On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 0 Birmingham City 1

Lewis Wing in action against Birmingham. Picture by Kerrie BeddowsLewis Wing in action against Birmingham. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
Lewis Wing in action against Birmingham. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
ROTHERHAM United paid the price for a succession of missed chances as their Championship survival hopes were hit by a second hammer blow in three days.

The third-bottom Millers, completing their 'Week of Death' schedule, dominated for long spells against Birmingham City at AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon.

However, after losing a crucial clash with Coventry City on Thursday, they fell to a sucker-punch two minutes from time to leave their prospects of second-tier safety looking bleaker than ever.

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Michael Smith, twice, Freddie Ladapo, Angus MacDonald, Michael Ihiekwe and Lewis Wing all spurned great opportunites to score while the visitors - looking for points to make sure of their own safety - also pulled off several goal-saving blocks.

The result leaves Paul Warne's men four points adrift of nearest rivals Derby County with two matches in hand as their run-in reaches its final six-game phase.

There were only 20 seconds on the clock when Lukas Jutkiewicz headed over for the visitors but it was Rotherham who were first to really threaten a breakthrough.

On six minutes, Wing found Ladapo with a clever pass and the striker had goalkeeper Neil Etheridge scrambling with a shot on the turn that went just wide.

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The Millers were relieved to see a Birmingham penalty shout go unanswered six minutes later when Wes Harding, eager to make amends for a miskick, tangled with Steve Seddon.

The sun was beating down on New York but both sides were at full throttle early on and there were no signs from Rotherham that they were playing their fourth match in nine days.

Chances were starting to come for the home side and Angus MacDonald needed to do better than scuff his effort wide from Wing's hard, low cross.

Smith failed to hit the target after a good link-up down the left between Matt Crooks and Clark Robertson had given the striker a real sight of goal.

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It was all Rotherham up to the interval and, after the Millers had been kept at bay by a series of Birmingham blocks in earlier attacks, Ihiekwe lifted the ball over the bar when he should have asked questions of Etheridge.

Manager Warne had gone for size in his starting 11, selecting two big wing-backs in Harding and Robertson to combat Birmingham's use of long diagonal balls.

There were three changes to the team that had lost the crucial clash against Coventry City on Thursday, with Shaun MacDonald, picked for his midfield composure, and Ladapo joining Robertson in the starting line-up.

Matt Olosunde, Ben Wiles and Jamie Lindsay dropped to the bench.

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Rotherham started the second period as they'd ended the first and were thwarted by a Gary Gardner clearance off the line in a goalmouth scramble before an unbelievable flying block from Harlee Dean denied Wing the first goal of his loan spell.

Smith did well to beat Etheridge to a cross but undid his good work by only looping his close-range header on to the roof of the net.

The Millers continued to press but their opportunities dried up and at the end other end Viktor Johansson had to be alert to keep out Lukas Jutkiewicz's 77th-minute header.

That was a warning from the Blues and in the 88th minute they heaped relegation worries on Rotherham when Dean rose at the back post to head home an undeserved winner.

Goals: Dean 88 (Birmingham).

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Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Angus MacDonald; Wes Harding, Lewis Wing, Shaun MacDonald (Ben Wiles 80), Matt Crooks, Clark Robertson (Jamie Lindsay 80); Freddie Ladapo (George Hirst 80), Michael Smith. Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Matt Olosunde, Dan Barlaser, Chiedozie Ogbene, Kieran Sadlier, Ryan Giles.

Birmingham (3-5-2): Neil Etheridge; Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean, Kristian Pedersen; Maxime Colin, Gary Gardner (Rekeem Harper 90), Riley McGree (Ivan Sanchez 71), Ivan Sunjic, Steve Seddon (George Friend 90+5); Jonathan Leko (Scott Hogan 90), Lukas Jutkiewicz (Sam Cosgrove 90+5). Subs not used: Connal Trueman, Jeremie Bela, Mikel San Jose, Amari Miller.

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).