Date:Saturday August 31 2013
31 August 2013 3.00pm
Attendance: 5,428 (1,411 Millers)
Rotherham United got back to winning ways at Meadow Lane this afternoon when Kieran Agard`s thirty-seventh minute goal was enough to give them all three points.
It was a steady start in the sunshine for both sides and the first goalmouth action came when a shot from the Millers` Ben Pringle saw home 'keeper Bartosz Bialkowski flap before the ball fell to Michael O`Connor who blazed over from distance. On thirteen minutes County midfielder David Bell unleashed a shot which Scott Shearer in the Millers goal managed to get his hands to and stop it flying into the net but the ball then fell to former Miller Jamal Campbell-Ryce whose cross failed to connect with any of the home sides forward line. A long clearance from Dean Leacock seemed to be going nowhere but as Shearer came to collect he seemed to misjudge the bounce and had to be quick to stop the ball going into the net and leaving him red-faced. Lee Frecklington, Agard and O`Connor all had chances at the other end which were wasted before Pringle had a shot that went inches over. On thirty-six minutes an O`Connor long ball saw Agard and Mustapha Dumbaya tangle for it and the Sierra Leone International clearly handled the ball. O`Connor took the resulting free-kick into the box which Agard pounced on and lashed into the back of the net to send the one and a half thousand travelling supporters wild. A few minutes later Bialkowski`s attempted clearance was headed down by Alex Revell while a Mark Bradley cross to Frecklington saw the Millers midfielder head just past the upright. And Agard should have doubled the lead seconds later when he found himself unmarked in the area but his header fall into the safe hands of Bialkowski. In the dying seconds of the half Bradley sent a fantastic ball through to Revell but his effort was jumped on by Bialkowski.
The second half started as the first had finished with the Millers enjoying the most possession and when a Rob Milsom cross found the head of Agard the Millers fans were sure it would be goal number two but the striker`s header fell into Bialkowski`s hands. The Millers had a good case for a penalty when a Kari Arnason centre found Mark Bradley and as Bradley went up he appeared to have his shirt pulled but referee Carl Boyeson was having none of it. County had no answer to their visitors as Rotherham broke down any attempt they had at getting forward and with some quick passing by Revell and Pringle the ball fell to Agard and as he was about to reel off to celebrate a second goal he saw Bialkowski race sharply off his line and touch the ball over the crossbar for a corner. In the final quarter of the game the home side had a rare foray up front and a quick free-kick saw the Millers napping and they were lucky to see Adam Coombes (on for Campbell-Ryce) put his shot wide. At the other end Frecklington did well to get a cross over to find Revell`s head but the tall centre-forward put the ball over before Frecklington himself left his marker for dead and with his shot looking like it was going into the bottom corner of the net Bialkowski got down to his left and parried to safety. In the final minutes of the game the home side thought they should have had a penalty when Coombes was blocked by two Millers defenders but again referee Boyeson shook his head and in time added on Ronan Murray headed the ball over under pressure from Joe Skarz.
I really don`t know how we didn't win that game by four or five goals this afternoon. Frankly, County were there for the taking and we did everything but add to the one goal. But it`s another three points and another great performance from Steve Evans` lads - long may it continue.
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Date:Saturday August 31 2013
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