Another Away Win Sees The Millers Year Out Fine
30 December 2017 3.00pm
Attendance: 4,685 (765 Millers)
Rotherham United's impressive December form carried on this afternoon with a second away win in less than a week at Walsall.
The Millers got off to the perfect start with the game not a minute old when a Ryan Williams pass into the box found David Ball who sent the ball across the line and there was Semi Ajayi to put the visitors ahead with a tap in. A one-two between Anthony Forde and Ball was cut-out before Ball could play it back while a cross from Forde to Williams was also defended well. On ten minutes the Saddlers had their first real foray up front when Zeli Ismail got the ball into the area but Marek Rodak was equal to it. But just two minutes later the hosts did equalise after Nicky Devlin picked out Luke Leahy who in turn found the head of Joe Edwards who sent the ball into the back of the net. And five minutes later it was nearly two for the hosts with a super strike from the edge of the area from Edwards but Rodak did well to get down to it and hold on. Forde was being given room and was getting crosses in but they never really found their target before Daniel Agyei got the better of Ajayi but slipped on the poor surface and Rodak was there to claim. Richie Towell was urged to shoot from the travelling fans from the edge of the area which he did but it flew into the stand behind the goal followed by Erhun Oztumer sending Ismail on his way at the other end only for his shot to fly across the face of goal to safety. It was Ismail again a few minutes later who saw a shot go just wide before Oztumer got past his marker only to see his shot go inches wide. The Millers went straight down the other end with Frecklington whose volley took a deflection for a corner which went out for another corner which was eventually hacked away by the Walsall defence.
The start of the second half saw Kieffer Moore replace Jerry Yates for Rotherham and when a Will Vaulks cross came into the tall striker five minutes into the half he saw his header go just over. Moore was also in the thick of it at the other end when a goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall to Joe Edwards whose shot was blocked by the Ipswich loanee. A superb cross in from Ryan Williams found the head of Moore only for the ball to bounce and go into the side netting. But just before the hour mark the Millers regained the lead after some lovely work from Josh Emmanuel saw his cross find the head of Moore who nodded down for David Ball to bundle the ball over the line to make it two-one to the visitors in front of their seven hundred and sixty-five delighted fans. Maz Kouhyar replaced Kieron Morris for the Saddlers while the Millers put Richard Wood on for Lee Frecklington. Moore then went on a solo run, going this way and that before sending a cracker of a shot goal-wards only for a defender to block and put it out for a corner. Walsall took off Daniel Agyei put on Simeon Jackson and a minute later the hosts might have levelled again after a Zeli Ismail cross found the substitute who in turn only found the waiting arms of Marek Rodak in the Millers goal. Moore again got his head to a Forde corner at the other end but again saw it rise over the crossbar before Richard Wood saw yellow for a foul onErhun Oztumer, although to everyone but the ref it looked like the foul was actually committed by Joe Mattock. And the second yellow of the afternoon went to Adam Chambers after he upended David Ball before Mattock did get booked for a silly foul on Ismail (so probably a good job the ref got it wrong in the first instance!) With a minute of normal time remaining Ryan Williams made Saddlers' 'keeper Mark Gillespie make a save which he caught at the second attempt before Joe Newell replaced David Ball for the Millers. In time added on Williams brushed off Kory Roberts and sent in a fierce shot which stung the hands of Gillespie.
Three wins in a row for the Millers and back-to-back away wins - not been a bad December has it!