Magic Millers Storm Into Next Round Of Cup
18 December 2012 7.45pm
Attendance: 2,990 (812 Millers)
Rotherham United marched into the third round of the FA Cup last night as they beat League One side Notts County at their own ground by three goals to nil.
The Millers nearly went ahead in the opening minutes when an Alex Revell flick fell to Ben Pringle and his cross to Lee Frecklington eventually found Daniel Nardiello with acres of space but the striker was denied the opening goal by the Magpies 'keeper Liam Mitchell. Mitchell saved County again a few minutes later when he tipped a shot from Michael O`Connor round the post and from the resulting corner had to climb above everyone to punch the ball away. With the Millers having all the possession it was only a matter of time before the opening goal came and when it did it was a stunner. Pringle found himself alone with the ball some twenty-five yards out, shimmied forward unopposed and curled a wonderful shot into the top corner. And ten minutes later the Millers doubled their lead after some fine work from Mark Bradley earned the visitors a corner which Pringle took and with the cross avoiding everyone it fell to Bradley at the back post who had the simple task of hitting it into the roof of the net. Andy Warrington in the Millers goal, who had been a virtual spectator until the half hour mark, did well to get down to a shot from Neal Bishop. It went from bad to worse for County a minute later when Damien Stewart swung an arm into Revell`s face and was red carded by referee Darren Deadman and trying to take advantage of the extra man Lee Frecklington had a shot blocked by Mitchell while Nardiello saw a shot just clear the crossbar. Four minutes before half-time the Millers made it three. Frecklington lifted the ball over Gary Liddle and, with the linesman putting his flag up for offside against Revell he had to take it back down again as Frecklington ran onto his own pass rounded Mitchell and put a superb ball to Nardiello who shrugged off the home defenders and smashed the ball into the net much to the delight of the travelling eight hundred Millers fans.
A triple substitution by Keith Curle at half-time nearly brought County a goal when Joss Labadie, on for Andre Boucaud, found himself in possession of a half cleared ball and fizzed the ball just wide from twenty yards out. On the hour mark it could have been four-nil when Frecklington latched onto a long ball and chipping Mitchell saw his effort go just past the post. Seven minutes later Mitchell was called on again to palm away a good effort from O`Connor and the County 'keeper was on form again a few minutes later when Pringle tried to double his tally with a similar shot that gave him his goal but Mitchell managed to tip the ball wide and he also did well to turn away a dangerous shot from Revell. At the other end Liddle and Francois Zoko, who was on for Jeff Hughes, failed to worry Warrington with the final piece of the action falling to Revell at the other end who was again foiled by Mitchell who was by far the man of the match for the home side.
Was that the best ever display I`ve seen by Rotherham in an FA Cup game? They were solid from start to finish, didn`t let anything faze them, kept going even in the dying minutes at three-up we saw Jason Taylor flying back twenty-five yards to make a block. Best display - not so sure but that man Stevie Evans can certainly take a bow and he deserves all the plaudits he gets after last night.