Match Reports

An Away Point Sees Millers Keep Top Spot

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Oxford United 0 Rotherham United 0

Rotherham United went fifteen games unbeaten yesterday after a goalless draw away at Oxford saw them stay in top place in League One.

Millers defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green was in action early on when he stopped a good looking pass from Cameron Brannagan reaching Herbie Kane before a trip on Marcus McGuane by Mickel Miller gave the hosts a free-kick which Kane saw Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson equal too. The swirling wind stopped a ball from Freddie Ladapo find Miller with Ben Wiles harrowing Kane who gave the ball away to Dan Barlaser. Barlaser found Michael Smith who saw his shot blocked. In the next Rotherham move Ollie Rathbone found Miller who sent the ball to Smith the striker seeing his header come back off the upright to safety. Connal Trueman in the Oxford goal did well to claim the ball from a Miller cross before Freddie Ladapo could pounce followed by Miller himself getting into a good position only for an Oxford player to block. Some nice football between Barlaser and Chieo Ogbene found Rathbone whose shot was taken over by the wind before Oxford came close after a McGuane cross got a deflection which saw the ball bounce in front of goal and over the crossbar. Just after the half-hour mark Johansson did enough to stop U’s captain James Henry having a shot before Smith and Ladapo worked well together at the other end the latter seeing his shot come back off the post and off Trueman for a corner which came to nothing. The first yellow of the game went to Dan Barlaser after having words with referee Sam Purkiss when he didn’t award a penalty after Miller was brought down. After a couple of corners the visitors came close when Barlaser found Miller who sent a great ball to Smith who headed just wide. Edmonds-Green and Wiles played a one-two with the midfielder sending a ball for Ladapo which was a bit long before a Trueman kick was charged down by Ladapo who saw the ball bounce over the crossbar.

The second-half was only minutes old when Mickel Miller saw yellow for clipping the heals of Marcus McGuane with Viktor Johansson saving Herbie Kane’s free-kick. A Miller cross to Ben Wiles saw the Rotherham born player send the ball over before a long Wes Harding throw eventually found Dan Barlaser on the edge of the area but his curling effort went just wide. Great defending from Rarmani Edmonds-Green saw him win a free-kick before Jamie Hanson scythed down Miller with the ref indicating the Oxford defender got the ball first. On the hour mark the hosts went close after Nathan Holland brought off a great save from Johansson. Some good work from Barlaser saw him win the ball back before sending Miller on his way who won a corner which Oxford cleared and looking to counter saw Ollie Rathbone bring down Holland and get a yellow card for his trouble. The first change for the Millers saw Jamie Lindsay replace Rathbone. Steve Seddon got booked for a foul on Chieo Ogbene before Wiles slipped while tracking Holland and was adjudged to have handled the ball and was promptly booked. The hosts’ first change saw Daniel Agyei replace Marcus McGuane. A Seddon shot from just outside the box saw Johansson dive and put the ball behind for a corner before Wes Harding did well to block a cross meant for the well positioned Gavin Whyte. The Millers brought on Richard Wood for Chieo Ogbene before Michael Smith got away from Sam Long only for his shot to be put behind by Connal Trueman. A bit of confusion at the other end saw Daniel Agyei get the ball in a good position but his shot was saved by Johansson at the right hand side of the goal. With ten minutes to go Freddie Ladapo made way for Joshua Kayode while Joel Cooper came on for Oxford for Nathan Holland. A Barlaser corner looked like it was going straight in before Sam Long cleared off the line but only as far as Wiles who saw his header go wide. As the board went up for four extra minutes a foul on Cooper earned Harding a yellow card. In the final minute of time added on Cameron Brannagan found himself with room to turn and shoot with Johansson making a good save to keep the score at nil-nil.

It was a ‘shoulda, coulda, mighta’ game yesterday with Rotherham having enough chances to score as well as seeing shots and headers hit the woodwork as well as having what looked like a clear penalty not given. But, a clean sheet and a point away from home is definitely not to be sneezed at.

Referee – Sam Purkiss

Attendance – 7,520 – 1,001 Millers)

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