Millers get point at Priestfield
21 February 2012 7.45pm
Attendance: 3,248 (57 Millers)
Rotherham United came away from Priestfield this evening with one point, four games unbeaten and another clean sheet - yet, it probably should have been much more.
It was a lively start to the game and the Millers soon had the ball in the Gills area but Alex Revell somehow managed to lose the ball under his feet and from that Danny Kedwell ran off with the ball and was only stopped by an unfair challenge from Mark Bradley. From the free-kick Simon King took a shot which Rhys Taylor, in the Millers goal, managed to push away but only as far as Jo Kuffour who, luckily, was flagged off-side. On seven minutes Bradley put in a good cross which was blocked by Connor Essam and put out. From the resulting Sam Wood corner Revell flicked the ball onto Jason Taylor but his shot was blocked by Simon King and Michael Raynes couldn't quite get himself in enough space to shoot. Lewis Grabban, playing on the wing tonight, had a shot from outside the box but it went well wide and at the other end, Rhys Taylor did well to put a shot from Kuffour behind for a corner. On eighteen minutes the Millers were carved wide open from a long ball down the middle. Rhys Taylor did well to get to the ball but could only parry it to Weston and was perhaps lucky that he put it wide. A minute later Chris Whelpdale had a free header which went just over the crossbar while an in-swinging corner from Danny Jackman was cleared by Jason Taylor. Just after the half hour mark Bradley sent over a perfect ball for Shaun Harrad who hit it towards goal but Grabban was stood on the line and for some reason, instead of letting the ball go, he decided to hit it over the line with his hand and was shown a yellow card for his effort. The Millers ended the half strongly with a number of throw-in's and corners which both Whelpdale and Kedwell had to clear from danger but it was still nil-nil at the end of the first forty-five minutes.
The second half started with the Millers under threat when, in the opening minutes of the second half, Johnny Mullins did well to clear from a dangerous free-kick from Jackman when it looked like the rest of the Millers defence were still back in the dressing room. The next minutes all belonged to the home side and Danny Harrison, Jason Taylor and Sam Wood had to clear from corners. But the Millers weathered the storm and started to get back into the game and on the hour mark an in-swinging corner from Wood was well saved by Paulo Gazzaniga, the Gills 'keeper. Another Wood corner was cleared at the near post by Kedwell and from that corner, a Grabban header went wide. Grabban was the provider next, when he put the ball in from the right for Revell but his overhead kick went just wide of goal. Next to have a header go just over was Sam Wood from a good ball in from Bradley. With five minutes to go, Rhys Taylor was called upon again and managed to push away a shot from Chris Whelpdale but received a blow to his arm for his troubles, although, after treatment, he carried on. The Millers got a last minute corner and Wood reached Jason Taylor with it but his flick on flashed across the face of goal without anyone managing to get on the end of it.
It sounded, from the commentry, that our defence was all at sixes and sevens and just couldn't cope with long balls over the top in the first half this evening but once we started playing football we started to boss the game and I'm sure Andy Scott will be disappointed that it was only one point tonight.
And can I just say a big 'well done' to the brave fifty-seven who made their way down to Gillingham this evening from Rotherham.