Clayton Donaldson’s second-half strike was enough to earn Blues a deserved three points against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.
The result meant that Blues also extended their unbeaten run to four games, as well as leap-frogging their hosts and climbing out of the bottom three.
In fairness, the scoreline wasn’t really a true reflection of Blues’ dominance against the Millers, in a match in which they also hit the woodwork twice.
Gary Rowett made just a solitary change to his starting XI with Demarai Gray replacing Koby Arthur in midfield, and the young Ghanaian dropping to the bench. There was no place in the matchday squad for new signing Guy Moussi, with the Frenchman still slightly short of match fitness.
Blues had their first sight on goal after just three minutes when they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the Rotherham area. Stephen Gleeson stepped up and curled it over the defensive wall, but it was well-saved by home keeper Adam Collin.
The lively opening continued with both sides seeking to press forward and Blues were given a scare when Jonson Clarke-Harris beat the offside trap, but he took the ball too wide and Blues were able to clear the danger.
Blues came desperately close to taking the lead through Andy Shinnie after 17 minutes. The Scot demonstrated some excellent skill in the box, before finding room for a shot which he curled past the keeper but onto the post.
Blues were in the ascendancy now and Demarai Gray’s through ball found Clayton Donaldson, but the frontman was denied by Collin. The Millers keeper then had to be alert to push away David Cotterill’s free-kick.
With three minutes to go to half-time, Cotterill was inches away from scoring a goal of the season contender after he unleashed a terrific strike from 25 yards on the angle, which cannoned back off the bar.
Half-time: Rotherham United 0 Blues 0
Donaldson was just a whisker away from giving Blues the lead after 49 minutes when Gray cut the ball back and across the front of the goal line, but the striker just failed to get his toe to it with an empty net at his mercy.
Blues were really putting some really good pressure on the Millers, but were just failing to deliver a decisive blow.
That was until 62nd minute when they got the goal they deserved. Shinnie broke forward and slid an exquisite pass through to Donaldson. The striker’s first attempt was thwarted by Collin, but the Millers keeper was only able to push it back towards the Blues striker who rattled it home at the second attempt to send the 2,500 plus Blues fans in the stand behind the goal into raptures
Having fallen behind, Rotherham began to make a fist of getting back into the contest, but their finishing was letting them down as Paul Green and then Alex Revell both shot well wide.
Minutes after entering the action from subs’ bench, Lee Novak fired just over from an acute angle.
As expected, Rotherham tried to get the ball into the Blues box as often as they could in the closing stages, but the Blues defence stood firm to record another clean sheet.