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Match Report


Posted Fri 03 Apr 15 at 16:59 PM

The Report: Blues 2 Rotherham United 1

Blues began the Easter weekend with a narrow home win against Rotherham United.

First-half goals from Robert Tesche and Clayton Donaldson sealed the victory for Gary Rowett’s side, but a second-half strike from former Blues striker Matt Derbyshire made it a nervy ending for the hosts.

There were two changes to the Blues starting XI with Michael Morrison making his long-awaited return after injury in place of Jonathan Spector and Andy Shinnie coming in for David Davis. 

New loan signing Diego Fabbrini had to be content with a place on the substitutes’ bench. 

The drizzly conditions made it difficult for both sides in the early stages of the game. As a result, decent attacking play was in short supply, on what was a very slippery surface.

It took until the 19th minute for either side to have a shot on target and that fell to David Cotterill who tried his luck with a powerful long-range shot which was well-saved by Millers keeper Emiliano Martinez.

But the deadlock was broken in the home sides’ favour after 27 minutes when they took the lead through Tesche.

Danny Lafferty’s headed clearance fell to Donaldson, who prodded it into the path of the German midfielder and he made no mistake as he drilled a low shot into the back of the net

The goal seemed to galvanise Blues and they started to ramp up the pressure. With 38 played Cotterill put a great cross deep into the area, but Andy Shinnie was unable to keep his effort down and headed the ball two yards over the bar.

Two minutes before the break Blues scored a decisive second goal. It resulted from the award of a free-kick after Tesche was brought down by Lee Frecklington some 30 yards out.

Cotterill stepped up struck a powerful deadball which Martinez only managed to parry into the path of Donaldson and he made no mistake as he sent a header past the despairing Rotherham keeper from close range.

Moments later the Blues striker went close to doubling his tally when he curled an effort just over the bar.

Half-time: Blues 2 Rotherham United 0

Within three minutes of the restart Rotherham found themselves right back in it, when Derbyshire pulled a goal back for the visitors. 

Blues were the victims of their own defensive sloppiness as they failed to clear their lines and the ball eventually dropped to Derbyshire inside the six yard box and he had the simple task of tapping it home.

Having looked down and out, the goal re-energised Rotherham and they started to put Blues under sustained pressure for the first time in the match.

The next attempt on goal saw Ben Pringle curl his chance over Darren Randolph’s bar.

Blues were then awarded a free-kick in similar position to the one that had led to their second goal, but this time Cotterill blasted it over.

Rowett made his first change of the match after 66 minutes when he sent on Lloyd Dyer for Demarai Gray.

With the game heading into the final quarter, both teams really started going for it. Jonathan Grounds had a couple of opportunities - one a shot and one a header.

But then Derbyshire went desperately close to netting an equaliser when his headed effort at the far post bounced on the Blues goal line and across the front of the goal.

Randolph then had to save low down from Jordan Bowery, before Blues broke down the other end and Dyer was only denied a goal by the timely intervention of Jack Hunt.

A great piece of play down the left by Dyer saw him slide a peach of a pass across the front of the Rotherham goal, but with an open net at his mercy, Donaldson was just inches away from connecting with the ball.

As the game entered the final five minutes, Rotherham began to throw everyone forward in search of an equaliser, but it was Blues who went closest to scoring again when Tesche was twice denied by Martinez in the final minute of stoppage time.

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