Millers lose two goal lead to draw
Don Valley Stadium
23 November 7.45pm
What started out as a promising game for Rotherham United tonight turned into a drab affair with both teams looking like they were happy to settle for a point.
The Millers were on the back foot in the opening minutes but with what was their first foray towards goal on four minutes, Adam Le Fondre flicked a lovely ball on for Ryan Taylor, who turned his man on the edge of the area, and looped the ball well over Chris Dunn in the Cobblers goal and into the back of the net. Ten minutes later Dunn did well to get to a Kevin Ellison cross and then saved well from Marcus Marshall while, at the other end, Leon McKenzie should have equalised but put a shot well wide of the far post. The Millers, who saw plenty of the ball but had little in way of chances, finally doubled their lead on nineteen minutes when Marshall's first shot at goal was blocked but the visitors defence seemed at sixes and sevens and allowed Marshall to get the ball again and this time he made no mistake and smashed the ball home from twenty yards out. On twenty-three minutes the Cobblers got one back when Ryan Gilligan took a low free-kick that was turned in by Abdul Osman at the near post. Straight from the re-start Gilligan won the ball and picked out Andy Holt who found himself one on one with Jamie Annerson and put it through the Millers' 'keepers legs and into the back of the net. A minute later McKenzie found himself with space in the box but again headed over and a few minutes after that there was a bit of controversy when Annerson fumbled the ball and he followed it and handled outside the area. Having no 'keeper on the subs bench the two and a half thousand Millers' fans feared the worst but referee Rob Lewis gave the twenty-two year old a yellow card. The lively McKenzie missed another great chance with the Millers' defenders scattered all over the field, he had all the time in the world to pick his spot but he shot straight into the grateful arms of Annerson and in the final minute of the first half Marshall cut inside but his shot curled just wide.
The second half started slowly and it was fifteen minutes in before Marshall got a ball into Nicky Law in the area but he wasn't able to control and it was put behind for a corner. With a lot of stop-starting due to a whistle happy referee the game became one of frustration for the fans and it wasn't until the seventy-second minute that Annerson had some work to do when he managed to parry away a shot from Craig King. Three minutes later Le Fondre found himself in space some twenty-five yards out but his curling shot was well saved by Dunn. On eighty minutes Nicky Law should have put the Millers ahead but, once again he didn't seem to have any control over the ball and skied it over the bar.
Less than two and a half thousand turned up on this bitterly cold night and, to be honest, football like this is not going to entice anyone back.