Town too shrewd for Millers
14 April 2012 3.00pm
Attendance: 5,873 (479 Millers)
Rotherham United had a dream start at promotion pushing Shrewsbury Town this afternoon but a minutes before half-time it all started to go wrong.
In front of new boss, Steve Evans, the Millers started brightly and a second minute Gareth Evans corner was headed on by Johnny Mullins and up jumped Ryan Cresswell to head home his second goal in six days to send the four hundred and eighty visiting fans, and manager, wild. A minute later Shane Cansdell-Sherriff had to be aware to clear a telling cross from Lewis Grabban and Joe Jacobson came to the Shrews aid after Ben Pringle had a shot at goal. On six minutes Danny Schofield saw his curled shot go just over the crossbar and a few minutes later a poor clearance from Jermaine Grandison fell to Alex Revell who's left foot shot was deflected wide by Cansdell-Sherriff. The home side's first chance came on ten minutes when Aaron Wildig set up James Collins but his shot didn't bother Rhys Taylor in the Millers goal as it sailed over the top of the net and twenty minutes later Rhys Taylor had to be alert and smother the ball at the feet of Terry Gornell. On thirty-eight minutes the Millers should have scored a second when Gareth Evans took the ball off Grandison's foot and laid the ball through to Jason Taylor but the midfielder fired well over the top when it looked easier to score. With the first half coming to an end the Shrews got the equaliser after James Collins' back heel found Gornell and the striker put a low shot into the bottom corner past Rhys Taylor.
Straight from the re-start Shrewsbury showed their intent and Nicky Wroe got on the end of a Jacobson pass and only a good block from Cresswell stopped them scoring. But he couldn't stop the ball going into the net a minute later when Wroe got round the Millers shot stopper and put the ball in the path of the onrushing Wildig who tapped the ball over the line from close range. On fifty-five minutes Jason Taylor released Revell down the left and the striker got past former Millers skipper Ian Sharps and got the ball to Grabban but the top scorer managed to blaze high and wide and five minutes later the visitors missed another good opportunity when Cresswell rose to meet the ball from an Evans corner but his header went high over the crossbar. On sixty-eight minutes the Shrews went further in the lead when Gornell hammered home from just outside the area without being challenged. Sam Wood and Sam Hoskins came on for Pringle and Evans and within minutes a twenty yard low shot from Hoskins found the side netting and a low shot from Jason Taylor was well saved by Chris Neal in the Shrews goal and fell to Cresswell whose shot was saved by Neal. In time added on Hoskins got to a knock down from Revell but his shot was well saved by Neal.
The Millers played some good football in the first forty-five minutes with so many chances that went begging. Unfortunately, they let the Shrews in and proved that they have to really take those chances. Steve Evans first game in charge showed us what to expect in the future as he spent nearly all the first half on the edge of the pitch and he and some of the home bench had 'words' during the second half!