Alfie double secures Millers win
Don Valley Stadium
13 November 2010 3.00pm
Attendance: 3,891 (481 from Oxford)
Rotherham United got back to winning ways at Don Valley this afternoon with help from the Football League`s top scorer, Adam Le Fondre`s brace before half-time.
With both teams having new players in the side today, the opening twenty minutes, though quiet, belonged to the Millers although it was the visitors who had the first shot on eighteen minutes. A good cross from Josh Payne found Alfie Potter and with Andy Warrington looking startled, he put the ball over the bar. Straight away, Marcus Marshall got the ball down the wing for the Millers and hit a low cross which went just behind Ryan Taylor. Taylor did well and got the ball to Le Fondre but his shot ended up way over the ball and into the water of the steeplechase on the running track. Two minutes later, Warrington did well to save from a powerful shot from Tom Craddock and minutes later, Warrington made another good save, this time from Steve Maclean. And with Oxford getting into the game, Le Fondre got his first goal of the game. Marshall broke down the wing and put over a cross that deflected off the U`s Harry Worley and falling kindly to Le Fondre he pounced and put the ball in the back of the net and with the visitors asking for an offside to be given, Le Fondre ran over to the Millers fans to celebrate. The Millers were always looking for a second and Ryan Taylor had a good run and shot from twenty yards out but the ball curled just wide. Ten minutes later the Millers did get their second when getting the ball from Nick Fenton, Taylor headed the ball into the path of Le Fondre who slotted the ball past Ryan Clarke in the Oxford goal. Just before half-time the Millers got a free kick which Stephen Brogan took but his effort was easily saved by Clarke. In time added on Craddock passed the ball to Maclean who rolled it back to him and hit the ball which was well saved by Warrington only for the rebound to fall to Simon Clist who drilled his effort into the back of the net.
The Millers suffered a big blow at the start of the second half when Skipper, Ryan Cresswell, suffering from back spasms was unable to continue and Luke Ashworth came on in his place. In the opening minutes, Mark Bradley was fouled in the centre circle but referee Darren Drysdale played on giving the visitors the advantage and only a good save from Warrington at the near post stopped Craddock getting a second for Oxford. On fifty minutes, a good cross from Brogan found Nicky Law in space but his header when wide and on the hour mark Marshall and Le Fondre teamed up to get the ball to Taylor but the striker curled his shot wide from twenty yards out. Minutes later Clarke made a good save from Brogan while Law had another chance but again put it wide when it looked easier to score. In the final minutes, Oxford started to look for an equaliser and Warrington had to be alert and got his fingertips to a Paul Wotton shot. Le Fondre might have got his hat-trick in time added on but the Oxford defenders stopped him and then Marshall from getting the ball in the net.
Better today, much better and it was good to see the defenders doing their job well.