Millers Lose Hundred Per Cent Record
New York Stadium
18 September 2012 7.45pm
Attendance: 6,783 (359 Dale fans)
Rotherham United lost their one hundred per cent home league record this evening at the New York Stadium to a Rochdale side who came, saw and conquered.
On the first real cool night of the season the Millers came out the quicker and in the first minute Gareth Evans tried a shot from distance that went wide while a Ben Pringle cross, a few minutes later, was easily saved by Josh Lillis in the visitors goal. The Millers continued to put Dale's back four under pressure with Kayode Odejayi seeing a shot go wide and minutes later he saw an effort go just over the bar. On twelve minutes Saturday's hero Alex Revell had a curling shot that fooled Lillis but it also spun past the far post and away to safety. Rochdale started to settle on the ball and midway through the half Phil Edwards hit a shot over the bar while Scott Shearer did well to save from Andrew Tuttle. The Millers 'keeper didn't do too well minutes later when he rushed out of his area to try and stop Bobby Grant and the ball took a wicked bobble and the tall shot stopper appeared to forget where he was and went to handle the ball. Whether he did or not I don't think anyone is really sure but the referee waved play on and Ian Sharps did well to get back to clear Grants shot helped by Craig Morgan who got it away. Play carried on for a few more minutes and then the referee decided to book Shearer presumably for handling the ball outside the area but who knows! Five minutes later Shearer pulled off a magnificent save from Rhys Bennett and was on hand a minute later to save a cross from Grant. With the visitors getting more movement both on and off the ball it was inevitable that they would score and when a misplaced pass between Odejayi and Jason Taylor fell to Dele Adebola all he had to do was slot the ball under Shearer and become the first visiting player to score a league goal at the New York Stadium.
Once again the home side were the livelier at the start of the second half and Lillis had to react quickly to save from Odejayi while Pringle had an effort that just lifted over the crossbar. Lionel Ainsworth, on at half-time for Evans, and Nicky Hunt had shots blocked before Bennett did well to block a shot on the line from Revell but could do nothing about the follow-up cross from Pringle which found Revell's head and he made it two goals in two games as he put the ball over the line for the equaliser. Daniel Nardiello, on for Odejayi, was the next player to test Lillis who was thankful to see his shot go wide while, at the other end, Jason Taylor cleared a headed shot from Grant off the line. On sixty-five minutes the Millers took the lead when a Michael O'Connor free-kick was quickly taken and found Ian Sharps who headed across goal to Nardiello who put the ball into the back of the net. Then the Millers sat back and let Dale back into it and Kevin McIntyre shot against the crossbar from twenty-five yards and a minute later Shearer did well to tip a George Donnelly free-kick over and from the resulting corner Jason Kennedy fell down under a challenge from Revell and the referee pointed to the spot. Grant stepped up and coolly slotted the ball home with Shearer going the wrong way. Four minutes later the visitors went back into the lead when Taylor seemed to be ball watching and let Ray Putterill, on for Adebola, through to get the ball to McIntyre who sent a curling ball across goal to nestle into the bottom corner of the net. With five minutes to go Pringle sent a good ball into Kieran Agard, on for Hunt, who's acrobatic kick flew just over the bar and minutes later Ainsworth found Nardiello at the back post but he just couldn't quite get his head on the ball to help it into the net. In the last minute of stoppage time a Pringle cross found the head of Sharps but he could only put it wide.
The Millers couldn't cope with the Rochdale midfield tonight and were almost always fighting against a flowing tide of yellow and blue. In short, I believe, Rochdale were the better side and probably edged the game. The referee? Blimey O`Reilly we don't half get them.