Millers Get The New York Blues
26th January 2013 3.00pm
Attendance: 6,582 (418 Rovers fans)
Rotherham United dropped down to ninth place this afternoon after being well and truly beaten by bottom of the table Bristol Rovers at the New York Stadium.
After around two hundred fans - from both sides - helped clear the snow this morning so the game could go ahead - and there will be many of them wondering why they bothered.
Claude Davis had possibly the worst debut a footballer can have after getting a yellow card for a foul on Ryan Brunt on eight minutes (which was probably a little harsh) to giving away a penalty for a challenge on the same player on forty-two minutes before receiving another yellow card on the stroke of half-time to leave the Millers forty-five minutes with ten men.
The game began slowly with neither team having shots at goal although some peculiar defending by the Millers at times left the home side wondering what was happening. On fifteen minutes Daniel Nardiello was nudged over by Lee Brown and it appeared the linesman was going to give the decision the Millers' way but referee David Webb over ruled him and much to Nardiello's disgust gave the visitors a free-kick. Dale Tonge and Johnny Mullins kept the Bristol forwards at bay by blocking and heading shots off the line before Andy Warrington in the Millers' goal suddenly decided he was in a circus and with all the time in the world picked up the ball and threw it behind him and was lucky to see it only go for a corner. On the half-hour mark Ben Pringle got the ball away from John-Joe O'Toole and O'Toole saw yellow after fetching Pringle down a minute later. From the resulting free-kick Michael O'Connor went for goal but his shot hit the wall and it went over for a corner. The only real danger for the home side came from Nardiello when twice he had sight of goal only to be thwarted by defenders. On forty-two minutes Brunt went down under a challenge from Davis inside the area and Mr Webb pointed to the spot which Brown duly scored from. In the final minutes of the half Steve Mildenhall had his first real save to make when Lee Frecklington had a shot at goal which forced the visiting 'keeper into a good save. Then it went from bad to worse for the Millers when Davis hauled down Eliot Richards and saw his second yellow card in time added on in the first half.
Trying to get some width in the game Steve Evans put loanee Courtney Cameron on for the start of the second half and took off Nardiello leaving just one up front and, actually, the Millers did come out the stronger. Mildenhall had to be aware to save a header from Alex Revell which the 'keeper saved under the bar. A minute later Richards took the legs of Tonge as he slipped past him and it really should have been ten v ten but Mr Webb just gave the Welsh striker a talking too when he should have received a second yellow. He was substituted a minute later by Ellis Harrison who had an immediate impact after he was allowed to run almost the length of the pitch before sliding the ball into the back of the net. Although Johnny Mullins had a header at the other end that went just over the Millers were all at sixes-and-sevens and it wasn't much of a surprise when Joe Anyinsah skipped by two defenders and beat the diving Warrington with a powerful shot to make it three-nil to the visitors. At the other end Kayode Odejayi, on for Revell, sent Frecklington on his way but his shot was seen at the last minute by Mildenhall who saved. Frecklington tripped as he hit the ball and a few minutes later David Noble came on for him making his first appearance since October and with his first touch of the game struck a superb ball from distance that zipped into the roof of the net - unfortunately too late for many of the home fans who had already left. Before the end of the game Johnny Mullins had another header that didn't bother the Rovers 'keeper although he did well to get down to a Liam Ridehalgh shot minutes later while a Ben Pringle free-kick was hit straight at him in the final minute.
After all the hard work the fans had put in during the morning the Millers were never at the races. Quite a few changes in the line-up today and it seemed that no-body knew where they were playing with some of the passing being poor again today. The only player who really looked like scoring for the Millers was Daniel Nardiello who was replaced at half-time leaving us, once again, with just one up front at home.
Yet another bad day at the office but just how many more can we take?