Christmas Cheer As Millers Win Away
26 December 2017 3.00pm
Attendance: 4,630 (1,452 Millers)
Rotherham United's fourteen hundred or so fans had a lot to cheer about as they headed home over the Pennines from Gigg Lane this afternoon with three points under their belts.
The Millers started well and within five minutes were in front after a corner kick a Ryan Williams ball in wasn't cleared by Bury defender Tom Aldred falling back to the Millers winger whose cross into the box fell to David Ball who calmly curled a shot into the net from some twelve yards out bringing the travelling fans out of their seats to celebrate. The hosts tried to respond from the re-start but Nicky Ajose's shot didn't bother Millers' 'keeper Marek Rodak. A poor challenge on Ball saw the first yellow card of the afternoon go to Stephen Dawson. Things got better for the Millers on ten minutes when an Anthony Forde corner saw skipper Lee Frecklington get his head to it and power the ball into the back of the net to make it two-nil. It might have been free if Bury 'keeper Leonardo Fasan hadn't done well to get his hands to a Williams strike and put it round the post before a corner for the hosts found an unmarked Aldred at the back post who saw his header go inches past the post. A bad challenge on on Philip Edwards saw Williams yellow carded. A timely tackle on Rohan Ince from Richie Towell in the area got Joe Mattock out of bother after he let the Brighton loanee in. The visitors had a number of corners before the end of the half which were either turned away or hacked away Danny Mayor skipped into the box leaving his marker behind only to see Rodak fly of his line to collect before he could get a shot away.
Rotherham might have dominated the first half but the second half was a different matter as they had to defend in numbers on a few occasions, one of those in the opening minutes when Will Vaulks mis-kicked the ball straight to Jay O'Shea who in turn found Nicky Ajose before the visitors managed to clear. Greg Leigh found himself in a shooting position only to see Vaulks clear and Marek Rodak claim before a corner found O'Shea who saw his shot go just wide while a shot from Danny Mayor minutes later did the same. Just before the hour mark Joe Newell replaced Ryan Williams for Rotherham. Lee Frecklington tried to double his tally on sixty-nine minutes but saw his shot fall onto the roof of the net before Ajose caused the Millers defence some problems at the other end forcing Semi Ajayi to put the ball over his own crossbar for a corner. Richie Towell walked off holding his hip and applauding the away fans with Richard Wood coming on in his place and Harry Bunn replaced Stephen Dawson for the hosts. Mayor got a lovely ball from Leigh who unleashed an unstoppable shot only to see his shot go wide with the Millers' 'keeper at full stretch. The visitors final substitution of the day saw Jerry Yates go off for top scorer Kieffer Moore. A corner for Rotherham saw Moore head it to David Ball but the Bury defence did it job and crowded them out. With ten minutes to go Rotherham had a good shout for a penalty after when Leigh sent Ball sprawling but Referee Anthony Blackhouse immediately crossed his arms saying no - though a clearer penalty I've not seen for some time. But it didn't matter because just a minute later a cross from Josh Emmanuel wasn't cleared by the hosts and falling to Will Vaulks there was only one thing he was going to do from twenty yards out which was unleash a cracker which flew into the back of the net cue the trademark back flip. With Bury looking for a consolation for new Manager Chris Lucketti Rodak got his fingertips to a strike from Ajose and then held on well to a shot from the same player. Anthony Forde saw the last yellow card of the afternoon. In the final seconds of time added on a Newell delivery saw it fall to Ajayi with the Bury defence doing well to stop his shot from making it four.
A very good second half for the Millers saw them go two up in five minutes and, despite Bury trying to get back into the game and some of Rotherham's play being sloppy the visitors got a third goal and - just as importantly - kept a clean sheet.