ride a couple of things, like our record here. We have not won here since 1968 and that is pretty scary. They hit the bar, that was scary, but on the whole I was really pleased with the response of my lads.
“We are a new group and we are learning and we came here against a really good side. I don’t think Birmingham played poorly. I don’t think we allowed them to play and I thought we played well.
“That is the Championship. Anyone can beat anyone on a given day and what we need to try and do is win at home. It is pretty heartbreaking for our fans. The ones who come away are quite enjoying it.”
Starting line up: Randolph; Caddis, Spector, Robinson, Grounds; Davis, Gleeson; Cotterill, Shinnie (Gray 64′), Dyer (Novak 64′); Donaldson (Zigic 76′)
Subs not used: Doyle, Hancox, Reilly, Arthur
Man of the match: Diego Fabbrini