Millers Lose In Injury Time
New York Stadium
18 November 2017 3.00pm
Attendance: 8,184 (699 Shrews fans)
The crowd at the New York Stadium were introduced to former Rotherham United Manager Tommy Docherty and various former players including Johnny Quinn before today's game, gave former Miller Paul Hurst in the Shrewsbury Town dugout a great round of applause and impeccably observed a minutes silence for Remembrance Day - and that was probably as good as it got for the Millers fans this afternoon which saw them miss a penalty, come back from one down only to lose in time added on.
The hosts might have gone in front early in the first half after Ryan Williams was upended by Ben Godfrey and the resulting Richie Towell free-kick was floated into the area for Will Vaulks who saw Dean Henderson in the Shrews goal get his hands to the ball. At the other end Alex Rodman shot wide before a Millers corner from Joe Newell came out to Vaulks who sent the ball back to Newell and with Henderson desperately trying to get back the ball went inches over the crossbar. On ten minutes Kieffer Moore was hacked down by Joe Riley with the resulting free-kick from Newell being headed away by a visiting defender. Two minutes later Omar Beckles brought Richie Towell down in the area and Mr Jones pointed to the penalty spot. Moore stepped up to take the spot-kick but Henderson did well to go the right way and push the ball away from danger. The Millers were soon to rue that miss when Jon Nolan shimmied past his marker and his powerful strike flew into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead. Shaun Whalley went down under a clumsy challenge from Mattock with the resulting free-kick eventually coming back to the fouled player who went past the Millers defence like they weren't there with Millers' 'keeper Richard O'Donnell doing well to stand his ground and put the ball behind. Some nice work from Williams found Towell who saw his shot from some twenty yards out go just over before Whalley took the ball off the toes of Semi Ajayi who managed to recover and send the Shrews winger's shot behind with the resulting corner seeing Beckles head over the crossbar. With the first half nearing an end a loose ball fell to Darren Potter who sent Towell off on a run with his shot making Henderson work hard, although the linesman appeared to raise a flag for offside (for who, well, answers on a postcard for that one).
The Millers had a good chance to equalise in the first minute of the second half when a poor back pass from Joe Riley fell to Kieffer Moore whose shot looked like it was going in until Dean Henderson made the goal area his own and sent the ball away from goal. A Will Vaulks long throw caused problems in Town's goalmouth and with nearly every player on the pitch in the area the linesman flagged for offside (who? Well, keep some space on that postcard!). After a Joe Newell delivery was missed by both Moore and Ryan Williams the visitors counter-attacked with Stefan Payne setting Jon Nolan up, who eased past Semi Ajayi but the midfielder made a hash of it and sent the ball into the Millers fans behind the goal. A terrible challenge on Shaun Cummings on the touchline saw the visitors down to ten men when Abu Ogogo, just back after suspension, was shown a straight red. Things were getting a bit heated and when Rotherham skipper Richard Wood and Aristote Nsiala of Shrewsbury had a coming together in the box it ended with both seeing yellow cards. A superb block from Ajayi stopped Payne getting a shot away followed by Cummings making way for Jonson Clarke-Harris whose first action saw his header well saved by Henderson. The Millers striker saw another header go just wide before Lee Frecklington got a resounding welcome from the home fans when he replaced Richard Wood on the pitch. Frecks had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes when the Millers equalised. A good ball in from Newell was only half-cleared and falling to Towell he sent a veracious shot from the edge of the area which flew into the back of the net. Mat Sadler brought down Clarke-Harris and Newell swung the resulting set-piece into the area hit a Shrews defender and went to safety when it looked like it would go into the net. The Shrews brought on Carlton Morris for Alex Rodman and Anthony Forde came on for the Millers for Ryan Williams. Like Doncaster last week Shrewsbury had been wasting time since opening the scorer with goalkeeper Henderson being the worst culprit but, unlike last week, it didn't go to the Millers advantage. Three minutes into the six added on the visitors got the winner when some poor defending saw the ball come off Ajayi and out for a corner which former Millers loanee Carlton Morris got his head to nodding it down for Payne who smacked the ball home from close range. Lenell John-Lewis replaces Shaun Whalley for Paul Hurst's side. The Millers had a chance in the final minute of the game but Kieffer Moore's header went just wide.
It wasn't pretty today and, not for the first time of saying, our defence were often left wanting but some of our passing was quite woeful as well.