At Long Last - A Millers Win
Don Valley Stadium
5 November 2011 3.00pm
Attendance: 3,284 (170)
Rotherham United took all three points at Don Valley this afternoon in a game that started off like a rocket but ended a bit like a damp squib.
The first opportunity fell to the Millers on four minutes when Guy Branston knocked down a good ball to Gareth Evans and the striker-cum-winger unleashed a powerful shot from twenty yards out that Ben Herd did well to block. The visitors had a chance on ten minutes when Adam Smith teased his into the box but saw his shot firstly blocked then falling to Peter Vincenti who volleyed a shot forward only to see Branston head the ball away. On fourteen minutes the Millers went ahead after referee, James Linington, awarded a free-kick. Evans took the kick and Ross Worner, in the Shots goal, did well to get down to it, though he only managed to parry it out and Lewis Grabban was there to force the ball over the line. A few minutes later the Millers could have gone two up when Evans and Grabban played a one-two and Grabban nodded the ball down in the box to Chris Holroyd who was about to shoot when Aaron Morris made a timely interception and took the ball off the end of his boot. At the other end Dale Tonge did well to get behind Jermaine McGlashan and head a dangerous looking ball away. But Worner was the busier of the 'keepers and he did well to get to a Branston bullet-header and parry it away and then get his body behind the re-bounded shot from Evans. The match became a little more open and McGlashan got the better of Tonge and looked like he could only score but somehow managed to hit the ball into the side netting. On thirty-three minutes it looked to all, but the Referee, like the Millers should have had a penalty. Danny Harrison took the ball down the centre of the park and was clearly tripped just inside the area but the protests from the red shirted players was waved away. The Shots nearly equalised after Millers 'keeper, Conrad Logan, flapped at a free-kick but made amends by getting down well to a follow-up shot from Vincenti. In the final five minutes of the first half the Millers got another free-kick taken again by Evans who whipped the ball in from the left and found Holroyd who flicked the ball into the back of the net to make it two-nil going into half-time.
Aldershot came out the better side for the opening minutes of the second half and only two blocks from Guy Branston, first from Adam Smith and then from Michael Rankine stopped the visitors having shots on goal. Ten minutes in a long ball over the top from Jon Harley allowed Alex Revell through on goal. Worner first hesitated then seemingly had a rush of blood because he dashed out and laid the Millers centre-forward out on the edge of the box. Referee Linington had no option but to send the Shot`s shot stopper off. With no 'keeper on the bench, Dean Holdsworth replaced striker Danny Hylton with midfielder Jamie Collins who took over between the sticks. But the Millers never really made that extra man count and ten-men Aldershot seem to want to score more and a Danny Jones` shot was just turned away by Logan for a corner. It was the seventieth minute before Collins was tested when Evans found himself along on the left wing and put in a good cross for Holroyd but the strikers shot was a bit clumsy and allowed the stand-in 'keeper to save. Revell had a shot at goal but his shot was more likely to bother the rockets going up in the sky rather than Collins in goal. At the other end Vincenti had a shot that went just wide Bradley Bubb, on for Smith, was stopped on the edge of the area and in the last minute an excellent tackle from man-of-the-match, Branston, denied Rankine a chance to shoot.
A game that, in fairness, we never really looked like losing but surely, surely we should have been having shots at the midfielder, Collins, when he took over in goal. Here`s hoping this is the first three points of many to come.