Another Evening Of Misery For Millers
New York Stadium
7 March 2017 7.45pm
Attendance: 8,366 (1,006 Seagulls)
Two second half goals sent Rotherham United to their fifth straight defeat this evening with Brighton and Hove Albion getting themselves back on track for promotion.
It was a wary start from both sides before Jon Taylor had the first chance when his long range shot was held at the second attempt by former Miller David Stockdale in the Seagulls goal. At the other end Jiri Skalak went to ground after Semi Ajayi closed him down and the resulting free-kick from Anthony Knockaert didn't trouble Millers' 'keeper Lewis Price as it flew into the Millers fans behind the goal. Minutes later Price was in action when he firstly parried a shot from Dale Stephens, before finally gathering. The Millers might have gone ahead on eighteen minutes after Jerry Yates sent Tom Adeyemi on his way but Stockdale did well to put the ball to safety with his legs. Just moments later the Millers defence were caught out from a Bruno Saltor throw which found it's way to Skalak but he shot over then Will Vaulks did well to stop a cross from Beram Kayal finding a blue and white shirt before the Millers' player found himself in the right place at the right time to head a shot from Lewis Dunk off the line to safety. With twenty-five minutes gone Stockdale had to be alert to palm away a shot from Yates before the first card of the game went to Vaulks for a foul on Skalak. From the resulting free-kick Skalak and Stephens both had chances blocked. The hosts really should have taken the lead on thirty-seven minutes when a poor clearance from Stockdale went straight to Anthony Forde and with the Millers fans screaming for him to shoot he took that extra touch and the ball flew into the travelling thousand Brighton fans. At the other end some good work from Semi Ajayi stopped Sam Baldock having a shot at goal before Price made a super save to deny the Brighton player minutes later to keep it goalless at half-time.
It was clear which team had probably had 'a good talking too' at half-time with the visitors coming out of the starting blocks the quicker when a shot from Tomer Hemed fell onto the top of the net. Four minutes after the re-start Brighton were one up after both Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock were denied the ball fell to Anthony Knockaert who stuck the ball into the net. The Millers first substitution saw Richie Smallwood make way for Joe Newell. Hemed and Jiri Skalak worked well together with the latter seeing his shot saved on the line by Will Vaulks before some superb defending from Semi Ajayi saw him stop Hemed getting a shot at goal. Up the other end Anthony Forde put a dangerous looking cross into the box but no-one got on the end of it before Vaulks tried his luck from twenty-five yards out only to see a Seagulls defender block. Some good work from Newell saw him get the ball to Jon Taylor who won a corner for the home side which came to nothing. Another sub for the Millers saw Alex Bray replace Forde. With a quarter of an hour to go only a deflection off a red shirt stopped Hemed making it two-nil with Skalak putting the ball over the crossbar from the resulting corner. The Millers last sub of the evening saw Ben Purrington come on for Joe Mattock while Brighton took off Knockaert bringing on Solly March before Glenn Murray replaced Hemed. Five minutes later substitute Marchj made it two-nil when he picked the ball up on the right and shot from just outside the box with the Millers defenders thinking Lewis Price had it covered it somehow went underneath him and into the bottom corner of the net. And it could have been three minutes later when Baldock found himself one-one-one with Price but fired wildly over the bar and moments later Baldock was subbed with Richard Towell coming on. And Towell really should have made it three when he found himself clean through on goal but dragged his shot well wide.
Too many players had indifferent games this evening, once again making the opposition look good.