Agard Wins Points For Millers
21 April 2013 3.00pm
Attendance: 10,648 (850 Millers)
Rotherham United took almost a thousand fans to Plymouth yesterday afternoon and the long trek certainly paid off as another three points saw them move ever closer to going up automatically out of League Two.
It wasn`t a pretty game in the sunshine at Home Park and with the Pilgrims needed a point to make sure they`d still be a Football League team next season it was the home side who started the brighter with a couple of corners in the first three minutes. Kari Arnason, who got a good reception from his former clubs` fans, had a couple of shots which didn`t trouble anyone while Millers` 'keeper Scott Shearer caught a free-kick from Joe Bryan at the other end. There was some meaty challenges in the opening minutes from both sides but referee David Coote took exception to an innocuous challenge by Alex Revell on Paul Wooten and booked the Millers striker and ten minutes later booked Kieran Agard for a 'nothing` challenge on Andres Gurrieri followed by a yellow of Arnason for - well answers on a postcard please. Back to the football and on twenty-five minutes Shearer was aware of a through ball from Paris Cowan-Hall and he did well to get to it before the foot of Gurrieri. As the half wore on the Millers were getting more and more into the game and a curling free-kick from Michael O`Connor was well saved by Jake Cole but the first genuine goal scoring opportunity came a minute before half-time when the ball dropped to Lee Frecklington who found himself alone in the penalty area. The Millers midfielder only had Cole to beat but a super save by the 'keeper denied the visitors the opening goal. In time added O`Connor laid off a lovely ball to Arnason but the Icelander was denied by the Plymouth wall.
The Millers started the second half as they`d finished the first and after a long throw from Arnason caused mayhem inside Argyle`s penalty area Revell only had to toe-poke the ball home but it went just past the post and minutes later Ben Pringle got the ball to Agard who had got himself into a great position but he headed wide from ten yards out. At the other end twice Onismor Bhasera got by Johnny Mullins and got the ball to former Miller Reuben Reid. The first time Reid`s header had beaten Shearer but wide and minutes later his shot cleared the bar. On seventy minutes Joe Byron had a shot at goal which Claude Davis did well to block while a free-kick from former Miller Guy Branston didn`t trouble anyone. With fifteen minutes left to play Curtis Nelson was booked for a poor challenge on Frecklington and a deep free-kick from Joe Skarz found the head of Mullins who headed down the ball down for the on-rushing Agard in the six yard area and the striker stuck the ball into the net from close range in front of the visiting Millers fans who went wild. And the Millers could have doubled that lead if only someone had gone with Frecklington as he charged down the left and put a ball into the centre with not a yellow shirt in sight. It all got a bit nervy for the Millers fans in the final minutes with the home side camped out in the Rotherham half with Conor Hourihane having a shot that went just over and Davis and Morgan blocking a shot from Bhasera before a header from Nick Chadwick, on for Nelson, was plucked out of the air by Shearer. When the final whistle went the Barn Park End of the ground went wild with the Millers supporters hugging and singing and shouting.
As I said not a pretty game but we are at the ugly end of the season and we did what we had to do.