Millers Lose To Table Topping Wigan
New York Stadium
25 November 2017 3.00pm
Attendance: 8,443 (946 Wigan Fans)
Rotherham United's dismal home form continued yesterday afternoon when Wigan Athletic became the third team in the last three games to come away from the New York Stadium with all three points.
In the opening minutes of the game yesterday Kieffer Moore did well to get in front of his marker but saw his header go over the bar and at the other end after what seemed to be a few minutes of panic from the Millers defenders Millers' goalkeeper Marek Rodak finally decided to come off his line and deal with Lee Evans shot. Joe Mattock gave away a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area with Richard Wood doing well to get to the ball before it reached Will Grigg. At the other end Jamie Jones, in the visitors goal, did well to get to a Mattock cross into the box before Moore. Michael Ihiekwe was the first to see yellow after Michael Jacobs went down like he'd been shot although the Millers man appeared to have got the ball. Lee Evans took the resulting free-kick which found Grigg who headed the ball into the back of the net to give Wigan the lead. This seemed to give the Rotherham players the push they needed and within two minutes they were level after some superb work from Moore saw him head the ball through to David Ball who bent a shot in from the edge of the area and saw the ball fly into the far corner giving Jones no chance and Ball his first goal in a Rotherham shirt. Minutes later Anthony Forde wound his way into the box seeing his shot deflected for a corner which Forde himself took finding Ihiekwe's head but the ball went just wide. A couple of corners for the visitors ended with new daddy Ryan Colclough blazing over before Ball found Lee Frecklington with a lovely ball but the Millers skipper sent his cross in too early and the move came to nothing. Both Mattock and Ihiekwe got in important challenges to stop Wigan before Rodak did well to get to a Colclough shot and then to stop Chey Dunkley from getting a header in. But Wigan found a way through on twenty-eight minutes when Frecklington did well to head an Evans shot off the line but the ball fell to Alex Bruce and with his back towards goal he sent the ball in which flicked the post before finding its way into the back of the net. At the other end Richie Towell saw a shot go just past the post before latching onto a Shaun Cummings ball but he failed to find a red shirt in the area. A pull-back on Grigg by Frecklington saw the visitors get a free-kick in a good position but Jacobs shot bothered nobody. As the game went into time added on at the end of the half Richard Wood was the second Miller to find himself with a yellow card after a foul on Jacobs.
The second half was on minutes old when Richie Towell was booked for a challenge on Nathan Byrne who fell to the ground screeching. A coming together in the box between Richard Wood and Ryan Colclough saw referee Seb Stockbridge (who thought he was the star of the show ALL game) wave away a penalty appeal from the Wigan players. Max Power skipped past his marker and sent a shot just over the crossbar before a poor challenge from Che Dunkley on Kieffer Moore saw him become the first Wigan player to see yellow. The Millers had an appeal for a penalty turned down after Moore headed down for Frecklington who saw his shot hit the outstretched arm of Dunkley but again Mr Stockbridge said 'no'. On the hour mark Wigan went further ahead after Michael Ihiekwe took his eye off the ball and it went to Grigg waiting in the wings who found himself one-on-one with Marek Rodak saw the Millers' 'keeper stand tall and save but the ball eventually fell to Michael Jacobs whose low effort flew into the net to make it three-one. The first Millers change of the afternoon saw Ryan Williams replace Richie Towell. Moore had a couple of chances before an Anthony Forde free-kick found Lee Frecklington who in turn found Richard Wood at the back post but the tall defender headed wide. Williams tried to make an impact and a couple of times got past the Wigan back four but his crosses into the box came to nothing before Rodak did well to get his fists to a shot from Colclough and with the ball falling to Power Rodak again saved. A free-kick for the hosts after Ball was bundled over on the edge of the area fizzed just over the bar from Forde before another Millers change saw Will Vaulks on for Darren Potter. Ivan Toney replaced Will Grigg for Wigan and minutes later David Ball was applauded off as he made way for Jerry Yates. After some nice work from Shaun Cummings, Moore got the ball in the area but couldn't control it and at the other end a cross from Reece James found Toney who rippled the outside of the net. Towards the end of the match Ryan Colclough was replaced by Gavin Massey with Gary Roberts coming on for Michael Jacobs for the visitors. Some good work from Williams in time added on saw him get a corner for the Millers which fell to Frecklington who saw his volley go just wide.
With the majority of the Millers fans leaving well before the end of the game I think we can safely say that this performance, topped with the one last weekend, wasn't good enough. And yes, we can moan and groan about referee Seb Stockbridge, who made Trevor Kettle look good yesterday, but it wasn't him who made the Millers play like they'd not met each other before.