Date: 11th April 2015 at 8:47pm
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Rotherham United were again defeated on the road this afternoon this time away to high flying Middlesbrough.

The hosts set out their stall in the opening minutes when Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas found room down the right only to hit the ball towards goal a bit too hard and saw it go out for a goal kick. Minutes later some nice work between Lee Tomlin and Kike was cut out by a timely tackle from Richard Wood who had been re-called earlier this week from his loan spell with Crawley Town before Emi Martinez, in the Millers goal, got down well to an overhead kick from Daniel Ayala. The Millers first foray towards goal was on the quarter of an hour mark when Adam Hammill tried his luck from thirty yards out which went just over the crossbar before a Kari Arnason trademark long throw found Kirk Broadfoot in the area but he saw his header go over. Back down the other end and only some nice work from Jack Hunt stopped Middlesbrough getting into the box and from the following short corner Jordan Bowery did well to get the ball from Kevin Friend and win a free-kick as the latter fouled him. ‘Boro actually had chances but the likes of Tomlin, Albert Adomah and Kike all finished very poorly and when there was more danger from Tomlin Martinez came dashing out of his area and Adomah appeared to elbow the Millers shot-stopper and he went down holding his face. Martinez did well a few minutes later to save from Adomah as he shot through a melee of bodies and seconds later does the same again from the same player. From Martinez`s kick out, Arnason did well to spot Bowery making a run down the right and with Matt Derbyshire waiting in the area Bowery decides to go for goal and sees his shot easily saved by ‘Boro ‘keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. ‘Boro go straight up the other end thanks to some good work between Patrick Bamford and Kike and with Martinez beaten Daniel Lafferty does well to get back and clear off the line before Kalas put a superb cross into the middle but only found the Millers defence who cleared up field. As the board went up for four extra minutes the Millers won a free-kick after Kike fouled Richie Smallwood and when Hammill`s kick found Arnason he headed towards Wood in the area but the Millers defender couldn`t quite get his head to the cross.

The Millers started the second half well and a ball from Adam Hammill found Richie Smallwood who ran clear of his marker before passing to Matt Derbyshire but the striker`s shot was poor and easily collected by Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. On fifty minutes the home side broke their duck when a Rotherham attack was interrupted by Adam Clayton who tackled Kari Arnason and with the loose ball falling to Lee Tomlin his shot from fifteen yards out took a bit of a deflection and sailed past Emi Martinez into the back of the net. The Millers came close to equalising just a minute later when Hammill shot from a long way out and with Paul Green looking to get a touch he was immediately flagged offside. Minutes later Martinez did well to stop Patrick Bamford getting a shot at goal followed soon afterwards by a Kike header that flew into the crowd behind the goal. On the hour mark some good work from Richard Wood denied Kike which was followed by ‘handbags` between Hammill and Tomas Kalas. Arnason was the first to see yellow for a challenge on George Friend and on the sixty-sixth minute Tomlin turned provider when he set-up Patrick Bamford in the middle of the area to stroke home the ball to make it two-nil. The Millers came close to halving the deficit a couple of minutes later when Kirk Broadfoot latched onto a loose ball in the area only to find Konstantopoulos in good form to save. Danny Ward, on for Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington, on for Arnason did well together with Frecklington drilling a shot towards goal which had Konstantopoulos scurrying around his area thankful to see the shot go just wide. Hammill has a try minutes later but mis-kicked and the ball fell into the waiting arms of the home ‘keeper while Martinez did well down the other end after Bamford found himself in space to save at the near post. Another shot from Frecklington (who, since coming off the bench, has already had more shots than the rest of the side) went just over before a good free-kick from Hammill went to waste as no-one in the box reacted quickly enough before it finally fell to Conor Sammon, on for Paul Green, but he seemed to get his feet in a twist and couldn`t get a shot away. With two minutes to go Nsue, on for Tomlin, rounded Martinez only to find Broadfoot on the line who clears behind with the resulting corner coming to the head of Kike who brings off a fantastic save from the Millers` ‘keeper as he tipped the ball over the crossbar. Some good play from the visitors saw Hammill get the ball to Frecklington who finds his cross into the area claimed by Konstantopoulos before a poor challenge on Kike saw Frecklington yellow carded. In the dying seconds of the game a challenge from Wood on Kike in the area saw the Spanish forward dramatically fly through the air and referee Iain Williamson point to the spot. An argument between Kike and Bamford was settled when Bamford put the ball on the spot and took the kick only to see Martinez make a superb dive to his right and save the ball.

Once again the Millers had chances but, this afternoon, ‘Boro were by far the better side once they`d scored and the nerves had settled. Luckily results yesterday and today went our way and Rotherham are still in with a good chance of staying up. But we really do have to stop playing so deep and get our forwards more into the game.

 
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