Stags feel the Sharp End
4 September 7.45pm
A goal in the first minutes of the second half was enough to win the first round of the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy for Rotherham United at Field Mill tonight.
The home side started the brighter of the two teams although Rotherham came back into the game and had the better chances. Ryan Taylor, starting his first senior game of the season, was well shepherded by Chris Wood and found it difficult to shake him off. It was Dale Tonge, playing in an unfamiliar role in midfield, who had the first real shot of the game on twelve minutes but his shot went just wide of the upright. John McAliskey was causing a few problems and some shaky defending from the Millers nearly let the Stags in before Marc Joseph cleared up field. Marc Newsham went sprinting down the line, got the ball to Derek Holmes who laid it on for Danny Harrison who shot, with his weaker left foot, just past the post. It was on the thirty-fifth minute when the first real shot of the game came from Derek Holmes causing Carl Muggleton in the Stags goal, to tip the ball round the post and a few minutes later Danny Sleath had a shot which just zipped over the top of the crossbar. As the Millers came into the game more Newsham saw a shot smothered by Muggleton while Taylor saw a shot from his left go into the side netting
The Millers came out for the second half looking a lot livelier and within four minutes Ian Sharps broke the deadlock. Danny Harrison won a free kick, which was whipped in by Stephen Brogan finding Sharps whose looping header hit the back of the net. After that the visitors controlled the game. On the hour mark Marcus Bean should have finished the game when Taylor played the ball through to him and he was one on one with the 'keeper with all the time in the world but put the ball agonisingly wide. Newsham also had a shot that went wide of the target while the Stags could have levelled the score in the last ten minutes when a shot by Daniel Martin was parried by Andy Warrington and Paul Hurst, on for the injured Ian Sharps, cleared the resulting corner. Martin had a couple more shots on goal saved by Warrington and Sleath hit the ball over the bar but the Millers looked comfortable.
Another win for Mark Robins team meaning only one lose in six games - and keeping a clean sheet too which can only breed confidence in the side.