Skipper Wins Game For Millers
New York Stadium
16 February 2013
Attendance: 11,143 (2,338 Spirites)
Rotherham United won their second game in four days as they all but battered local rivals Chesterfield this afternoon at the New York Stadium.
How this game only ended one-nil to the home side I don`t think anyone will know as time and again the Millers surged forward, hit the woodwork, brought off saves from the visiting 'keeper and missed some chances that looked certain goals.
It was the Spireites Jack Lester that had the first shot on goal on two minutes although it was an easy save for Andy Warrington in Rotherham`s goal. A minute later Daniel Nardiello skipped round Liam Cooper and hit a hard low shot which he saw beat Tommy Lee the Spireites 'keeper and hit the post before going out to safety. Minutes later Alex Revell put a ball in that Nardiello just failed to get on the end of followed by a cross by Liam Ridehalgh before a David Noble shot from just outside the area went just wide of the post. At the other end Drew Talbot saw a couple of half-chances blocked by the Millers defenders before Kari Arnason brought off a smart save from Lee. With the Millers keeping up the pressure on the Chesterfield defence Sam Hird`s clumsy challenge on Nardiello just outside the box saw him get a yellow card and from the resulting free-kick Noble stung the hands of Lee. Moments later Nardiello sent the ball forward for Danny Kearns to run on to who in turn pulled it back for Noble who`s shot deflected off Liam Cooper for a corner. A Nathan Smith free-kick was misjudged by the usual dependent Johnny Mullins and Marc Richards was able to chest the ball down but his shot hit the side-netting. After the let off the Millers surged forward again and Kearns found himself in the box but Liam Cooper was on hand to clear while Lester managed to get back to clear an Arnason shot off the line moments later while a Noble free-kick found the head of Claude Davis but it was easy for Lee to put his body behind and save. Minutes later Revell put a delightful cross in for Nardiello with Lee just managing to parry the ball to safety and moments later Revell set Kearns going down the left and with Nardiello waiting for the cross Cooper got a foot in to stop the ball getting to him. Next Revell himself had a shot deflected and from the resulting corner Arnason couldn`t get past the Chesterfield defenders camped on the goal line to put the ball over. In the final minute of the half Mullins did well to block a shot from Jack Lester.
Rotherham should have been in front in the opening minute of the second half when Lee Frecklington sent Revell clear but the striker put his shot wide of the target while a Nardiello header a few minutes later went just over the bar. With all the pressure it was only a matter of time before the Millers scored and when they did it came from a Noble corner on fifty-seven minutes when Mullins rose above everyone else in the crowded area and gave Lee no chance with the header. Three sides of the New York Stadium went wild with everyone on and off the pitch celebrating, although strangely Millers Boss Steve Evans seemed to just stand there and smile. Straight away the visitors looked for an equaliser when Lester got the ball and Davis`s challenge only got the ball away as far as Sam Togwell who shot wide with the Millers defenders seemingly stood watching. The Spireites put a bit of pressure on the Millers but nothing that the home side couldn`t handle and it perhaps should have been two-nil when a flick-on from Revell found Nardiello and after getting past Neal Trotman the former Manchester United Youth player shot narrowly wide. Frecklington then tried his luck from eighteen yards which Lee did well to save. With five minutes to go Armand Gnanduillet, on for O`Shea, sent Togwell free and the midfielder calmly put the ball into the back of the net but, to the Millers relief, the flag went up for off-side. And, to be honest, I couldn`t tell you much about the final five minutes as I sat with my eyes shut as the Spireites were finding much too much room and getting into some good positions and I think we were all holding our breaths until Referee Paul Tierney blew for full-time.
How on earth we didn't go in at half-time three or four up I shall never know - we outplayed Chesterfield in every position on the park. A good win that sees us move up one to sixth.