Cambridge United 0 Rotherham United 1
Rotherham United extended their games without defeat to twenty-one in a well fought win at the Abbey Stadium this afternoon which sees them stay in top place going into the Christmas break.
Cambridge looked to be on top in the opening minute after Sam Smith raced onto a long ball with Michael Ihiekwe keeping with him company and eventually winning a free-kick. At the other end a good run from Chieo Ogbene saw referee Trevor Kettle try to play an advantage when the Rotherham winger was tugged back before pulling it back for a Millers free-kick which Shane Ferguson took only finding the waiting arms of U’s ‘keeper Dimitar Mitov. A corner for the visitors on eight minutes was put in by Ferguson but couldn’t find a red and white shirt before the Northern Ireland international got to a ball meant for Sam Smith before the forward could cause any damage. Harrison Dunk did well to get into space and put the ball across the face of the goal but Rarmani Edmonds-Green was there to clear followed by a shot from Joe Ironside going wide. A pass from Ollie Rathbone found Michael Smith who tried to set Freddie Ladapo up but his cross was cleared by Jubril Okedina before a shot from Ferguson was pushed to safety by Mitov. Probably the best chance of the half came on thirty minutes when a lovely pass from Barlaser found Ladapo who skipped his way past his marker with his shot only finding the arms of Mitov. A Barlaser free-kick found the head of Ihiekwe but Mitov came out to claim before Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson had to be alert to stop a shot from Adam May finding the back of the net. As the half went into time added on May sent a superb ball through for Sam Smith and with Johansson coming out to claim the ‘keeper went down in a heap as Smith appeared to scrape his foot down the Swede’s back. While he was receiving treatment the Rotherham players surrounded first the referee and then the linesman to demand something be done with Sam Smith receiving the first yellow of the game – but might it have been more? Luckily the Millers’ ‘keeper got up and the half soon ended.
The Millers had the first chance of the second half after some quick feet from Chieo Ogbene saw him send the ball towards Shane Ferguson but he couldn’t quite get there. Some equally good work at the other end by Jensen Weir saw him cross the ball to Joe Ironside who snatched at his shot and saw it go wide. Ben Wiles did well to get the ball back in midfield and sent the ball to Ogbene who went on a run sending the ball into the area to Freddie Ladapo who brought off a point-blank save from Dimitar Mitov. On the hour mark the Millers brought on Jamie Lindsay for Ollie Rathbone which was followed by a couple of free-kicks and corners for the home side which came to nothing. On sixty-six minutes the Millers broke down the wing with Ogbene who sent a great ball to Michael Smith who teed up Dan Barlaser on the edge of the area who placed his shot into the bottom corner sending the one thousand, one hundred and fifty travelling fans off their seats and into the air to celebrate. Wes Harding came off the bench for the visitors with Rarmani Edmonds-Green heading the other way then straight down the tunnel. The Millers might have doubled their lead on seventy minutes after Lindsay found Harding who found the head of Wiles but the Rotherham born midfielder saw his effort held by Mitov. Harding was busy at the other end too after a Jubril Okedina cross found Ironside who saw his cross come off the Millers substitute as far as Adam May who couldn’t keep his shot down and saw it end in his own fans high behind the net. And it was Harding again who kept his nerve after some good work from James Brophy found Harrison Dunk but the Millers defender stood firm to stop the former Bromley player getting a shot away. Two changes for Cambridge saw Jack Lankester and Harvey Knibbs replace James Brophy and Sam Smith. After Michael Ihiekwe and Knibbs went up for a ball the U’s substitute fell to the floor and Ihiekwe was booked. As the board went up for a further six minutes a Millers corner found Ladapo who in turn found Wiles whose shot was saved by Mitov. Joe Ironside was the next player to see yellow for a foul on Richard Wood before a final change for the visitors saw Freddie Ladapo make way for Will Grigg. A free-kick and a corner for Cambridge came to nothing with the Millers holding on to the one-nil win and their top of the league place.
Not the best of games on the eye – we lost the ball a few times in midfield, although more often than not we fought for it back. Viktor didn’t have a lot to do with Cambridge’s ‘keeper pulling off a couple of good saves to keep them in the game.
Another win on the road plus a clean sheet to start every Millers Christmas off with a bang.
Attendance – 5,323 of which 1,142 were Millers
Referee – Trevor Kettle