Millers lose to Vale at the Valley
Don Valley Stadium
3 April 2010 3.00pm
Attendance: 3, 721
Two goals in three minutes gave the visitors all three points this afternoon at Don Valley as Rotherham United`s hopes of getting automatic promotion took a severe dent.
The Millers had the better of the starting fifteen minutes although the only real shot was a tame effort by Craig McAllister which went straight into the arms of Vale 'keeper, Chris Martin. A few minutes later, Anthony Griffith did well to clear a good shot from Nicky Law. The visitors then got into their stride when a long throw from Lee Collins found Sean Rigg who shot from the edge of the area only to see a Millers` defender get down to block. Straight afterwards a shot from Marc Richards was easily saved by Andy Warrington. Vale were well on top and it wasn`t until the half-hour mark that the Millers had a spark of hope when a cross from Mark Lynch was well placed for McAllister but Vale defender, John McCombe, headed it away. In the final minutes of the half, Warrington did well to stop a long range shot from Rigg and not long afterwards, McCombe just failed to get on the end of a Louis Dodds cross.
Early in the second half, Marcus Marshall saw McCombe, again, block a shot while Danny Harrison went close with a shot from twenty yards out. But it was the visitors who took the lead on fifty-nine minutes when Pablo Mills was unlucky to slip in the mud on the Don Valley pitch which Richards took advantage of and hit the ball across the face of goal to Craig Davies who shot home from close range. And three minutes later, Vale doubled their lead when a Tommy Fraser free kick found Richards who put the ball into the back of the net, although he looked to many Millers` fans as if he was in an off-side position. Five minutes later, it looked like Richards would get another but the ball was well beaten away by Warrington. Abdulai Bell-Baggie, on for Nicky Law, made a big difference to the Rotherham side and Martin dived well to stop a shot from the substitute going in the net. The Millers thought they should have had a penalty when a shot from Marcus Marshall hit the arms of Kris Taylor but referee, Mark Halsley wasn`t having any of it. Then, on eighty-one minutes, the Millers got a free kick thirty-yards out and Josh Walker smashed the ball into the back of the net. Rotherham then started to play football and Bell-Baggie nearly earned them a point when his low shot went past Martin but also went just wide of the upright and seconds later a header from Tom Pope, on for McAllister, was headed off the line by Adam Yates.
This afternoon`s performance at Don Valley wasn`t good enough from the Millers and they`ve really got to learn that they can`t play for just thirty minutes of a game. It has got to be sorted out.