Birmingham City 4 Rotherham United 2: Blues not at their best but see off the Millers

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October 19, 2016 by Shane Ireland

By Harrison Taylor

After a rather disappointing result and performance on Friday, Blues were looking to bounce back in their first game under new owners Trillion Trophy Asia.

They welcomed a Rotherham side that have lost every game on the road so far this season. Blues made three changes from Fridays defeat to Forest. Robinson, Adams and the suspended Davis made way for Spector, Kieftenbeld and Donaldson. A very attacking conventional 4-4-2 with the big men up front.

Like most games so far this season, Blues looked the better team attacking the Gil Merrick stand. Neat passing play and stern defending meant Rotherham were no threat in the first 20 minutes. It took only 14 minutes for the home team to grab the opening goal. Jonathan Grounds found himself in a very unfamiliar position on the right hand side. He played an in-swinging cross to Micheal Morrison, his header looped over keeper Lee Camp. A deserved goal for the Blues and Morrison who has been exceptional so far this season alongside Shotton.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to grab an equaliser, Danny Ward latched onto a ball on the edge of the box and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. A poor goal for Blues to concede.

It took around 3 minutes for the home team to take the lead again. David Cotterill made the most of a poor defensive header on the right hand side only to swing a lovely ball to the penalty spot. The towering Lukas Jutkiewicz got in front of his man and headed in. The defenders unable to keep the ball out.

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Less than ten minutes later, Blues extended their lead. Jacques Maghoma dispossessed former player Greg Halford near the half way line. He ran aggressively towards goal and got the ball onto his stronger right foot. His shot tucked away nicely into the bottom right corner.

The first half ended at 3-1, a positive performance so far. However, it took only 5 minutes into the second half for Rotherham to grab a goal back. Like the first goal, some sloppy defending from Blues. The ball fell to Taylor after a downwards header wasn’t cleared. His shot couldn’t be stopped by Legzdins. Game on.

Blues had a sketchy ten-minute period after that goal. Reece Brown replaced Jutkiewicz as Rowett seemed to adopt a more defensive mind set. This wasn’t the case, however. Brown took up a free-roam role just behind Donaldson, he often found himself in a lot of space and was able to express himself. When he came on, he was very impressive. Rotherham poised very little threat after he was introduced.

Unsurprisingly, Blues extended their lead. Another substitute Che Adams was bundled over in the box by Camp after he showed determination to latch onto a loose ball in the box. With Caddis out and Donaldson’s bang average penalty record. David Cotterill stepped up to take the kick. His penalty was couldn’t be saved. Another impressive display from the Welsh Winger topped off with a goal.

And that was it, an impressive 4 goal display. In my opinion unlucky to concede at all, Rotherham offered very little going forward throughout the game.

Manager Gary Rowett described the formation he chose as ‘adventurous’. And although seemed disappointed with the sloppy goals, was pleased with the free flowing play that blues adopted. Clayton Donaldson on his 100th appearance for Blues described his accolade as a ‘great honour’. He went onto praise his strike partner Jutkiewicz. A formidable duo that I would like to see used again going forward.

Ratings: Legzdins 6, Spector 7, Morrison 7, Shotton 6, Grounds 6, Gleeson 7, Kieftenbeld 6, Cotterill 8, Maghoma 7, Jutkiewicz 8, Donaldson 6. Subs: Brown 7, Adams 7, Robinson N/A.

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