Another Millers Home Win
New York Stadium
3 February 2018 3.00pm
Attendance: 8,330 (415 from Wimbledon)
Rotherham United's home win this afternoon against Wimbledon saw them move into fifth place in League One and on a ten match unbeaten run.
Before the game began their was a minutes applause for former Miller Keith Pring who sadly passed away during the week.
The Millers dominated the first half and the game was just three minutes old when Rotherham had their first chance through Will Vaulks who let fly from just outside the box with the ball going just over the crossbar. Next to try his luck was Semi Ajayi who got on the end of a cross with Wimbledon 'keeper George Long just managing to hold on to the shot followed by a corner which was scrambled away with both Ajayi and Vaulks waiting to pounce. It was little surprise when the hosts took the lead just before the quarter of an hour mark after Joe Newell found himself in space and sent a superb ball up to the back post for Michael Smith to slip the ball into the net. After a number of giggly fouls referee Michael Salisbury had had enough and showed a yellow card to Tom Soars for a poor challenge on Newell. On the half-hour the Millers were down to ten men for a while after another poor challenge saw Smith hit in the face by a boot - strangely Mr Salisbury didn't even deem that a talking to. David Ball did well to hold the ball up and get it to Newell whose cross would have been perfect for Michael Smith, if only he'd not been in the medical room having his nose put back into place. Matty Palmer, starting his first game for Rotherham, got in behind the Wimbledon defence but Long did well to get down and smother. With ten minutes of the half left the visitors had a chance when some lovely play from Deji Oshilaja found Liam Trotte waiting in the box but a good block from Ajayi then one from Richard Wood stopped the ball going in before Lyle Taylor's shot was also hacked clear. Smith again with two players on him won a foul before Josh Emmanuel at the other end won a free-kick under pressure as he tried to skip out of trouble. Newell saw a shot from twenty-five yards out go just over the bar before the final minute of the half saw a curling shot from Ball go just wide.
In the opening minutes of the second half a super ball in from Anthony Forde found the clean shirted Michael Smith who tried to get the ball to David Ball but the defence got the ball to safety. A poor back-pass from Liam Trotter saw George Long stick a leg out to deflect the ball from the onrushing Smith followed by a good run down the wing from Joe Newell whose cross in hit Paul Robinson and in turn fell to Matty Palmer only for the debutante to drag his shot just wide. At the other end some super defending from Josh Emmanuel stopped Cody McDonald getting a shot on goal. Wimbledon made a double substitution fetching on Joe Pigott for Tom Soares and Harry Forrester for Cody McDonald with Pigott nearly making an immediate impact when he came close to sending a George Francomb cross into the net. Once again Smith had to go off due to the kick in the face in the first half and this time the bleeding wouldn't stop so Caolan Lavery came on in his place to make his debut. The visitors were getting more into the game and after a Lyle Taylor shot went just wide Paul Warne brought on Jon Taylor for Anthony Forde. Jon Taylor had a shot from just outside the box which was well saved by Long before some scrambling about in the box by the Millers defenders somehow managed to keep Wimbledon out before Francomb skied a ball into the Millers fans behind the goal. Wimbledon took off Paul Robinson and replaced him with Jonathan Meades. Some more good work from Jon Taylor saw him send a superb cross into Newell who missed when he probably should have hit the net. The Millers have their skipper to thank for keeping it at one-nil after Forrester let fly only to see Richard Wood positioned on the line who put the ball out for a corner. Wood thought he'd scored after a cross from Jon Taylor was sent in by Ball and the Millers skipper stuck out a leg to see the ball go into the net but also see the flag up for off-side. As Joe Newell was named as the Sponsors Man of the Match, the fourth official put his board up to fetch the Millers winger off and replace him with Ryan Williams who immediately put Long under pressure after a back-pass was a little short. Forrester should have scored as the board went up for four extra minutes but he didn't connect properly and Marek Rodak in the Millers goal easily saved. With two of the four extra minutes played the Millers doubled their lead after some lovely work from Lavery saw him get the ball into Williams whose shot was saved by Long but the rebound fell to Ball who headed home into an empty net. It might have been three but Will Vaulks saw his shot from outside the box saved by Long who also got down to a late shot from Jon Taylor.
The Millers ran the first half of today's game but a good Wimbledon second half could well have got them a point - it didn't and the Millers, we are proud to say, go marching on.