Date: 9th February 2019 at 7:19pm
Written by:

Rotherham United 1 Wigan Athletic 1
Robertson 28                    Windass 32

Despite taking the lead Rotherham United had to settle for a point at the New York Stadium this afternoon at the New York Stadium against Wigan Athletic.

Prior to kick-off there was a minutes applause by both set of fans for Millers legend, both player and manager, Danny Williams and also in the memory of Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.

The Millers started the game the better of the sides and when a Joe Mattock free-kick went into the box Semi Ajayi was just inches away from getting his head to it. A Will Vaulks long throw found Jon Taylor whose volley went over the crossbar into the visiting twelve hundred fans before another long throw found Smith who headed across goal but skipper Richard Wood failed to hit the target when it came to him. At the other end Joe Mattock’s challenge stopped Leon Clarke in his tracks with Matt Crooks starting the counter-attack when he sent Taylor on his way with Jamie Jones rushing out of his Wigan goal to clear. Some good play from Taylor found Vaulks who won a corner which Anthony Forde got into the box but referee Oliver Langford stopped the game with Daniel Fox prostrate on the ground in the box. There was a long hold up while doctors and St John Ambulance people helped the Wigan physio’s with both sets of fans applauding the former Forest defender as he was stretchered off and being replaced with Cedric Kipre. With twenty-eight minutes gone the Millers took a deserved lead when a superb pass from Mattock found Vaulks who sent the ball high into the area which Clark Robertson rose to head into the corner of the net sending the Millers fans wild. Unfortunately just four minutes later Wigan were level when Josh Windass was given far too much space and sent the ball past the flying Millers’ ‘keeper Marek Rodak and into the back of the net for his third goal in three games. Minutes later it could have been another for the visitors when Chelsea loanee Reece James sent in a free-kick from some twenty-five yards out straight into the waiting arms of Rodak. Michael Smith probably should have put the Millers back into the lead in the final five minutes of the half after Anthony Forde found Wood at the far post with the Millers skipper headed across goal to the centre-forward but he put the ball over with an open net at his mercy. Four minutes later Smith had another chance when he rose above everyone else to meet a Vaulks free-kick but Jamie Jones did very well to push it over the bar and the visiting ‘keeper did well from the resulting corner which fell to Robertson who looked like he’d only to toe poke the ball in but Jones denied him.

It was a bit of a scrappy start to the second half with the first real action coming seven minutes in after a long Will Vaulks throw found the head of Semi Ajayi but the tall Nigerian put his header wide. The Millers had a couple of corners which came to nothing with another Vaulks throw finding Ajayi which again goes wide. A late challenge on Vaulks by Cedric Kipre saw him get the first yellow of the afternoon with the resulting free-kick ending with a poor header at the back post from Michael Smith. At the other end only some quick thinking from Joe Mattock stopped the visitors going in front after a superb cross from Kal Naismith which went over Marek Rodak towards Anthony Pilkington with the Millers number three heading away off the line with Rodak getting down to smother a header from Leon Clarke minutes later. Wigan were having the better of the game and only a poor shot from Josh Windass stopped him getting his and his sides second of the afternoon when he dragged the ball wide. Vaulks’ long throws had been causing problems all afternoon and when he sent another into the area for Smith it was only Naismith heading over that saved the visitors. Semi Ajayi saw yellow for a poor challenge on Pilkington with the next action seeing Joe Newell replace Jon Taylor for the hosts. Newell’s first job was to take a corner which flew into the box towards Clark Robertson who appeared to be brought down by Clarke but nothing was given. Hard working Matt Crooks was the next to leave the field of play being replaced by Richie Towell. Anthony Pilkington became the next to be booked for dissent. Jamie Jones easily saved from a Newell header at one end before an acrobatic save from Rodak stopped a ball from Naismith getting near the net. Anthony Forde stopped Naismith in his tracks and was booked with the resulting free-kick finding Cheyenne Dunkley who headed wide under pressure. In time added on Wigan brought on Gavin Massey for Michael Jacob with the last action of the game seeing Robertson head over the crossbar.

Fair result? Well, on reflection, yes I think so. But it will be a much better result for today’s visitors than it will be for the hosts.

Referee – Oliver Langford

Attendance – 9,611 (1,243 Wigan fans)

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