Birmingham City 3 Rotherham United 1
Jutkiewicz (20,23,68) Taylor (77)
After two exciting home games Rotherham United came down to earth with a bump this afternoon at St Andrew’s when Birmingham City got their first three home points of the season with a three-one win against a jaded looking Millers.
The home side were out the quicker and in the opening five minutes might have scored when Che Adams burst forward and saw his first shot blocked by Billy Jones and rebounding to Adams who saw his second shot go just wide of the upright. Former Blade Adams won a free-kick which Gary Gardner shot well over the crossbar. As the ten minutes came up the Millers had their first chance after Ryan Williams skipped inside and outside the blue shirted men only for Kristian Pedersen to block the Australian’s shot. At the other end Lukas Jutkiewicz got clear in the box to shoot which Jones got a foot too and steered it back to Millers’ ‘keeper Marek Rodak followed minutes later by skipper for the day Will Vaulks losing his footing only to recover to make an excellent tackle to stop Jutkiewicz getting a shot away. On twenty minutes the hosts took the lead after a Jota corner found Jutkiewicz clear at the far post and his header looped over the Millers’ defenders and despite Rodak getting fingertips to it the ball went into the top corner of the net. And three minutes later Jutkiewicz made it two after Gardner had a shot blocked by Rodak only to fall to the former Middlesbrough striker to tap it in for his and the Blues second of the game. Williams and Jon Taylor worked well together with the latter having a shot at goal but it was an easy stop for former Miller Lee Camp in Birmingham’s net followed by a shot from thirty yards out from Ryan Manning which didn’t bother Camp either. With thirty-five minutes on the clock some nice work from Joe Newell found Williams and with the seven hundred and fifty travelling fans begging him to shoot he passed to Taylor who, under pressure from the City defenders, couldn’t get a shot away followed by Manning bringing off the first real save from Camp with the resulting free-kick coming to nothing.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Joe Mattock ‘take one for the team’ when he brought Jota down who was on a good run down the wing with the Millers player getting injured and when up on his feet shown a yellow card by referee Keith Stroud. A good cross in from Jon Taylor was headed clear before Michael Smith could get to it and at the other end Jacques Maghoma saw a fierce shot go inches over the crossbar. The first substitution of the game was for the visitors with Kyle Vassell coming on for Joe Newell. Just after the hour mark Maghoma had another chance but Will Vaulks was there to clear off the line. Ben Wiles was brought on for the Millers in place of Ryan Manning. On sixty eight minutes the hosts went three up after they were awarded a free-kick where Jota slipped the ball to Lukas Jutkiewicz who slammed the ball into the corner of the net for his hat-trick. At the other end Vassell did well to get away from his marker only to see Lee Camp hold onto the shot. City made a couple of substitutions with Connor Mahoney replacing Jacques Maghoma and Michael Morrison going off for Marc Roberts. A long kick up field from Rodak was headed into the path of Vassell by Smith but again Camp was equal to the shot. On the seventy-seventh minute some good work by Vassell saw him get the ball across goal to Taylor who stabbed it home to make it three-one. And the Millers had more chances before the end of the game when Taylor again got himself into the box with his shot being put behind by Kristian Pedersen with Taylor’s corner finding Smith who sent the ball into Williams but his deflected shot was saved by Camp. Two last substitutions saw Zak Vyner on for Matty Palmer for the visitors while the hosts replaced Che Adams with Beryly Lubala. In six minutes of time added on a Vaulks cross into the box was headed away before it could reach Semi Ajayi before Taylor saw a shot blocked by Harlee Dean.
To be honest the Millers looked tired this afternoon. Until the last fifteen minutes of the game there really wasn’t a lot of effort out there and, to be honest, you can’t wait until you are three down to start trying to fight your way back. The only positive of the game this afternoon for me was that we scored away from home for the first time since the opening day of the season.
Referee – Keith Stroud
Official Gate – 19,795 (759 Millers fans)