New York Stadium
12 January 2013
Attendance: 7,434 (193 Bees)
Rotherham United lost their first game of 2013 at the New York Stadium this afternoon to a Barnet side who had obviously done their homework on Steve Evans' team, which made it their fourth defeat in five at home.
Steve Evans made a number of changes to the starting eleven with Liam Ridehalgh and Ian Sharps returning as well as Kieran Agard and Kayode Odejayi starting with Liverpool loanee Adam Morgan being handed a start.
The Millers started on the front foot with Morgan having a shot blocked in the opening minute of the game. At the other end Bees player/coach and former Netherlands legend Edgar Davids, who was starting his first game since just after Christmas, and went past Ben Pringle like he wasn't there but his floating cross was cut out by Ridehalgh and from the resulting corner Iro could only put the ball into the waiting arms of Andy Warrington. At the other end Graham Stack, in the Bees goal, did well to punch away a curving shot from Lee Frecklington and minutes later after dropping the ball he managed to parry away to safety with Mark Bradley breathing down his neck. On twenty-one minutes the Millers defence got into a right tangle when Mark Byrne played a nothing ball down the right to Jack Hyde, who beat the offside trap and lobbed Warrington as he, unnecessarily, ran out into no-mans land, and the ball hit the back of the net in front of the travelling Barnet fans. With the visitors now feeling an upset could be on the cards they began to get forward and Warrington had to be at full stretch to deflect at effort from Ibrahim Sekajja. At the other end two defenders managed between them to stop a shot from Kayode Odejayi going over the line with Stack managing to clear the danger which nearly helped Barnet double their lead when a smart through ball from Hyde to Sekjja saw Warrington get his finger tips to the ball and put it over for a corner. The resulting corner went by Warrington but Jason Taylor was stood on the line and he got the ball away. During the melee in the box Iro fell to the floor from what looked like a whack from one of his own players and had to be stretchered off the field. Just before the break the Millers nearly levelled when a curling shot from Johnny Mullins was hacked away by David Stephens while the Millers felt hard done too minutes later then Morgan looked to have bundled the ball over the line but referee Andy D'Urso said no while Stack did well to make a double save from skipper Ian Sharps.
Barnet came out the busier in the second half with Warrington saving a cross from Davids and a Ricky Holmes free-kick was cleared by Mark Bradley. At the other end Morgan tried a shot which seemed to bobble in front of him with Odejayi free just yards away while a Holmes shot, at the other end was put over the bar by Warrington. Daniel Kearns came off the bench for the Millers to make his debut and got the better of Davids (which Ben Pringle hadn't done all game) straight away and put in a good cross fro Odejayi who headed wide. Bradley sent a ball over which was easy for Stack while Kieran Agard tried a shot from just outside the penalty area which went wide. Daniel Nardiello, on for Morgan, put in a good cross for Alex Revell, on for Odejayi, but the striker's sot was wide while Barry Fuller blocked a shot from Bradley. But for a great save from Warrington the Bees would have gone two-up on eighty minutes when he managed to push a Mark Byrne bullet shot from twenty-five yards out over the bar but he could do nothing a minute later when Holmes got passed Kearns and squared the ball to Andy Yiadom, on for Davids, who tapped the ball into the back of the net. The Millers continued to press for a goal but you knew it was going to be one of those days when Stack fumbled a a header from Nardiello and when it fell to the striker again he blazed the ball over the bar with an empty net in front of him. It could have been three-nil deep into stoppage time to the Bees when the Millers defence stood and watched Holmes go past them only for his shot to hit the post and go out to safety.
I think we will have to put this one down to a bad day at the office where a thirty-nine year old showed some players, a lot younger than himself, how to play football.