Millers Season All But Over
Don Valley Stadium
25 April 2011 3.00pm
Attendance: 3,455 (399 visitors)
Rotherham United lost to fellow promotion hopefuls Gillingham this afternoon at a sunny Don Valley Stadium and, except for a mini miracle, have said goodbye to their play-off hopes.
It was a quiet start to the game and it was the visitors who had the first chance on nine minutes when a Danny Jackman free-kick was met at the far post by Adebayo Akinfenwa but he headed it into the waiting arms of Jamie Annerson in the Millers goal. The Millers didn`t really test Gills` 'keeper, Alan Julian, in the first half, although he was off his line quickly after Ryan Cresswell punted the ball down field and got his fingertips to a Tom Newey cross. The nearest the Millers came was when Jason Taylor curled in a good cross from the right but neither Tom Pope or Ian Thomas-Moore could get on the end of it. The Millers players and fans were up in arms on the thirty-sixth minute when, with Danny Harrison chasing after a ball, Julian handled out of his area but none of the officials saw anything wrong. Two minutes later Cody McDonald got past the Millers defence but his low shot went just wide of Annerson`s goal. Andy Barcham looked to get clear on the fortieth minute and getting behind the Millers 'keeper but seemed to hesitate which allowed Dale Tonge to clear to safety. With the first half coming to an end, Tonge got a ball into Pope but his header went straight to Julian and at the other end McDonald seem to come to life and had a shot that Annerson saved with his foot, another that the Millers 'keeper scrambled out and from the resulting corner he got his head to the ball but couldn`t keep the ball down.
Just moments into the start of the second half, Annerson did well to get down to a shot from Barcham and at the other end Ian Thomas-Moore put a ball into the area for Jamie Green but Julian got to it first. McDonald had a shot that went way over the bar while Pope had a shot that went across goal and Liam Henderson, on for Marcus Marshall, volleyed wide. On the hour mark Thomas-Moore received a ball in the area from Harrison, he turned but his shot went narrowly over. Not long afterwards, Annerson did well to block from Akinfenwa. Adam Le Fondre was brought on for Thomas-Moore and he was perhaps guilty of missing the easiest chance of the game. Newey crossed in a good ball and Le Fondre got his head to it but he put it wide from just six yards out. On seventy-nine minutes the Millers season was all but over when Barcham cut in from the left and put in a low shot, which Annerson looked to have covered but it struck a Millers defender and looped over him into the net. In search of an equaliser, the Millers pressed and it didn`t matter how they tried to get the ball into the area Barry Fuller, on for Simon King, Garry Richards, Akinfenwa and Danny Spiller, on for Barcham, stopped the ball going into the net, with Jason Taylor rushing in on the final minute of the game to try and score but his shot was a bit soft and went wide.
For most of the game today, I thought it looked like two teams who were just playing the season out instead of two teams who really needed all three points. If it`s anything to blame for our poor end to the season I really do think it`s the home form - the last time we scored there was on 29th March when we were already three down to Shrewsbury. Not good enough is it?
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