Date:Saturday August 6 2011
Don Valley Stadium
6 August 2011 3.00pm
An ideal start to the new season for Rotherham United at Don Valley this afternoon saw them get three points thanks to a goal from new boy Lewis Grabban.
Although it was the Millers who started well with Grabban causing all sorts of problems to Oxford down the left hand side, it was the visitors who had the first real chance of the game when James Constable got his head to a Damian Batt cross but he put it wide. A minute later Asa Hall had a header thump against the post and Michael Duberry was guilty of putting the rebound over the crossbar. On twenty-five minutes Grabban got in a good cross to Chris Holroyd but the former Brighton and Hove Albion forward could head into the arms of the visitors` 'keeper, Ryan Clarke. Before half-time Jake Wright did well to charge down a fierce shot from the much sought after, Adam Le Fondre, while Clarke was on hand to tip over a header from Ryan Cresswell from a Danny Schofield corner. In time added on Schofield found himself in space and shot from twenty yards out and with the ball bouncing all over the place, the U`s 'keeper did well to gather the ball as the whistle blew.
Millers` fans were still enjoying getting together with old friends or 'powdering their noses` when the only goal of the game came on forty-eight minutes. It came out of nowhere and, Grabban finding himself alone twenty yards from goal, looked up and lofted the ball over Clarke and into the back of the net - the ball being followed by the goal scorer and his colleagues! It could have been two a couple of minutes later when a one-two between Grabban and Le Fondre saw the Millers top scorer of the last two seasons shoot into the side netting. At the other end Conrad Logan, in the Millers` goal, did well to smother a shot from Constable and just after the hour mark, the visitors came close to equalising when Liam Davis evaded a challenge, crossed the ball to Constable at the far post who got it to Deane Smalley but the strikers header went narrowly wide. Oxford had a lot of the play and Hall had a shot deflected by one of his own players. Gareth Evans, on for Holroyd, nearly got on the score sheet via a long range shot and Grabban had a low shot that the 'keeper managed to push round the post. In the final minutes, Peter Leven, on for Hall, had a chance but Logan did well to narrow the angle and force him to shoot wide.
So a good three points for the Millers today and there were some solid performances out there today. OK, maybe there were a couple of times when the defence was less than effective, but I`m sure that will come - sooner rather than later - and we kept a clean sheet. Let`s hope it`s the first of many!
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Date:Saturday August 6 2011
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