Millers Get Out Of Jail
The New Lawn
11 November, 3pm
Two goals in each half saw this First Round Proper of the FA Cup end in a two all draw. With the Millers seriously lacking in every area on the pitch, the Blue Square Premier team went in at half time deservedly two up with the away team`s supporters booing their team off.
The home team came out and ran at United straight away and it was only the back two of Ian Sharps and Graham Coughlan and goalkeeper Andy Warrington who kept the league side in the game before Stuart Fleetwood`s first goal in the thirty-second minute. The only time Ryan Robinson in the Rovers goal was troubled was when Danny Harrison let fly from twenty five yards out in the eighth minute but saw his shot go just past the post and Pablo Mills had his thirty yard shot saved by the goalkeeper. Rovers should have been one up in the first ten minutes when a Simon Clist corner was punched away by Warrington and the resulting shot from Mark Beelsey was blocked by Harrison. It was from an Alex Lawless corner that Rovers went ahead when it was headed on by Chris Giles at the near post and Fleetwood was there to smash it in the back of the net. And they should have been further ahead two minutes later when a Beesley cross created mayhem in the Millers defence and Fleetwood saw his header hit the under side of the cross bar and rebound to safety. But, their second goal came on the stroke of half-time Beelsey played a lovely through ball for Fleetwood to run onto before he rounded Warrington to get his second of the match. The referee blew the whistle for half time and the Millers players went off with what looked like it was going to be an FA Cup upset and to the boo`s from the travelling support.
The second half started much better for the visitors as theyattacked the non-league side from the start and Stephen Brogan should have had the ball in the net after five minutes when his shot, from eighteen yards, was blocked by Jamie Pitman, fell to him again but this shot was again blocked by Pitman before going out for a throw in. Two minutes later a Mark Hudson free kick found Marc Newsham in the area but his shot was blocked by Alex Lawless. Again the Millers pushed forward with Brogan and Chris O`Grady having shots off target before Darren Jones fouled Brogan in the penalty area and referee, Graham Scott, pointed to the spot. Brogan picked himself up and took the penalty to make it two-one. Ryan Taylor had a couple of shots at goal, easily saved by Robinson before being replaced by Jamie Yates. A Mark Hudson free kick found Ian Sharps head but he saw the ball go just wide for a goal kick. Fleetwood saw the chance for his hat-trick but his shot hit the bar before Chris O`Grady levelled for the Millers on eighty-four minutes when a cross from Paul Hurst found O`Grady who shot past Robinson to make it two all. O`Grady came over to the Rotherham fans to celebrate and was promptly booked for his troubles. In the dying minutes of the games both teams could have got the winner with Coughlan clearing from Lawless and Robinson saving an O`Grady shot.
Rotherham sailed very close to the wind today and Forest Green can consider themselves very unlucky not to have won this game. I don`t think they will find it so easy in the replay at Millmoor.