Millers stunned at Valley Parade
Valley Parade (Coral Windows Stadium)
8th March 2010 7.45pm
Rotherham United were cheated out of a point this evening at Valley Parade thanks to a linesman who insisted the ball had crossed the line when everyone else in the ground convinced that it hadn't.
In the opening minute of the game this evening, Liam Henderson had skipped into the area and was about to shoot when he was hauled down by Steve Williams but referee Helgley waved away any appeals by the visitors. A minute later, at the other end, James Hanson rose above everyone else but saw his header go just over the cross bar and on six minutes Andy Warrington was found wanting but Steve Williams missed what would have been a simple tap in. As the home side took charge, both Gareth Evans and Hanson had chances to put them in front and it was only a matter of time before Scott Dobie and Lewis Hunt played a one-two and Hunt smashed the ball past Warrington for his first ever Bantams goal. On twenty-five minutes Ryan Taylor maybe should have equalised but, with Luke Oliver breathing down his neck, he dragged his shot wide while Callum Kennedy tried his luck from a free-kick but Lenny Pidgeley easily saved. Michael Flynn and Dobie had shots that went wide before, against run of play, Ryan Taylor got on the end of a good ball from Danny Coid and his cross was perfect for Marcus Marshall who stooped to head the ball firmly into the net for the equaliser. Three minutes before half-time the Millers nearly took the lead when a good run from Johnny Mullins saw him get the ball to Jason Taylor and with Marshall, once again left on his own, lurking in the background, Evans manages to get the end of his boot onto the ball to put it out.
The second half started with Ronnie Moore and Peter Jackson having words with one another when Moore thinks Jackson is going out of his technical area, but it didn't last long. In the opening minutes Kennedy takes a free kick which Pidgeley did well to get down to a minute later Ian Thomas-Moore had, what was probably his first shot of the match, after he latched onto a long through ball but couldn't beat Pidgeley. On fifty-two minutes a header by Ryan Taylor struck Pidgeley on the chest and went out of his control but there wasn't a Millers player waiting near enough to pounce on the spilled ball. A minute later, Marshall went down in the penalty area under a challenge from a Bantams defender but, for the second time, the referee waves away the appeal. On the hour mark Williams attempts to clear the ball in his own area but only succeeds in hitting Hunt and the ball goes narrowly wide of Pidgeley's goal. A terrible challenge by Michael Flynn on Danny Coid only results in the Bradford captain getting a yellow card and from the resulting free-kick Kennedy smashed the ball onto the crossbar. A minute later Jake Speight sets Warrington's crossbar bouncing from a short range header. Both Ryan Taylor and Johnny Mullins had goal bound shots well saved by Pidgeley while at the other end Warrington does well to smother a shot from Hanson. Pidgeley comes into play again when Mullins has a fierce shot towards goal but the Bantams shot stopped does well to save with his legs. The home side got more into the game then and Hanson, Flynn and Speight see shots go wide before City finally get the ball in the net after Syers, on for Dobie, has a shot deflected in by Speight but the flag is up for off side. As the board went up for an additional three minutes Tom Adeyemi, on for Jon Worthington, smashes a shot in from twenty-five yards out which smashed the crossbar and bounced down and away. The referee, who was quite close to the action, seemed to be carrying on with play until the linesman put up his flag, which everyone in the ground thought was for off-side, only to find out that the Bantams had been awarded a goal. With City players going over to the Bradford bench to celebrate, the Millers players surrounded the linesman and referee and the game was held up for nearly three minutes. After the mayhem had died down, the visitors got two late corner, for which Andy Warrington raced up the pitch for but, although Ryan Taylor came close to an equaliser he shot wide on the turn. At the final whistle the Millers players once again went to argue with the referee and much finger wagging from Nick Fenton and then Manager Ronnie Moore was seen to accompany the boos by the Millers fans for the officials.
Once again the Millers had plenty of chances in this exciting game but failed to take them and some of the defending left a lot to be desired but I do think they deserved at least a point at a cold and wet Valley Parade tonight.
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