Lackluster Millers Lose On The Road Again
26 September 2017 7.45pm
Attendance: 10,228 (515 Millers)
Rotherham United brought home what they deserved last night from Ewood Park - which was nothing.
The Millers never got started in the first half with Blackburn Rovers showing their intention in the first two minutes when former Miller Richie Smallwood's flick eventually fell to Dominic Samuel whose header rattled the crossbar before falling to Marcus Antonsson who saw his shot go just wide. And it was the upright that came to the Millers help on a quarter of an hour when again Samuel saw his low shot hit the inside of the post and go out to safety just after Rotherham 'keeper Marek Rodak had got down well to a shot from Bradley Dack. The visitors lost defender Ben Purrington on twenty minutes who went down holding his hamstring and was replaced by Joe Mattock. With the Millers trying to get down the pitch the ball fell to Ryan Williams who set off at pace but was cruelly hacked down by Paul Downing who rightly saw a yellow card for his actions. The resulting free-kick was taken by Anthony Forde who only troubled the Rovers fans behind the net. On twenty-six minutes Darren Potter made a hash of a back pass to Rodak giving it to Samuel who brought off a reflex save from the Millers' 'keeper with the ball who then tried to collect the ball but the incompetent linesman said it had gone out and gave a corner (Ed Note - it was right in front of me and the ball never crossed the line). Charlie Mulgrew put the ball in and which sailed past the Millers defence with nobody moving finding the head of Antonsson who gave Rovers a deserved lead. But for Rodak the visitors could have gone in further behind after he got down well in a one-v-one situation with Dack and tipping the ball over from Corey Evans before the lively Elliot Bennett saw a shot rise over the crossbar. As the half ended Samuel saw yellow for pushing and arguing with referee Heywood before Rodak was booked for 'enquiring' of the linesman why he'd given a corner when the ball was still clearly in.
Rotherham started as they'd finished with the midfield and defence in disarray when a cross from Bradley Dack found Marcus Antonsson who in turn found Dominic Samuel in acres of space but the Rovers forward saw his shot go inches over. Ten minutes some nice work between Ryan Williams, Lee Frecklington and Joe Mattock ended with the Millers getting a corner which was taken by Anthony Forde but hacked away by the Rovers defence. Kieffer Moore tried his luck with a shot from just outside the box which went wide. A minutes later the Millers' striker got his head to a Forde cross minutes later bringing a good save from home 'keeper David Raya before a Vaulks cross from a Forde throw-in found the head of Moore again but the ball went wide. As the Millers got more into the game Forde had a shot turned round the post before some super work from Williams found Mattock who saw Raya make a great save from his shot. Richie Towell was brought on for Anthony Forde just after the hour mark. Both Dack and Paul Downing saw shots go wide for Rovers before Raya again brought off a good save at the other end this time from Frecklington. From the resulting corner Richard Wood rose above everyone else to connect to Joe Newell's cross and headed the ball in the net celebrating with the jubilant five hundred Millers fans only for all to be disappointed to see the aforementioned linesman holding his flag up. Why? Answers on a postcard. Rovers brought on Harry Chapman for Bradley Dack and within a minute of his arrive the Middlesbrough loanee was foiled by another good save from Marek Rodak. A foul on Towell by Corry Evans saw the Rovers centre-back booked and a couple of minutes later he made way for Peter Whittingham off the bench. The hosts should have doubled their score with ten minutes to go when Michael Ihiekwe's sloppy pass found Antonsson but he blazed well over. Dominic Samuel made way for Sam Hart before Moore saw a header cleared off the line. Wood saw yellow for a foul on Derrick Williams before Jerry Yates was brought on up front for the visitors replacing Joe Newell. The hosts had a trio of corners, the first cleared by Wood, the second cleared by Moore but the third, which was a short one, found Chapman who brought off a save from Rodak only for the ball to fall back to the Rovers substitute who blasted home to make it two-nil. And it could have been three a minute later but Antonsson put his shot wide. In time added on both Vaulks and Moore were booked for poor challenges before Whittingham dragged a shot wide just before the whistle.
Shocking defending in the first half and although the Millers did get a bit better in the last twenty minutes or so they were definitely not at the races last night.