Millers Get Three Points On The Road
3 September 2017 2.30pm
Attendance: 17,118 (436 Millers)
Rotherham United got their first win on the road since April 2016 this afternoon with a goal on thirty-six minutes from Jon Taylor giving the Millers a win over Portsmouth.
On a windy, wet, cold afternoon at Fratton Park the Millers had the first chance to go in front when a foul on Ryan Williams by Jack Whatmough gave them a free-kick twenty-five yards out. Jon Taylor took the set-piece which went over the wall but bent it wide of the far post. A good header at the other end from recalled Richard Wood stopped a cross from Jamal Lowe finding a Pompey player in the box. The lively Taylor picked up the ball at the half-way line and flew down the wing with his cross aimed towards Williams cut-out by a blue shirt before some good work by the Millers saw Taylor try a shot at goal which was blocked. Pompey skipper Brett Pitman had a shot from just outside the box but saw it sail over the crossbar before more good work from the visitors saw Kieffer Moore get a superb ball in to Michael Ihiekwe who saw his shot go over the crossbar. Taylor then got a good ball through to his captain Lee Frecklington but his shot was well blocked before Shaun Cummings made his way into the box but couldn't sort himself out to make anything of a ball he received from Williams before Luke McGee got down well to a strike from Moore before he saved a header from the Millers striker a minute later. Will Vaulks had a couple of headers towards goal before the Millers went ahead on thirty-six minutes after a lovely ball from Frecklington found Williams who got the ball to Taylor and as he left his marker behind the Millers winger got himself into the box and smashed the ball into the roof of the net sending the four hundred and fifty visiting fans wild. With five minutes to go before the end of the first half the hosts came close to equalising when a Conor Chaplin corner found the head of Matt Clarke but all he could do was put the ball into the side netting followed by Lowe easing his way past Vaulks only to put his header of over the crossbar. As the board went up for an extra minute Taylor got past Christian Burgess but sees his shot go inches wide of the upright.
The second half was a different matter with Pompey making two changes with Matty Kennedy and Nathan Thompson replacing Conor Champlin and Jack Whatmough and putting the Millers on the back foot from the start with Oliver Hawkins putting a header wide and when a cross came in Rotherham 'keeper Richard O'Donnell was found flat-footed as he flapped at it letting Jamal Lowe get a shot in which whistled past the post. Ryan Williams went down with a back injury and tried to carry on but had to be replaced by Anthony Forde. The hosts had a shout for a penalty when Michael Ihiekwe put his foot up high for a ball in the area while Hawkins put his head towards the ball and the Millers defender caught him in the face. As both players were intent on getting the ball referee Gavin Ward decided it was a fair challenge. The first booking of the game went to Darren Potter of the Millers for a poor challenge on Stuart O'Keefe. Jon Taylor was in the thick of the action at the other end just failing to get to a cross from Kieffer Moore and then doing well to rise to a Forde cross but his header went well over. At the other end only some good work from Potter who got the ball off the line stopped Hawkins equalising. Portsmouth's third substitution saw Kal Naismith come on for Hawkins. A reckless tackle on Lowe from Ben Purrington saw him the next player to get a yellow. Clarke and Lowe had near misses for the hosts before Taylor got the ball down the wing and riding one challenge was felled by Burgess who was the first Pompey player to go into the book. Vaulks had an effort from distance that didn't trouble anyone with Thompson at the other end doing the same. A standing ovation from the travelling Millers for Jon Taylor when he was subbed with Joe Newell coming on in his place. Richard Wood did well to get his body in the way of an O'Keefe effort before a super strike from Adam May went inches wide. The Millers last sub of the day came on ninety minutes with new boy Richie Towell coming on for skipper Lee Frecklington. Six minutes of added time saw the Millers in defensive mode so when Moore got the ball in a good position he had no-one to pass it to. Newell took the ball into the corner and got a free-kick which saw Vaulks receive a yellow card for time wasting. With the hosts throwing everything at the Millers in the final minutes the Millers held on for Paul Warne's first away win as Rotherham Manager.
We've broken the 'away win' hoodoo! And, just as importantly kept a clean sheet! It was difficult in the second half for the Millers but they defended as one and got all three points! Well done lads!