Richard Wood double earns Rotherham home win over Birmingham

Rotherham United v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – AESSEAL New York Stadium
(Image credit: Isaac Parkin)

Two goals from evergreen defender Richard Wood helped Rotherham to a 2-0 win against Birmingham.

The central defender and skipper, who turned 37 during the off-season, struck in either half to keep Rotherham’s unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season going.

Wood, who also netted in the Millers’ last home game against Reading, also contained Birmingham’s main men Scott Hogan and Troy Deeney with Rotherham running out worthy victors.

Birmingham’s John Ruddy had to make the game’s first save with Chiedozie Ogbene trying an early curling effort from the edge of the box.

Ruddy was called into action again when Grant Hall powered a header goalwards from a corner.

The resulting corner saw the Millers go in front after 28 minutes with veteran Wood giving Ruddy no chance at the near post with a powerful connection from Dan Barlaser’s cross.

It should have been two moments later but Ogbene fired wide from close range after being picked out by Cohen Bramall’s perfect delivery from the left wing.

The home side continued to look buoyed by the goal and Ogbene had what looked like a strong shout for a penalty when he went down from a tackle by Auston Trusty.

Rotherham had another opening before the break but Ben Wiles volleyed over the bar after Ogbene had been put through on the right flank following an intricate move.

After being booed off by their travelling support, John Eustace’s side almost made the perfect start to the second half when Hogan slipped by Cameron Humphreys but was denied at the near post by a strong save from Viktor Johansson.

Ogbene was proving to be the same menace in the second half that he had been in the first and he won his side a penalty on 61 minutes after being brought down by Marc Roberts.

Barlaser stepped up to take and fired down the middle but Ruddy denied the midfielder with his legs.

The save only further sparked Rotherham and they continued to look the most threatening with Arsenal loanee Brooke Norton-Cuffy enjoying a particularly strong home league debut.

Still, Rotherham’s major goal threat was coming from Wood and, after being denied by a close-range block, he was on hand to bundle in his second after 71 minutes after getting on the end of Barlaser’s pass.

Norton-Cuffy then got a vital block in to deny Birmingham substitute Gary Gardner a shot at the back post.

Birmingham could still have made it a nervy injury-time period for the home fans.

Roberts tested out Johansson with a header before an even better opportunity fell to Hogan, but the striker, after nudging Wood off a bouncing ball, hooked wide of goal.

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