Rotherham United 1 Bolton Wanderers 1
Vaulks (57) Doidge (84)
A point a-piece is what both teams got at the end of today’s Championship game which saw a great penalty save, a couple of enforced substitutions, two goals and some rather bizarre refereeing decisions at the New York Stadium.
In a scrappy first half the Millers started the better and won a corner in the opening minute which Jon Taylor sent into the box to find Semi Ajayi who headed just wide. The visitors first effort came on six minutes when Joe Williams won a free-kick after going down under an Ajayi tackle. Gary O’Neil found Josh Magennis with the kick but the Trotters’ forward hit the ball onto the top of the net. Vaulks got to a lose ball before Jason Lowe and tried his luck from distance only to see the ball go inches over before a long distance try from Richie Towell hit a couple of Bolton defenders before being cleared to safety. Clayton Donaldson won free-kicks which came to nothing after going down under challenges from Ajayi and Richard Wood which came to nothing before the tall Jamaican international managed to stay on his feet only to be outwitted by Vaulks. The first yellow of the game went to Jason Lowe for a poor challenge on Ryan Williams with Ben Alnwick in the visitors goal pushing away a header from Wood from the free-kick followed by two shots from Taylor the last of which went over the crossbar. Billy Jones went down and after treatment was replaced by Zak Vyner. A Joe Mattock corner found the head of Kyle Vassell who somehow headed wide when it looked easier to hit the net. An injury to Bolton’s Gary O’Neil saw him replaced by Josh Vela. In the final minutes of the half Ryan Williams, not for the first time in the game, was hauled to the ground and a Mattock free-kick was aimed at Michael Smith who saw his header go wide.
Just two minutes into the second half and the Rotherham defence were at sixes and sevens when Magennis was allowed too much freedom and when it looked like Richard Wood was going to see the ball to safety Magennis got the better of him and then the Millers skipper bundled the Bolton player over and referee Brooks thought for a minute then pointed to the spot (why he had to think about it I have no idea). Up stepped the fouled player and let fly from the penalty but Marek Rodak in the Millers goal was equal to it and a fine save saw him put the ball behind for a corner. At the other end some superb work from Jon Taylor saw him race down the wing and get a cross into the box which looked to three sides of the stadium like it was stopped by the lower arm of Marc Wilson but Mr Brooks shook his head. Some good work from Mattock saw him centre the ball and up jumped Taylor to get it into the box but Bolton’s defence got it away. Wilson was in the thick of the action again when he felled Ryan Williams on the edge of the box and up stepped Will Vaulks to thunder the resulting free-kick into the back of the net sending the majority of the ten thousand fans wild. Minutes later it should have been two when Ryan Williams sent Michael Smith away but Ben Alnwick did well to keep the ball out. Kyle Vassell went off for the Millers and on came Joe Newell while a double change from the visitors saw Christian Doidge and Yanic Wildschut on for Joe Williams and Lloyd Dier. More good work from Taylor saw him find the head of Ryan Williams at the near post with his header hitting the outside of the post on it’s way out which was followed by Rodak at the other end doing well to punch away under pressure to keep the Millers in the game. A ball from Ryan Williams found Smith who looked up outside the box and sent a curling effort towards goal only to see the ball hit the inside of the post and go to safety. After receiving treatment on the pitch Jon Taylor was replaced by Ryan Manning whose first contribution was to go down in the area under pressure from Jack Hobbs and when most of the ground and Millers players were appealing for a penalty Mr Brooks showed him a yellow card. Once again Ryan Williams was felled with the resulting Newell set-piece being cleared by Magennis. With five minutes to go Clayton Donaldson got the better of Joe Mattock and sent the ball to substitute Doidge who fired home to make it one-all. A foul on Magennis by Mattock saw the Millers defender get a yellow with Josh Vela getting the same in time added on after hauling down Manning.
Once again chances went begging for the Millers which could easily have turned that one point into three.
Referee – J Brooks
Crowd – 10,011 (1,918 from Bolton)