Millers Get Point From Last Game Of Season
New York Stadium
7 May 2017 12 noon
Attendance: 10,763 (2,595 Rams)
Rotherham United drew their final game of the season this afternoon when a late penalty gave Derby County a spoil of the shares at the New York Stadium.
The travelling Rams fans thought they'd taken the lead in the opening minutes of the game when a deflected shot from Craig Bryson had to be put into the side-netting by Millers' 'keeper Richard O'Donnell. On six minutes the lively Jon Taylor set off on a run down the wing a foul saw him receive treatment on the pitch. After the stoppage Taylor did brilliantly to get the ball across to Joe Mattock who found Richie Smallwood but the midfielder missed his chance and hit a Derby defender. A minute later Taylor again flew down the pitch before Derby 'keeper Scott Carson managed to save at the near post. Taylor's pace was causing Derby some problems and when he set off again he was clattered by Chris Baird but this time couldn't carry on and had to be replaced by Ben Purrington. On the quarter of an hour mark Jonson Clarke-Harris saw a cross-come-shot fly across the face of goal before the striker headed wide from ten yards out. At the other end a dangerous cross from Johnny Russell was well intercepted by Semi Ajayi before the tall defender dashed to the other end to try and get his head on the end of a Smallwood free-kick. Clarke-Harris had another try at goal which went wide before Will Vaulks set Lee Frecklington on his way but the skipper's cross was too high for Purrington. With five minutes of the half left O'Donnell did well to parry a Tom Ince shot away.
Derby started the second half with Will Hughes replacing Craig Bryson. The Millers got a free-kick when Jonson Clarke-Harris was pulled over by Richard Keogh which the striker took himself but his shot hit the Derby wall and went to safety. Clarke-Harris did well minutes later to chest down the ball to Tom Adeyemi who makes Scott Carson get down to save. Darren Bent replaced Johnny Russell for the visitors and within minutes Semi Ajayi had to be on his toes to twice get the ball away from the former England international. On sixty-five minutes Derby had a great chance to go ahead when David Nugent played in Bradley Johnson and with it looking easier to score he sliced his shot wide of the goal. And they were made to pay for that miss when a minute later a lovely ball in from Joe Mattock found an unmarked Lee Frecklington who put the ball past Carson into the net at the back post sending eight thousand Millers wild. And it could have been more when a cross from Will Vaulks was only half cleared and fell to Adeyemi who just couldn't squeeze the ball under the Rams' 'keeper. After being treated on the pitch Ben Purrington was replaced by Darnell Bailey-King making his home debut for the Millers with Clarke-Harris soon sending him on his way but his first touch was a bit too heavy and went flying across goal and out. Derby's last substitution saw Nick Blackman on for David Nugent. Clarke-Harris got the ball in the middle of the park and ran towards goal and with Adeyemi steaming in he tried to pick out Bailey-King but his pass was over-hit. A late rally from the visitors was rewarded on eighty-two minutes when a corner fell into a ruck of players and Clarke-Harris was adjudged to have tripped Hughes with Darren Deadman pointing to the spot. Tom Ince took the penalty sending Richard O'Donnell the wrong way to make it one-one. O'Donnell then pulled off a stunning save from a Neil Blackman scorcher before he did well to hold on to an Ince free-kick minutes later. Derby did get the ball into the back of the net and with their two and a half thousand travelling fans up shouting the referee pointed to a linesman's flag that had been up for a while.
The Millers well deserved a point in this dinner-time kick-off game today and, with a bit more luck, a bit more finesse perhaps could have got all three.