Rotherham United 3 Cambridge United 1
Wiles 34 Smith 51
Barlaser 45+3 pen
Rotherham United moved into second position of League One this afternoon after beating Cambridge three-one but they didn’t have it all their own way.
The hosts started well when a good ball from Dan Barlaser found Will Grigg who got the better of his marker to win a corner which Shane Ferguson took finding Wes Harding whose header was saved by Dimitar Mitov in the Cambridge goal. And it was Mitov again minutes later who got to a ball in from Ferguson before either Freddie Ladapo or Chieo Ogbene. On twelve minutes the Millers should have gone in front after some good play between Kieran Sadlier and Grigg saw Ferguson receive the ball whose diving header was well saved by the U’s ‘keeper before he did well again to save a shot from distance from Sadlier. After a Rotherham corner the visitors broke through James Brophy with Barlaser having to put the ball out for a corner which was taken short to Wes Hoolahan with Barlaser on hand to clear his cross. Harding was the next player in a red shirt to stop Hoolahan in his tracks when he looked to have only Millers’ ‘keeper Josh Vickers to beat. After Mitov had stopped a dangerous shot from Grigg a challenge on Ogbene was greeted with jeers from the Rotherham following in the stands when referee Andy Davies gave nothing. A headed cross from Grigg found Sadlier whose shot was blocked before a long ball from Mitov found Sam Smith who saw his shot saved by Vickers. A foul on Brophy by Richard Wood saw the Millers’ skipper shown a yellow card before some nice work from Smith saw him find Hoolahan who saw his shot go inches past the post. On thirty-four minutes the Millers went in front after Grigg won the ball finding Ferguson who lifted the ball into the area only to see it come off a defenders head and go straight to Ben Wiles who volleyed into the middle of the net to make it one-nil to Rotherham. And it should have been two five minutes later when Wiles found Grigg in space but the Sunderland loanee appeared to get the ball stuck under his foot and the ball went harmlessly wide. A couple of minutes later Cambridge had a great chance after the impressive Hoolahan got the better of Ladapo sending the ball towards the far post where George Williams was flying in but he put the ball over the crossbar when it looked easier to score. Two minutes later Ladapo refused to give up on a ball and after a long punt up-field from Rarmani Edmonds-Green was misjudged the a U’s defender and with Jack Iredale trying to get the ball away he slipped and brought down Ladapo. Referee Davies took his time to make up his mind before pointing to the penalty spot which Dan Barlaser duly put away giving the Millers a two-nil lead going into the break.
Cambridge started the second half the better and six minutes in they deservedly halved the deficit. Sam Smith and Wes Hoolahan exchanged passes with Smith getting the better of Wes Harding curled the ball passed the diving hands of Josh Vickers and into the net making it two-one. The hosts tried to pull one back when Kieran Sadlier pulled the ball back for Freddie Ladapo who was facing the wrong way so sent the ball to Ben Wiles who shot wide. At the other end a Hoolahan cross found Smith who saw Vickers fall on the ball and collect before the same pair teamed up again with Vickers saving Smith’s header. The first change for Rotherham saw Mickel Miller on for Shane Ferguson. After a free-kick led to a corner for the visitors Jack Iredale saw his shot go wide before Dan Barlaser and Kieran Sadlier worked together only for Dimitar Mitov to save from the latter. Harding had to be on his toes to get a toe in to stop a cross from James Brophy finding a Cambridge player. Another Millers change saw Joshua Kayode replace Will Grigg and it was JJ who set up Ladapo a minute after coming on only for the Millers striker to put his shot high and wide. A long throw for the visitors found Conor Masterson but Vickers was there to clear before Sam Smith drilled in a shot which glanced off the bottom of the upright to safety. The final change for the Millers saw Kieran Sadlier make way for Jamie Lindsay. Ben Wiles won a free-kick which was put out for a corner by Harrison Dunk. Barlaser played it short to Miller who sent a lovely ball into the crowded area finding Ladapo who headed home to make it three-one to Rotherham. A yellow card was handed to Lindsay for kicking the ball away before Cambridge brought on Harvey Knibbs for Wes Hoolahan. Rotherham might have had a fourth after a cannonball of a shot from Wiles was palmed away by Mitov but only as far as Kayode tried a shot from an angle only for Mitov to have got up and caught the ball. Minutes later Lindsay had a chance after working his way into space only to see his shot go wide. Another change for the U’s saw Jensen Weir replace Paul Digby. A cross from Rarmani Edmonds-Green found the head of Ladapo who saw the ball go wide before Kayode and Adam May were looking for the same ball with May pulling the Millers sub over with him and bizarrely winning the free-kick which came to nothing.
It was great to carry on the unbeaten record, which now stands at fourteen in all competitions as well as getting the three points despite having two of our main players – Michael Smith (suspension) and Ollie Rathbone (illness) – missing. But Cambridge made us fight for our win today and were quick to counter.
Up to second, nose bleed territory!
Onto Tuesday night when we make the long journey to take on Ipswich Town.
Referee – Andy Davies
Attendance – 9,534 (399 U’s fans)
Rotherham United 3 Cambridge United 1
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