Millers get away point
TFM Darlington Arena
26 December 3pm
Before the game the Millers would have been happy to take a point from an in-form Darlington team but when the whistle went there must have been a lot of 'if only's' being said amongst the players.
Starting fifteen minutes late because of crowd congestion, both teams had chances to start the scoring in the first few minutes. Twice Gregg Blundell found himself with only the Andy Warrington in the visitors net to beat but both times the tall 'keeper spread himself to block well. Derek Holmes should have scored from an Ian Ross cross but he managed to put his header way over the cross bar. Ian Sharps managed to get in the way of a Julian Joachim cross and minutes later Pablo Mills should have put the Millers in the lead, but saw his twenty-five yard drive go just past the upright. But on the thirty-fifth minute, Chris O'Grady took the chance of some lacklustre defending to shoot low from eighteen yards out into the bottom far corner past a diving David Stockdale. Derek Holmes and O'Grady seem to vex the home sides defence after that and perhaps should both have scored before the half time whistle.
Coming out for the second half the Millers seemed to be the more lively, though Darlington had a couple of chances, O'Grady should have put the result out of reach when his powerful header flashed inches over the crossbar. The home side should perhaps have been down to ten men when Richie Foran aimed a two-footed lunge at Marc Jospeh but referee Moss gave him a yellow. And, it wasn't long after, that Blundell blazed down the left and sent the ball for Michael Cummins who tipped the ball over Graham Coughlan and fired home past a diving Warrington. A finger tip save just after the equaliser from Stockdale from Derek Holmes ensured the Millers didn't go straight back in front and a few minutes later Coughlan blocked what looked like a certain goal from Foran and Pawal Abbott had a shot that hit the crossbar before bouncing out to safety with three minutes to go.
A good boxing day crowd, with great support for the Millers, saw an entertaining game today. And it was the first time since August that Stockdale has conceded a goal on home soil. I just hope we won't rue some of those missed chances later on in the season.