Millers slump at the Kassam
17 March 2012 3.00pm
Attendance: 6,756 (295 Millers)
Rotherham United suffered a two-one defeat this afternoon at the Kassam Stadium which, although doesn`t put them out of the running for a play-off spot, it has certainly put a big dent in that ambition.
The game was only minutes old when Ben Pringle found Gareth Evans in space but the winger could only drag his shot wide. After a series of niggling fouls the next shot was from Pringle himself from a free-kick but it was a comfortable save by Ryan Clarke in the U`s goal. The home sides first real shot of note was on twenty minutes from Asa Hall which was easily saved by Millers 'keeper Rhys Taylor. At the other end Evans found himself in space again but this time his shot went over the bar. On the half hour mark a long ball from Adam Chapman found Dean Morgan, who was making his home debut, who in turn found Scott Rendell whose shot was blocked by Rhys Taylor and went across goal but to safety. As half-time approached a knock down by Alex Revell went to Evans but again he couldn`t keep the ball down and it sailed over the crossbar. With it looking like the game was going to be goalless going into the break, Mark Bradley had the ball taken off him in the centre circle and Peter Leven`s over the top pass fell to the feet of Scott Rendell who ran clean through and calmly slotted the ball past Rhys Taylor.
The second half began for Oxford how they finished the first and a back heel from Leven saw the ball fall to Morgan who ran half the length of the pitch but saw his shot curl away for a corner. Pringle charged down a clearance from the resulting corner and found himself through on goal but hesitated and couldn`t shoot before he was tackled. This proved to be costly because Oli Johnson flicked the ball forward for Andy Whing who wrong footed the Millers defence and got the ball to Hall who smashed it into the top of the net to double the home side`s advantage. With the Millers looking forlorn Johnson himself was next to have a shot from just outside the box but it went wide. Oxford could have made it three when Leven shot from thirty yards out and, with Rhys Taylor scrambling back, he saw the ball go just past the post and a few minutes later a header from Hall looked to be going into the top corner but Rhys Taylor managed to claw the ball round the post. New boy Sam Hoskins replaced Ben Pringle on sixty-five minutes and almost immediately had an impact when he cleverly controlled the ball and shot across goal but it was just too hard for Lewis Grabban to get onto. A few minutes later Mark Bradley had a shot at goal which was easily saved by Clarke then, with ten minutes to go, the Millers were handed a lifeline. Jason Taylor nipped past Adam Chapman and into the penalty area and was just about to shoot when Chapman hacked him down and referee, Trevor Kettle (yes, THAT Trevor Kettle) pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Grabban to slot home his seventeenth goal of the campaign. With the Millers desperately trying to get something from the game a Grabban cross found Cadogan whose shot hit a defender and had Clarke beaten but Michael Duberry managed to head off the line.
Not a result the Millers wanted today - and the fat lady is definitely practising her scales….