Rotherham United 1 Birmingham City 3: Another hammerblow to the Millers’ survival hopes
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne insists his players "won't give up" despite their damaging 3-1 loss to Birmingham leaving them staring relegation in the face.
The result was a hammer-blow to Rotherham's hopes of staying in the Championship as they failed to capitalise on Millwall's loss earlier in the day. They remain three points adrift of the Londoners with only two games left.
Millwall also have a game in hand and a far superior goal difference – meaning Rotherham will have to get something from both of their remaining games.
Warne said: “It was a must win game and we didn't win it – which is hugely disappointing. There are two games (left) we need to get something from.
“I am ever hopeful. If we can pick something up at West Brom and results go our way then who's to know with the last game of the season.
“We won't give up. There is still a chance. If they could stay up they would go down in history like gladiators.”
Semi Ajayi and Will Vaulks missed decent chances to double Rotherham's lead before Birmingham took over proceedings in a dominant second period.
Warne added: “We could have done with getting a second goal. They asked us questions we didn't have answers for, collectively.
“They were fully deserved winners. I didn't think the performance in the second half was like us. We didn't do enough to deserve anything out of it.”
It all started brightly with Rotherham going ahead in the 22nd minute with Matt Crooks hitting his third in as many games.
The midfielder capitalised on a poor clearance from Ryan Williams' cross and stroked confidently past former Miller Lee Camp.
But Rotherham collapsed in the second with Birmingham firing three goals to secure their own status in the division.
Jacques Maghoma got them level on 56 minutes. The winger was afforded too much space around the edge of the box and then curled into the top corner.
It took Birmingham only seven more minutes to swing the game around when Che Adams flew down the right flank and his pinpoint low cross was turned in smartly by Jota.
Substitute Kerim Mrabti wrapped up the points in added on time after sliding Maghoma's pass beyond Rodak.
Rotherham: Rodak, Jones, Ajayi, Wood (Forde 69), Mattock, Williams (Vassell 77), Vaulks, Towell, Crooks, Newell (Taylor 61), Smith.
Unused: Price, Robertson, Ihiekwe, Wiles.
Birmingham: Camp, Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen, G Gardner, Davis, Maghoma, Jota (Mrabti 77), Adams (Roberts 86), Jutkiewicz (Vassell 81).
Unused: Trueman, C Gardner, Larkin, Harding.
Referee: Andy Davies.
Attendance: 10,703 (2,573 from Birmingham.)