The Millers Go Marching On
New York Stadium
23 January 2018 7.45pm
Attendance: 8,904 (1,586 Bantams)
Rotherham United took their unbeaten run to nine this evening and climbed into the play-off positions after beating Yorkshire rivals Bradford City at the New York Stadium.
The visitors thought they'd opened the scoring on five minutes when a Millers' 'keeper Marek Rodak flapped at a cross in and helped the ball over the line but the linesman's flag was already up for off-side. Michael Smith, starting his first game since joining from Bury earlier in the month caused the City defence a few problems in the opening ten minutes with balls played up to him from Anthony Forde who himself tried his luck from some thirty yards out only to see the ball go just past the upright. At the other end a shot from Romain Vincelot ended up in the fans behind the goal while Rodak wasn't troubled a few minutes later from former Miller Paul Taylor. On twenty minutes former Miller Nicky Law came close after he was given too much room on the edge of the area but he watched his shot go just wide. Three minutes later the hosts were in front after a superb Forde free-kick found the head of Smith who gave Bantams' 'keeper Rouven Sattelmaier no chance and scored his first goal in a Millers shirt. Joe Newell volleyed a ball towards David Ball but veered away making Sattelmaier run backwards to make the save on the line. On the half-hour mark Paul Taylor nearly equalised but saw the ball go over from the edge of the box before Timothee Dieng curled a shot wide. With four minutes before the break Ball eases the ball off Jake Reeves and send Will Vaulks on his way. Vaulks then put the ball out to Josh Emmanuel who jigged inside to cross towards Smith but Matthew Kilgallon was on hand to clear which was followed by good balls in by Emmanuel again and Joe Mattock which were well cleared by the Bradford defence.
Bradford started the second half by bringing on Shay McCartan for Jake Reeves but it was the lively Paul Taylor who tried his luck which Marek Rodak managed to save at the second attempt. Minutes later a good save from Rodak stopped Taylor equalising before Semi Ajayi did well to stop Taylor getting a shot away. After Ajayi and Joe Mattock had combined to keep out Charlie Wyke the hosts went down the other end and won a free-kick which Joe Newell took and saw headed behind and from the resulting corner Romain Vincelot did well to get to the ball before Ajayi. On fifty-seven minutes Michael Smith had a header palmed away by Rouven Sattelmaier but the ball fell to Newell who, as calm as you like, hit the ball towards goal and doubled the Millers lead. The Millers were well on top and after a number of corners and with the crowd roaring them on Newell might have done better with a shot before a long range effort from Anthony Forde went flying into the stands. The visitors brought on Alex Gilliead for Romain Vincelot followed a few minutes later by Paul Taylor going off for Dominic Poleon and David Ball was replaced by Jerry Yates for the Millers. Michael Smith had a chance to get a second after a cross from Newell but was off balance and didn't cause Sattelmaier any problems. Jonson Clarke-Harris came on from Michael Smith and the visitors played the last ten minutes with ten men after Tyrell Robinson went off injured and they had used all their subs. Jon Taylor then came on to replace Joe Newell. A good run and shot from Clarke-Harris got him a rousing round of applause from the Millers fans and up the other end some good defending between Semi Ajayi and Josh Emmanuel got the same. Jon Taylor lost the ball on the half-way round but the terrier in him got it back and was bundled over by Nathaniel Knight-Percival for his effort. The following free-kick went out to Will Vaulks who shot from outside the box and it went just past the upright. In time added on Clarke-Harris had an opportunity to make it three when he was sent on his way by Vaulks but Sattelmaier did well to keep standing and stop him.
Another good game, another great second-half showing from the Millers as they climb up the table.