Stoke 0-1 Birmingham: Rowett sent off in Blues' late win
Last Updated: 20/10/18 9:23pm
Gary Rowett lost to former club Birmingham for the first time as the Blues secured a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship win at Stoke.
The 28,160 fans at the bet365 Stadium - Stoke's highest attendance in the second tier for 56 years - produced an excellent atmosphere, but it was the 3,000 in the away end who went home happiest after Che Adams' late winner.
Rowett had won two and drawn one of his games against Birmingham since his controversial departure in 2016 - and might have maintained that unbeaten record had the Potters been awarded a late penalty after Adams appeared to keep a goal-bound effort out with his hands.
Rowett felt a penalty should have been awarded and his protests saw him sent to the stands.
Both managers made one change from their respective winning line-ups a fortnight ago. Rowett brought in Bojan for Peter Etebo, while Garry Monk opted for Connor Mahoney ahead of Jacques Maghoma in midfield.
Chances were few and far between during a tepid first half, with Blues defender Michael Morrison heading high and wide from a Jota free-kick after 15 minutes.
At the other end, Cuco Martina's low cross was almost turned into his own net by Kristian Pedersen and Benik Afobe was off target after being neatly played in by Joe Allen.
Allen appealed for a penalty after 27 minutes, twisting and turning before going down under minimal contact - although Bojan almost opened the scoring as he smashed the subsequent loose ball goalwards from 20 yards only for Lee Camp to tip it behind.
After the break Afobe failed to control Ryan Woods' excellent ball over the top, while the hosts had Jack Butland to thank for keeping out Mahoney's effort after the winger had cut inside.
Tom Ince produced a fine bit of skill in the 64th minute to reach the byline, but Allen blazed his cut-back over the bar.
Full-back Maxime Colin came close to giving Birmingham the lead when he drifted in from the right flank and rattled the underside of the crossbar with his 66th-minute effort, with Lukas Jutkiewicz off-target with an overhead effort from the rebound.
Bojan found Ince in space at the other end, but the former Huddersfield winger drilled his effort wide.
Birmingham went ahead nine minutes from time as Adams slid in at the back post to convert Jutkiewicz's low cross.
Substitute Maghoma then tested Butland from 20 yards, but Stoke felt they should have had a penalty in the closing stages when goalscorer Adams appeared to block Allen's effort on the line with his hands.
Gary Rowett: "The player puts both hands out to the side; OK he doesn't move them towards the ball, but when you're two yards away, you're purposely putting your hands out to block the ball. It hits his hands - it's a blatant penalty no matter how many times you watch it. They've got away with it, it's disappointing for us.
"If I've been abusive or sworn at the referee I'm honest enough to say that I've done that but I didn't do that. I said to the ref 'that's two handballs, that's two penalties', he's sent me off. He told me that I've said something completely different. It'll be my word against the referee and of course they're going to take the referee's side of it."
Garry Monk: "It was a performance full of heart, pure spirit, good organisation and when we got out moment we were clinical. We got what we feel we deserved.
On his side's moment of fortune, Monk added: "Considering we hit the crossbar again today we've hit the woodwork 12 times - we've had quite a few things go against us."