Millers hang on for three points
Coral Windows Stadium
19 November 2011 3.00pm
Attendance: 10,551 (795 Millers)
Rotherham United 'keeper, Conrad Logan, saved a last minute penalty this afternoon to make sure that the Millers held onto all three points against Bradford City at Valley Parade.
The Millers should have scored in the opening minute of the game after a good corner from Gareth Evans found Danny Schofield but the midfielder couldn't get down quickly enough before City 'keeper, Jon McLaughlan smothered the ball. Danny Harrison then got a ball through to Dale Tonge but his cross didn't quite find the head of in-coming Brett Williams. On twelve minutes a fierce tackle from Michael Flynn on Gareth Evans left the Millers player in a heap, and although he tried to run the injury off, he had to be replaced by Marcus Marshall. The home sides first chance came on seventeen minutes when an inswinging corner by Chris Mitchell was headed towards goal by Steve Williams only to see Danny Schofield on the line head the ball away. Five minutes later Brett Williams made a good run down the right and his cross hit the hand of Luke O'Brien and, after some consultation between linesman and referee, the visitors were awarded a penalty which Lewis Grabban duly put into the bottom corner of the net. Minutes later Jon Harley found Grabban in acres of space but the strikers shot was hurried and went over the crossbar. The home side were getting more and more into the game and Logan had to be alert to save shots from both Jack Compton and Steve Williams while Flynn and Ricky Ravenhill had shots that went wide. On thirty-four minutes their pressure paid off and when Compton left Tonge for dead he was able to put the ball in for Chris Mitchell to head in the equaliser. Immediately from the re-start the Millers went down the other end and Alex Revell turned and volleyed the ball towards goal but McLaughlan was on hand to save and with the last kick of the game, Marshall's overhead kick went just wide of the post.
The Millers began the second half like they did the first and the half was just five minutes old when Schofield danced his way past the home defence, squared the ball for Revell whose low shot hit the bottom of the post before going over the line to regain the lead. A few minutes later it should have been three but Marshall's shot was blocked by McLaughlan and when the rebound fell to Brett Williams his shot was blocked too. But it wasn't long before Marshall did get his goal after some good work by Grabban found Schofield whose shot was saved by the fingertips of McLaughlan but Marshall was first to the loose ball and slotted it into the back of the net before sliding towards the Millers joyous fans on his knees. Bradford never seemed to have an answer to the Millers after that and any forage forward they made was easily stopped by a black shirt. That was until a minute into time added on when referee Heywood penalised Jason Taylor for hand ball when the ball bounced up and hit him on the arm. Flynn stepped up and put the penalty right down the middle as Logan dived onto the floor. With the Millers fans willing the referee to blow the whistle more drama unfolded as Flynn slammed the ball into a crowded penalty area and amazingly, Mr Heywood saw another hand ball, this time by Tom Newey and awarded another penalty. This time as Flynn stepped up and shot, Logan made a comfortable save and the Millers fans went wild as the whistle finally went for the end of the game.
Why oh why oh why do the Millers always make it hard for themselves! It was a good game today and the Millers did well and, apart from the referees peculiar definition of hand ball, would have won easily. I have to say though, the substitutions could well have lost us that game today