Millers Beat Top Of The Table Shrews
Montgomery Waters Meadow
17 February 2018 3.00pm
Attendance: 7,012 (1,136 Millers)
Rotherham United's recorded their sixth win in a row at the New Meadow this afternoon, beating top of the table Shrewsbury Town one-nil.
The hosts started well when Shaun Whalley put a cross into the box in the opening minute which was just too hard for former Rotherham loanee Carlton Morris to get on the end of. A poor challenge on Will Vaulks earned Ben Godfrey a talking too from referee Carl Boyeson though no yellow card. Five minutes in and some neat work from Semi Ajayi saw his pass fall for Michael Smith who saw his shot go just wide before the Millers striker got another chance which Shrews' 'keeper Dean Henderson put behind. Joe Newell got a cross into the box which fell straight into the arms of Henderson followed by some great work from David Ball who curled an effort towards goal despite being surrounded by a number of Shrews defenders which Henderson parried out only to find Semi Ajayi who somehow missed with an open goal at his mercy. A shot from Anthony Forde went over the crossbar before a lovely save from Henderson stopped Newell opening the scoring. After a lot of pressure from the Millers in the opening twenty-five minutes they had goalkeeper Marek Rodak to thank after a ball over the top found Whalley who was about to shoot but found the Millers' 'keeper at his feet with the ball in his arms. And five minutes later Rodak was in action again when a corner for the hosts caused a bit of panic in the Rotherham defence and when the ball fell to James Bolton Rodak was there to save again. Some neat work between Smith and Ball saw Richie Towell get the ball and only a good stop from Nathan Thomas sent the ball behind and from the resulting Newell corner Ajayi got his head to it but saw the ball go inches wide. Minutes later the ball fell to Newell whose powerful shot went wide. A minute before the end of the half the Millers scored after a corner was only half-cleared and the ball fell to Michael Ihiekwe who somehow found skipper Richard Wood (who is magic) who turned the ball in from close range sending the travelling one thousand one hundred Millers into a frenzy at the other end.
In the opening minute of the second half some nice work from Josh Emmanuel saw him get the ball to Will Vaulks in space with the Millers number four seeing his effort blocked before the Mr Boyeson pulled play back for a foul on Emmanuel. Newell's free-kick was easily plucked out of the air by Dean Henderson. At the other end Marek Rodak was on hand to make a fairly easy save from Abu Ogogo before Emmanuel did well to stop Nathan Thomas getting a shot away. With an hour gone the hosts were having a bit more of the play and again Rodak came to the rescue when he threw himself at the feet of Thomas to stop him scoring. The first substitute of the afternoon saw Anthony Forde replaced by Ryan Williams whose first job was to win the Millers a corner. Shrewsbury's first change came on sixty-seven minutes with Stefan Payne replacing Jon Nolan. After a yellow card for Omar Beckles for a foul after the ball on David Ball the Millers won a corner which Richard Wood headed over. Carlton Morris made way for Lenell John-Lewis for the Shrews with Caolan Lavery coming on for David Ball for the visitors. A ball in from Richie Towell found the head of Michael Smith who saw the ball go inches wide before some lovely football from Newell also found Smith but the tall striker shot wide again. With twenty minutes to go Joe Newell was yellow carded for what the referee saw as time wasting, although he was being pushed and pulled about by Shrewsbury's 'keeper Henderson at the time. Smith showed some muscle when he managed to hold off a challenge from his marker and get the ball to Williams who saw his shot blocked in the area. The Shrews brought on Alex Rodman for Nathan Thomas for the final six minutes. Rodak again showed us what he's worth by rising above a host of bodies in the box to punch the ball clear of danger followed by Whalley putting his shot into the home fans behind the net. With two minutes of time added on on the clock Joe Newell made way for Matty Palmer followed by a yellow card for Towell for, shall we say, taking one for the team as Aristote Nsiala got into a good shooting position.
Another good three points for the Millers on their travels this afternoon from a team who looked organised and well worth the fourth spot they are in.