Third Win In A Row For Five Star Millers
New York Stadium
12 September 2017 7.45pm
Attendance: 7,330 (280 Saddlers)
Rotherham United pulled off their third win in a row with a convincing performance beating Walsall five-one at the New York Stadium.
As the game kicked-off the rain began making the pitch rather slippy in patches and the first few minutes of the game saw fouls by both sides that might have been attributed to that. On five minutes a foul by Jon Guthrie on Ryan Williams saw Jon Taylor take the resulting free-kick which saw Saddlers' 'keeper Mark Gillespie having to punch the ball to safety under pressure from Kieffer Moore. At the other end a poor back pass from Williams saw Will Vaulks bring down Joe Edwards with Tyler Roberts curling effort from the free-kick well blocked by the Millers defence. After some nice play from the hosts they were rewarded on thirteen minutes when a long ball from Millers' 'keeper Marek Rodak found the head of Moore who flicked the ball on which eventually fell to skipper Lee Frecklington just outside the box who produced a stunning volley which dipped under the crossbar beating Gillespie on it's way into the net. Two minutes later Walsall came close to equalising when an Edwards corner wasn't cleared by the Millers and it found Amadou Bakayoko who saw his header cleared off the line by Frecklington. On sixteen minutes a superb cross from Williams found the head of Taylor who glanced the ball into the net from close range to make it two-nil. Taylor had another chance stopped by Gillespie at the near post before the play went down the other end and Rodak had to get down to save from Edwards. On twenty-four minutes the Millers made it three-nil when a long throw from Will Vaulks left the Saddlers defence in tatters and in popped Taylor to claim his second of the night, although, it might have come off a visiting defender last - but it would be cruel to take it away from Jon Taylor. And just after the half-hour mark another good cross in from Vaulks found the head of Frecklington who headed home to make it four-nil to the Millers. Walsall's bench immediately made a substitution bringing on Florent Cuvelier for Shaun Donnellan. A poor challenge by Bakayoko on Vaulks saw the visiting forward get the first yellow of the game. Williams twice had chances to put the Millers further in front before half-time with Gillespie making a good save in a one-on-one situation before the visiting goalie saved from the same player at point blank range.
If the Millers had played the first half like Barcelona they came out for the second half looking a bit like Bognor! (or is that being a bit harsh!) The Saddlers brought on Kieron Morris for Erhun Oztumer and from the off looked the most likely side to score which they did five minutes in when some poor defending from the home side from a Joe Edwards corner allowed Amadou Bakayoko a lot of space and he scored from close range. Florent Cuvelier had a couple of shots towards goal which did nothing and Tyler Roberts and Bakayoko were starting to look dangerous before Richie Towell did well to to block an effort from Adam Chambers. Kieffer Moore nearly scored just before the hour mark when he found himself in space and tried his luck from twenty yards out only to see his effort whistle past the upright. That was the tall centre-forwards last part in the game when, looking like he was suffering with a tight hamstring, was replaced by David Ball. Jon Taylor did well to stop Edwards getting a shot away before Towell, at the other end, tried to send Ball on his way but the shot was just too heavy. Daniel Agyei replaced Amadou Bakayoko for the visitors while the Millers brought on Anthony Forde for Taylor. Agyei was soon in action and saw a shot go just wide before some nice goalkeeping from Marek Rodak saw him punch a good looking corner away. The last Millers sub saw Joe Newell replace Richie Towell. Darren Potter had a good chance from twelve yards out but put the ball over and minutes after being announced as the Sponsors Man of the Match Lee Frecklington claimed the match ball when Forde whipped a cross in for his skipper who headed home the Millers fifth goal of the night.
Another great night for Rotherham United fans at the New York Stadium - six goals, five of them going in for the Millers, a great first half performance and a hat-trick from the skipper - you can't ask for much more than that can you?