Rochdale 3 v Rotherham United 1
Henderson (28,70) Lindsay 90+2
Rotherham United, in the past, have often driven me to drink but today they drove me to frustration (and drink). OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating a little, but it was a pretty poor performance from the Millers at lowly Rochdale this afternoon.
Yet it was the Millers who started the brighter and had an early chance after a great ball in from Ben Wiles was sent towards goal by Michael Smith before being put behind for a corner which found the head of skipper Richard Wood but didn’t worry Dale ‘keeper Robert Sanchez. At the other end Adam Thompson, recalled to his defensive position, had to be alert to get his head to a Jimmy Keohane cross before debutante Curtis Tilt found himself with a chance in front of the Rochdale goal but he sent the ball skying over the crossbar. Sanchez got himself into a good position to save a shot from Chieo Ogbene before the Millers number nineteen skipped past the attention of two blue shirts to send a cross into the box only to see Sanchez there again. A lapse in concentration by the Millers defence saw visiting ‘keeper Daniel Iversen have to awkwardly head the ball away before Freddie Ladapo saw Sanchez off his line down the other end and had a shot from distance which Sanchez caught without much problem. After Wiles and Billy Jones combined and forced a corner which was cleared Wiles picked it up again and put in a good cross which saw nobody there to get on the other end. While Ogbene was causing the home defence problems it was Rochdale who started more into the game and Thompson had to get a good tackle in to stop an Aaron Wilbraham effort going in. The game was twenty-eight minutes old when the hosts went in front when a superb pass from Aaron Morley found former Millers loanee Ian Henderson all he had to do was hook the ball over Iversen as he came out to try and make the angle smaller. Rotherham responded with a goal of their own after Matt Crooks did well to win the ball and send it out to the lively Ogbene who put a super ball into the box towards Wiles who headed towards goal only for an off-side Smith to take it upon himself to tap home and see the linesman flag. Ogbene got the better of the Dale defence a couple of times more only for the Millers front men not being able to get onto the end of his crosses in before half-time.
Within a minute of the second half kicking off Rochdale really should have gone two up after Aaron Morley and Ian Henderson combined only for the former Miller to see Daniel Iversen pull off a fingertip save putting the ball over the crossbar when it looked destined for the net. A good corner from Ben Wiles saw Michael Smith force another corner which Adam Thompson got his head to but the ball went wide. Chieo Ogbene got by Morley but found himself on the deck with the resulting Jamie Lindsay free-kick quite easy for Robert Sanchez to catch despite there being a lot of bodies in the box. A good cross from Callum Camps at the other end saw Eoghan O’Connell head into the waiting arms of Iversen before the Millers had a chance at the other end from a Lindsay free-kick which found Curtis Tilt who knocked down for Freddie Ladapo only for the Millers top scorer to put wide. The Millers had a chance to level the scores on the hour mark after Thompson got to a Wiles cross but headed just over followed by a double substitution by Rotherham which saw Kyle Vassell and Josh Koroma replace Freddie Ladapo and Curtis Tilt. Ogbene hadn’t been given the ball much in the second half but when he got it he was still causing problems and he sent a lovely ball to Matt Crooks who sent his shot over from just outside the box followed by a Lindsay cross sent towards Smith who was a bit on his heels and couldn’t get any power in his header. The two substitutes worked well with Koroma flying down the pitch and finding Vassell whose shot was an easy gather for Robert Sanchez. With twenty minutes to go the hosts got a second after Matthew Lund sent a through ball towards Ian Henderson who fired past Iversen to double the score. Ogbene was sent sprawling by MJ Williams who got a yellow card from Referee Joyce with the free-kick coming to nothing and a minute later Dale went three-up after Lund had latched onto a ball from Camps and lobbed the onrushing Iversen seeing the ball go into the net. Smith had a chance a few minutes later which came off the back of a defender and went to safety and Matt Olosunde came off the bench to replace Billy Jones. Koroma might have done better with a shot he put wide before Dale ‘keeper Sanchez saw yellow for time-wasting with ten minutes to go although he’d been time-wasting for most of the game. The hosts brought off Aaron Morley for Ollie Rathbone. Ogbene saw a cross headed off the line by O’Connell before a Lindsay free-kick was caught by Sanchez with an effort from Vassell from the edge of the box went wide. In time added on a Wiles cross was flicked into the net by Lindsay but it was only a consolation goal for the Millers and it might have been a hat-trick for Henderson had his last minute lob, which had Iversen beaten all the way, hadn’t gone just wide of the upright.
A bad day at the office. Chances, yes. Effort, some. Poor finishing, oh yes. Were Rochdale better than us? Yes, I think they were.
Onto next Saturday then when we take on another side from the bottom three of the table seeing Southend come to the New York Stadium.
Gate – 4,142 – 1,672 Millers
Referee – Ross Joyce