Stalemate at the Valley
Don Valley Stadium
12 September 2009 3.00pm
Rotherham United failed to score at Don Valley for the first time this season as lowly Morecambe came and stood tall against the managerless top of the table team.
Morecambe had the first shot of the game when a cheeky lob from Phil Jevons, from some thirty yards out, had Andy Warrington scuttling backwards towards his goal but the shot curled just wide of the left hand post. The home sides first chance came from Kevin Ellison on eleven minutes but it was an easy catch for Barry Roche in the Shrimpers goal. Pablo Mills had a shot cleared and Jim Bentley cleared moments later from Jamie Green while Ryan Taylor's right footed shot went just wide of the post. On the half-hour mark Adam Le Fondre, looking for his sixth goal in as many games, had a shot parried away to safety by Roche while at the other end Ian Sharps had to clear from Laurence Wilson. Five minutes before half-time, ex Miller, David Artell found Jim Bentley in the six yard box but his shot was well saved by Warrington.
The Millers stepped it up for the second half, which saw Nick Fenton replace an injured Ian Sharps and Paul Warne come on for an unusually quiet Nicky Law. But, as in the first half, it was the visitors who had the first shot when Ian Craney's shot sailed just over Warrington's head and, luckily, the bar. In the next fifteen minutes it was all Rotherham, and Paul Warne, Ryan Taylor and Jamie Green came close while Marc Joseph had to be alert to clear a cross from Stewart Drummond at the other end. Ryan Taylor brought the Millers section of the crowd to their feet with a shot from twenty-five yards out but it went just wide of the post and a few minutes later, Danny Harrison had a header cleared off the line by Garry Hunter. Roche came into his own before the end of the game by saving well from both Tom Pope, on for Ryan Taylor, and Ellison although a late free-kick by Craig Stanley for Morecambe was just inches away from finding Artell, although it would have been an undeserved winner.
I couldn't really fault the effort of the Millers today after the week they have had and it was just a shame that, after dominating the play for large parts of the game, the ball just wouldn't go in the back of the net.