Millers beaten by Shrews
Don Valley Stadium
29 March 2011 7.45pm
Rotherham United's caretaker Managers' honeymoon ended this evening at Don Valley as the Millers lost to promotion rivals, Shrewsbury Town by three goals to one.
The Millers started well with both Mark Bradley and, skipper for the evening, Danny Harrison, having shots in the opening minutes while the back line was doing well to keep Tom Bradshaw, who was a late replacement for Matt Harrold who was injured in the warm-up, and James Collins quiet. Ryan Taylor had a great chance on fifteen minutes to put the Millers in front after he'd got behind the visitors defence but Ben Smith in the Shrews goal managed to get a foot to it and block. But it was the visitors who took the lead five minutes later when Luke Ashworth was beaten to the ball by James Collins who flicked the ball up and smashed it past Andy Warrington in the Millers goal to score the first goal. Two minutes later only some good defending from Nicky Law stopped an unmarked Mark Wright from getting a ball played in by Collins to stop the Shrews getting number two. After that it was all the Millers but they just couldn't get the ball into the box and when they did Smith was there to stop them doing any damage, the best shot coming from Harrison whose twenty-five yard screamer was deflected out for a corner. With every decision seeming to go against the Millers, the referee, David Phillips, had a part in the second goal when everyone in the stadium but him saw Wright flick the ball with his hand. All the players stopped expecting a whistle but the referee indicated to play on and Ashworth stumbled into Collins in the penalty area and Mr Phillips gave the visitors a spot kick. No amount of arguing from the Rotherham players made him change his mind and Nicky Wroe sent Warrington the wrong way to make it two-nil going into the break.
The second half was only minutes old when Warrington made a disastrous clearance which hit Jason Taylor, on at half-time for Ashworth, and smashed into Bradshaw then in turn rebounded to Collins who steered it into an empty net. Neither side had many chances for a while, although Town thought they should have had a second penalty when Jason Taylor and Bradshaw clashed, but the referee shook his head and gave Shrewsbury a corner. Omar Daley and Adam Le Fondre replaced Ian Thomas-Moore and Marcus Marshall on the hour mark and within a minute Le Fondre saw a curling shot go just wide of goal. Eight minutes later Daley was quick to get the ball when David Raven slipped on the poor playing surface and his low cross was perfectly met by Le Fondre who slipped the ball into the corner of the net to make it three-one. The Millers stepped up a gear then and Harrison had a long range effort that Smith did well to turn round the post and the resulting corner ball fell into a host of players but it was Niall Canavan who calmly got it away, Fifteen minutes from time saw Collins fall to floor after a Millers defenders challenge and with play carrying on Dave Davis put in a strong challenge on Tom Newey which resulted in most of the players displaying a show of playground pushing and shoving. Jason Taylor and Bradshaw were involved in a tussle late on which the referee, for once, gave the Millers way which was probably another decision he'd got wrong. In the dying minutes Daley shrugged off a challenge from a Shrews player and sent Ryan Taylor on his way. The ginger haired striker played a neat one-two with Law but saw his shot deflected just past the post and in time added on Dale Tonge saw a diving header go just past the post.
It was just one of those days when nothing went right for the Millers but, unfortunately, it means that the promotion hopes have taken a bit of a knock