Rotherham 1-1 Birmingham: Match Report

14 April 2017 04:34

Birmingham pegged back by relegated Rotherham

Birmingham missed the chance to give themselves significant breathing space at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table after drawing 1-1 at rock-bottom Rotherham.

Kerim Frei's moment of brilliance looked like giving Gianfranco Zola's side a first win since February as he sent in a sublime 73rd-minute free-kick.

But it was instead the already relegated Millers who stopped the rot as Danny Ward's late leveller ended a run of 10 successive defeats, earning a first point since February 11.

Blues remain four points off the relegation zone with four games left and head into a monumental clash on Easter Monday with Burton.

Bank Holiday entertainment was not on the menu in a drab opening 45 minutes in which neither side showed any quality.

The only moment of promise came for Birmingham with 23 minutes on the clock when Craig Gardner's low 30-yard free-kick brought a fine stretching save out of Richard O'Donnell, who did well to turn the ball away for a corner.

There were no other instances of real danger for either goalkeeper after that, with Carlton Morris having a tame header for the Millers and O'Donnell easily grabbing another Gardner effort just before the whistle.

Over 2,500 travelling Blues fans were unimpressed with what they saw and roundly booed their team off at half-time.

Rotherham started the second half on the front foot and Will Vaulks' cross-shot caused panic in the Blues box, with Tomasz Kusczak clawing it away and Ward having a follow-up shot blocked.

The hosts' best opportunity came on the hour mark as a sweeping move saw Jon Taylor whip a dangerous ball in which Morris appeared bound to tap in, but a superb tackle from Ryan Shotton denied a certain goal.

Having made it through unscathed, Zola's men began to up the ante in search of an opener and they were given a series of opportunities with free-kicks in dangerous areas outside the box.

And it was from the third that they took the lead with 17 minutes remaining. Frei lined it up from 25 yards out and sent a swerving effort over the wall and into the top corner.

That looked like being the winning goal until Ward saved the Millers in the 85th minute. The top scorer cut in from the left and curled a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Rotherham should have won it deep into injury time when Jerry Yates had all the time in the world to score at the back post, but he embarrassingly blazed over.

Still, the Millers will take a point, which left Blues fans chanting for Zola's head at the end of the game.


Source: PA


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