Millers Beaten Again
Don Valley Stadium
21 January 2012 3.00pm
Attendance: 3,189 (187 Vale fans)
Rotherham United were booed off a very windy Don Valley pitch after looking clueless for most of this afternoon's game against Port Vale. Although the blustery conditions didn't help, the display from the Millers was probably the worst one this season.
The first chance of the game came on five minutes when Ben Williamson had a shot from twenty yards out which Rhys Taylor saved from going into the net and a defender put it away to safety. At the other end Lewis Grabban cut inside but his shot went high and wide. Grabban's second chance came from a Jason Taylor long ball and the striker collected the ball and with midfielder Doug Loft slipping, Grabban saw Stuart Tomlinson rushing out of his goal and with the open goal at his mercy cannoned the ball over the crossbar. Loft nearly made up for that slip when he had a shot at the other end but Rhys Taylor did well to put the ball behind for a corner. Marc Richards could have put the visitors in the lead on the half-hour mark but, from close range, he put the ball over the crossbar and a few minutes later Robert Taylor had a shot that went just wide and Rhys Taylor managed to get a hand to a fierce drive from Loft. The Millers should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Johnny Mullins rose above everyone else to reach a good ball in from Sam Wood but failed to hit the target.
The Millers nearly capitalised on a mix-up in the visitors defence at the start of the second half when a poor clearance fell to Alex Revell but he showed too much of the ball to Tomlinson who managed to get down well to save. On fifty-seven minutes Loft beat Marcus Marshall to a high ball and skipped into the penalty area where the referee said Dale Tonge upended the midfielder, although, being right in line with it I think the Vale player made a lot of the challenge. But, a penalty was given and Richards stepped up and calmly put the ball in the net. After that the Millers seemed to give in and luckily for the Millers, Mullins was on the line to clear, when Williams beat Rhys Taylor, and the Millers defender hacked the ball away to safety. Vale were happy to let the Millers have the ball in midfield where it inevitably broke down although Danny Schofield found himself on the edge of the box in space but his curling shot went just inches wide of the top corner. In the final ten minutes the Millers had four corners but failed to do anything with them and in the last four minutes it looked like the Millers had levelled from a Mullins header but it wasn't deemed to have gone over the line.
For quite a lot of today's game the Millers looked like startled rabbits caught in car headlights and had no idea what to do