A journey to bring my step daughter to visit Aston University, as part of her preparation for making Uni choices for next year, meant that I could come to see my home team, Birmingham City play in the Championship against Rotherham United.
I was sat in the railway end (now named the Gil Merrick stand) after Ex-England keeper, Blues stalwart and manager who as a teenager lived on my road in Shirley, where I grew up. The Gil Merrick stand is also home to the Blues celebrity, Jeremy, whose cries throughout the game, of “C’mon the Blues” are becoming part of St Andrew’s folklore.
Blues came into today’s game in nineteenth place, just seven points above the drop zone but with an EFL investigation rumoured to be hanging over them, following issues being raised about a proposed takeover earlier in the season. Blues goals have come this season largely from Scott Hogan (10) and Troy Deeney (7).
The Blues fans have long protested about the BHL group who own the club and to add to the home side’s frustrations, the lower tier of the ground in the Kop and Tilton stands, built under the Gold and Sullivan era, remain closed, pending emergency repair works, which have lasted a year.
Rotherham United, promoted last season from League One, sit just one place and one point above Blues in eighteenth place. Chiedoze Ogbene has top scored for the Millers with eight goals.
The first half opened up with Birmingham City looking the more positive. In the 5th minute Reda Khedra cut in from the left and bent a shot around Johansson in the Rotherham goal to put Blues 1-0 ahead.
The next 30 minutes saw both sides try to control the game but was marked by a nasty head injury which forced Krystian Bielik to leave the pitch, after a high foot from a Rotherham player. he was replaced by George Hall.
Then on 35 minutes, Birmingham’s Kevin Long pounced on a chance from a corner, to slam the ball home, putting the home side 2-0 ahead, and in turn sending the Blue Nose fans wild.
At the break the teams went in with the score still 2-0. John Eustace, the Birmingham manager would have been reminding his players how important it was today to not give anything away, as they went into a crucial second half.
The second half saw much more pressure from Rotherham United with a battle between Jordan Hugill and Aaron Trusty creating chances which the away side needed to take. Blues defended well, with Harley Dean playing his heart out at the back.
At full time it was the home side who took all three points. As I left St Andrews the fans were loudly singing the Blues anthem “Keep Right On!” A rare home success this season had put them in a happy mood.