Millers lose to Richards' brace
1 October 2011 3.00pm
Attendance: 4,983 (524 Millers)
Rotherham United fell to their second away defeat of the season this afternoon at a hot Vale Park and have fallen three spots to eighth in league two.
The Millers started the brighter and posed an attacking threat while having composure and more possession. On twelve minutes Lewis Grabban did well to get past Liam Chilvers but Stuart Tomlinson came to the rescue punching the ball to safety. Minutes later Grabban was in the action again when he skirted round Clayton McDonald but his shot was off target. Gareth Evans was also dangerous down the wing and did well to get a ball to Danny Harrison but Harrisons shot was blocked by Gareth Owen. The Millers were punished on eighteen minutes when Jason Taylor was adjudged to have fouled Rob Taylor twenty yards out and Marc Richards marked his come back from suspension by driving the free-kick into the back of the net and through Millers' 'keeper Conrad Logan's hands. Nine minutes later it became worse for the visitors when a knock down from former Miller Tom Pope found Richards who controlled the ball and scored his and Vale's second of the day. Tomlinson came to Vale's aid again on thirty-four minutes when he did well to palm away a Grabban shot and at the other end a teasing cross from Rob Taylor saw the Millers defence at sixes and sevens and only a desperate Logan palm out saved the score going to three-nil.
Like the first half the Millers came out the better for the second half and had the ball in the net in the opening minutes but the linesman had his flag off saying that Grabban had strayed offside, even though he seemed to jump over the header down from Raynes therefore not touching the ball before it went over the line. Grabban was involved a few minutes later when he fired a shot across the face of goal but no other Miller was there to slot the ball into the net. With the game becoming slow, probably because of the hot weather, Vale stood strong and on seventy-two minutes Pope again found Richards but the striker failed to get his hat-trick when he couldn't get his header on target. Sean Rigg, on for Ben Williamson, saw a header go wide and Pope came close to getting on the score sheet but Logan was equal to the shot and put the ball out to safety. In the last minute of the game Johnny Mullins nearly got a consolation for the Millers but his header was well saved by Tomlinson.
We started off playing some neat, interesting football but as soon as Vale scored it all disappeared and we went to pieces. Maybe a rest from the league on Tuesday will be a good thing but I feel there's something not quite right and no one knows what it is so can't fix it.