Friday 14th April 2017
SkyBet EFL Championsip
at the New York Stadium, Rotherham
Rotherham United (0) 1
Danny Ward 85
Birmingham City (0) 1
Kerim Frei 73
Admission £20. Programme £3
Attendance 10,160 (inc. 2,576 away fans)
Richard O'Donnell, Darnell Fisher (Jerry Yates 61), Semi Ajayi, Richard Wood, Joe Mattock, Jon Taylor, Will Vaulks, Richie Smallwood, Joe Newell (Tom Adeyemi 46), Carlton Morris (Jonson Clarke-Harris 77), Danny Ward
Unused subs - Aimen Belaid, Alex Bray, Ben Purrington, Laurence Bilboe
Tomasz Kuszczak, Krystian Bielik, Ryan Shotton, Paul Robinson (Kerim Frei 55), Emilio Nsue, David Davis, Robert Tesche (Jacques Maghoma 90), Craig Gardner (Maikel Kieftenbeld 80), Jonathon Grounds, Charlee Adams, Lucas Jutkiewicz
Unused subs - Adam Legzdins, Stephen Gleeson, Cheick Keita, Jerome Sinclair
Of course. both teams had completely different managers back then, but I'm sure that you're all fed up of reading about the pair of them elsewhere, so... moving swiftly on.
Prior to today the Millers have been victorious just twice in their previous twenty two outings.
By comparison, Blues have been on fire and it has only taken them twenty games to amass the same amount of wins.
This most definitely wasn't a head to head between two form teams, quiye the opposite!
With a build up like that, it's got to be fairly obvious to understand why I purchased a ticket for this must see clash, the very moment that they went on sale... hasn't it!?
It was a rhetorical question.
And everybody already knows the answer.
|Seriously, all that money and he still buys £20|
trainers in the Sports Direct clearance sale.
The supporters of any football club who have stood their ground during a downturn in fortunes, will be able to relate to why Blues fans keep right on travelling in such large numbers, but by the same token, they would also struggle to comprehend why on earth an overseas business conglomerate and a multi millionaire manager (with a personal net worth of £32 million, if you can believe anything you read on the internet), would suddenly rack up at West Midlands football club, that they have no previous connections with whatsoever.
TTI's takeover was long and protracted and tobe honest, it came at a time when financially, Blues were drinking after hours and stretching out time to the nth degree in the last chance saloon, so to that end they've effectively kept the club alive... but though change was inevitable, there is a marked difference between change for changes sake and progressive change.
So that's something nice that they can proudly tell their grandchildren about in years to come.
Yes, you're right of course: sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but you keep coming back to read all of this crap, so you only have yourself to blame.
|Hmm... is this kind of goalkeeper and referee colour clash apparel allowed?|
His closing gambit was reserved for Birmingham City however; and I quote "That lot today, were the worst team we've had down here at the New York Stadium... and in saying that I don't just mean this season in the Championship, I'm talking about all of the time we've been playing there. They were awful... and if we aren't good enough to beat rubbish like that, it clearly demonstrates how far our standards have slipped"
Blimey! Don't mince your bleedin' words Granddad.
And, to be frank, any Blues fan who believes such a fallacy is being sold a bargain rail version of the kings new clothes.
There have been traces and the odd hint here ans there, the the Birmingham players are absorbing a new culture and more scientific way of playing football, but it's a very simple game that can be made far too complicated at times. In a nutshell, you win games by scoring at one end and lose them by conceding at the other and though attractive tippy tappy football is pleasing on the eye, you shouldn't entertain such flights of fancy until you've got the basics right first.
|Rotherham fans... it takes all sorts Darrell! ;-)|
Rotherham were very average, but the Blues were so poor, they made the Millers look good (well, almost) in spells.
Though I must stress that I am not singling anybody out, Craig Gardner was wasteful with a string of free kicks around the Millers goal area.
In fact he was so ineffective that it seemed as though the home side were happy to commit fouls whenever Blues pushed forward, secure in the knowledge that the resulting free kicks would come to absolutely nothing, time and time again.
|It's a goal!!!|
Kerim Frei took responsibility for a kick in the seventy third minute and there were wild scenes in the away end as a mass outpouring of relief erupted as he curled the ball over the Rotherham wall and into the top corner of the net beyond the reach or Richard O'Donnell.
The performance didn't matter today all that much today as far as those travelling fans were concerned, but with the trapdoor end of the table looming ominously close, the result did!
However with five minutes remaining that elation turned to despair, as Danny Ward crashed a low shot past Tomasz Kuszczak into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area to make it one apiece.
I think it would be fair to say that Blues season had just reached it's lowest point. Their game against fellow strugglers Burton Albion on Monday, had just grown arms and legs... and possibly horns and a capacity to breathe fire.
Anything other than a win over the Brewers will mean that a defeat in next week's Second City derby at Villa Park, could see Birmingham slide into a relegation spot, with just two games to go, namely: one against Huddersfield Town who are pushing for promotion and a trip to Bristol City on the last day of the season, who themselves might need a result to preserve their own Championship status.
Angry voices were raised, some towards Gianfranco Zola others towards fellow supporters, as arguments broke out, fingers were pointed, threats were made and people even squared up to each other... (even two Blues players had to be restrained after the game as they flared up at each other).
Things nearly got much worse for the visitors, as Rotherham almost snatched the points right at the end, when Jerry Yates smashed the ball over the bar, but the ref blew for time and it finished all square, with a point apiece.
FT: Rotherham United 1 v Birmingham City 1
As results began to come through from elsewhere, it was announced that Blackburn Rovers had beaten Nottingham Forest, in a relegation six pointer at the City Ground.
They are both below Birmingham in the table, but today got just that little bit worse for those Blues fan boarding the convoy of coaches to take them home, because that means their team are now just four points above the drop zone with four games left to go, whilst there opponents on Monday are two points below them and will really have to give it a go if they are to escape relegation.
|How we used to live. Millmoor. The Millers old ground still |
standing just across the A630 from their current home.
Incredibly, I read somewhere that the Birmingham manager will be steeped in praise for his astute handling and masterminding of beating the drop, if they stay up.
Woo hoo! All hail King Zola!
All I can do in response to that, is to draw upon the plot from a children's story written by Hans Christian Andersen and say this: "The King is in the all together. But all together the all together, He's all together, as naked as the day that he was born".
Rotherham are already relegated. Is there still scope/hope for a fairy tale ending for Blues?
We won't have to wait too long to find out.
We won't have to wait too long to find out.