Date: 13th August 2017 at 8:52pm
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A fantastic first-half hat-trick from Kieffer Moore helped Rotherham United on their way to a five-nil victory at the expense of Southend United at the New York Stadium yesterday afternoon.

The Millers attacked from the off with Ryan Williams getting a cross into the box which had the Southend defence scattering to clear before a Joe Newell free-kick saw former Miller Mark Oxley put behind from a Moore header. Minutes later another good corner from Newell found the head of Semi Ajayi who put the ball just wide before a superb cross in from Lee Frecklington was headed inches past the post by Jamie Proctor. After so much pressure from the hosts it was only a matter of time before they went ahead and they did on fifteen minutes when Darren Potter took the ball off the opposition and sent it out to Williams whose super pass found Moore who just had to tap the ball in the net to open his scoring for the Millers. And sixty seconds later it was two after more good work from Newell found Proctor who in turn found Moore who put the ball into the corner of the net. Southend had half a chance when Ryan Leonard got the ball but spliced the ball well off target before Simon Cox saw a header go over but on twenty-three minutes the Millers made it three. Joe Mattock found Frecklington who raced into the box sending the ball to Proctor who turned and saw Newell free who let fly with the ball ending up in the far corner of the net. Phil Brown sent on Robert Kiernan for Jermaine McGlashan but it was the Millers who saw shots go over the bar or wide although Richard O’Donnell did have to be aware when he came out to claim a ball with Marc-Antoine Fortune looking to pounce. Cox eventually saw yellow after persistent fouling just before half-time before two minutes into time added on Moore added his third after Proctor got away from his marker and got the ball to Moore who struck it well from twelve yards out to give the Millers a four-nil lead going into half-time.

It would appear that the Southend players had seen the sharp tongue of Manager Phil Brown at half-time because they came out much better and in the first minute a cross into the box just evaded unmarked striker Simon Cox. Five minutes in Richard O’Donnell brought off a double save, first from Marc-Antoine Fortune and then got down well to save the rebound from Michael Kightly. Within a minute Mark Oxley just as well at the other end when he found himself one-on-one with Ryan Williams denying the Millers man a goal. But Southend didn’t learn and a minute later a lovely cross from Joe Mattock was just too quick for Williams who again found himself in space. But a minute before the hour mark Williams finally got his first league goal for Rotherham when more brilliant team movement saw Kieffer Moore find Williams who just had to tap the ball in to make it five-nil. Simon Cox made way for Theo Robinson and minutes later three sides of the stadium stood as one to applaud Lee Frecklington who was replaced by Will Vaulks with Potter taking over as captain. Straight away Stephen McLaughlin came on for Anton Ferdinand. Fortune had a shot at goal with O’Donnell was equal to before the Millers fans all stood again to applaud hat-trick hero Moore who was replaced by David Ball and again a few minutes later when Anthony Forde came on for Williams. Fortune again finds him self in space in the box but Josh Emmanuel put the ball out for a corner which came to nothing while Oxley did well at the other end to save from David Ball. Proctor headed over for the Millers with Kightly doing the same for Southend. In the last minute of the game Fortune thought he’d scored but held his head in his hands when he saw his shot come back off the post. In time added on the Millers had a number of corners before Oxley saved from David Ball.

Five-nil! I’ll say it again – Five-nil! And four of those goals coming in the first half. I can’t remember the last time I saw a hat-trick at the New York Stadium (has their been one?) And a clean sheet! We didn’t say that very often last season! What a great game if you are a Millers fan – and for this happy Miller it rounded off a great birthday!