Sharps Goal Earns All Three Points For Millers
St James' Park
24 November 2012 3.00pm
Attendance: 3,954 (205 Millers)
Rotherham United got a well deserved three points at St James Park yesterday afternoon appalling conditions thanks to a header in the first half from skipper Ian Sharps.
The game began in heavy rain which got worse and worse as the afternoon wore on. It was the Millers who had all the early running and Jason Taylor nearly opened the scoring on five minutes but saw his shot go just wide. Soon afterwards Artur Krysiak in the Grecians goal did well to palm away a shot from Alex Revell after he was put clean through by Ben Pringle. Revell had another chance a minute later after Pringle again slipped the ball past City`s back two but he was out-muscled by Steve Tully allowing Krysiak to easily collect the ball. At the other end Andy Warrington reacted well by getting down to a low shot from Jamie Cureton and Warrington got a hand to a sweet shot from Alan Gow to put it onto the bar with Matt Oakley not able to make contact with the rebound. On twenty-two minutes the Millers surged forwards and a Mark Bradley cross was only cleared as far as Courtney Cameron but the youngster didn`t realise how much time he had and volley the ball wide. With the rain teeming down it slowed the game down a little which probably suited the Millers with their short passing game and Michael O`Connor brought a save from Krysiak, although the ball dropped from his hands Tully was there to put it behind for a corner with the 'keeper doing well to tip a Johnny Mullins header over the bar from that. From the resulting corner the Millers broke the deadlock when Pringle`s kick found Sharps` head and he glanced the ball across goal and into the back of the net to the delight of the two hundred travelling supporters.
The second half started slower, except for the rain that started bouncing down, though the home side might have equalised in the opening minutes when a Jordan Moore-Taylor cross fell to Jimmy Keohane, on for Tommy Doherty, but he skied it high. On the hour mark a swirling effort from Gow was well stopped by Warrington with Sharps turning the ball behind for a corner. A few minutes later Johnny Mullins was on hand to clear a cross from John O`Flynn, on for Keohane while Warrington got down well again to save a shot from Gow. At the other end Cameron received a good ball in from Bradley but nipping in between the City defence his shot seemed to stick a little on the waterlogged pitch and was easily saved by Krysiak. Four minutes from the end Mitch Rose came on for Daniel Nardiello who was booed by the home fans but cheered by the away fans. Unfortunately for the Millers youngster the referee seemed to think he hadn't been seen enough and when Rose slid in to challenge for a ball in the final minute of the game his momentum and the lying water on the pitch took him further than he probably meant to go and Aaron Dawson ended up on the floor and Rose ended up with a red card. Down to ten men the Millers defended just as well for the five minutes that were added on at the end with Warrington showing a safe pair of hands from a Matt Oakley long range effort.
A good three points today for the Millers who played as a team, defending from the front when needed. And a word to say for the two hundred or so Millers fans who turned up, who I am told could be heard out singing the home fans on the radio - most opted to sit in the stand under cover but there were the fifty or so who stood singing in the pouring rain throughout the ninety minutes - some of who`s legs I had to put up with on the way home as they tried to dry their sodden clothes on the coach radiators! But, that`s what football is all about.