Ten-men Millers lose to U's
12 February 2011 3.00pm
Rotherham United fell to their fifth straight away defeat this afternoon at the Kassam Stadium as the ten-man Millers lost two-one to Oxford.
In the opening few minutes a shot by Asa Hall went just wide of Andy Warrington's right-hand post while at the other end the Millers who started out quite well Starting out well, saw a dipping shot by recalled midfielder Mark Randall land on the roof Oxford's net. Nicky Law then got the better of the Oxford defenders, beating them for pace and put in a good ball for Ryan Taylor but the striker seemed to be off-balance when he shot and the ball was blocked. On ten minutes a cross from Simon Heslop found James Constable some eight yards out but he couldn't control the ball and the Millers managed to get it away. Rotherham were dealt a blow after just fifteen minutes when an injury to Ryan Taylor forced him off and he was replaced by Omar Daley who signed this week from Bradford City. The Millers seemed to lose something after Taylor had gone off and on seventeen minutes Andy Warrington did well to block a shot from Constable and a minute later Steve MacLean had a shot that curled just wide. And, with the visitors on the back foot Jack Midson skipped round Nick Fenton and sent the ball in for Heslop who smashed it into the back of the net from fifteen yards out. Constable, Midson and Heslop all had shots that went either wide or were blocked while, at the other end, Law had a shot from the edge of the box but it went well over the bar. The Millers equaliser came against the run of play when Daley sent a near perfect pass to Law who chipped the ball over the diving Ryan Clarke in the U's goal and into the back of the net to the delight of the four hundred travelling supporters. In time added on in the first half, the home side got a free kick and after MacLean's shot had gone straight into the wall the ball fell to Anthony Tompkin but his cross was well caught by Warrington.
The Millers started the second half the better side and on ten minutes got a free-kick after Daley was obstructed but the shot by new boy Callum Kennedy went onto the roof of the net. At the other end Warrington had to get down well to tip a shot by Constable round the post for a corner. Disaster struck for the Millers on the hour mark when MacLean darted into the box and as he went past Kennedy the youngster tugged at his sleeve and down went MacLean. Referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and then got out his red card and showed it to the loanee from Swindon. MacLean himself took the resulting penalty, blasting it to Warrington's left and, although the 'keeper did really well to get a hand to it, it spun behind him into the back of the net. Nick Fenton seemed to be in charge of re-organising the visitors formation and it looked like they had got straight back into it when a Randall shot from thirty yards curled just wide. But the home side were making their extra man count and MacLean was unlucky not to get to a smart ball from Simon Hackney, who was on for Midson. A few minutes later a mis-controlled ball by Mullins was pounced on by Constable but Warrington came rushing out to clear. Ben Purkiss did well to block a shot from Nicky Law at the other end and it looked like the Millers might get a second equaliser when Adam Le Fondre got himself clear in the penalty area and rounding Clarke was tripped by the 'keeper. Appealing for a penalty, the Millers players and fans were astonished when referee Hooper waved play on but up jumped Le Fondre and fired a shot that went into the side netting. Warrington, at the other end, pushed a shot from Constable wide and a minute later smothered a ball from the same player after a misjudged ball by Mullins let in the striker. In the final eight minutes the Millers had another penalty appeal turned away after Le Fondre, receiving a good ball from Daley, was bundled over in the penalty area. From the rebound, Daley had a shot that was deflected wide. In the final minute of the game Warrington did well to save from Hackney while Alfie Potter, on for Heslop curled the ball wide in the dying minutes of the game.
Once again some of the Millers defending today was shambolic and once we were down to ten men we never really looked like being in the game.