Rotherham United 5 Sunderland 1
Smith (10, 73) Stewart (24)
Ladapo (41, 88)
Before the game captains from both clubs laid wreaths of poppies followed by both teams and fans standing silent for Remembrance Day.
Michael Smith won an early free-kick for the hosts but Shane Ferguson didn’t test Ron-Thorben Hoffmann in the Black Cat’s goal. Minutes later with Freddie Ladapo in acres of space Ben Wiles didn’t see him with the ball eventually going out for a Rotherham throw-in which fell to Dan Barlaser but he shot just wide. Ladapo stretched the Sunderland defence and sent to ball across the box for Chieo Ogbene who saw his shot blocked. On ten minutes the Millers went in front with Ferguson and Ben Wiles working well together to get the ball to Ladapo who did well floating it in for Michael Smith who headed home for his eleventh goal of the season. Less than five minutes later it could have been two after Rarmani Edmonds-Green won a free-kick which Barlaser took finding Michael Ihiekwe’s head but he saw the ball go just over. At the other end Ollie Rathbone had to be on his mettle to clear a shot from Aiden McGeady before Ogbene flew down the wing sending the ball towards goal only to see the ball cleared by a defender. After the Millers might have had a couple of free-kicks which weren’t given Sunderland got an equaliser after Daniel Neil sent the ball to Ross Stewart who got the better of his marker and shot the ball into the net. The Millers bench were up in arms when Smith was fouled but referee David Rock wasn’t interested – not for the first time. Millers’ ‘keeper Josh Vickers did well to get to a low shot from Elliott Embleton before a cross from Ferguson found the head of Ihiekwe which Hoffmann saved. Nice work between Rathbone and Smith saw Ogbene get the ball but the Millers winger let it go a fraction too early and it was easily saved. Luke O’Nien was the first to get a yellow card after a late lunge on Ben Wiles with the free-kick coming to nothing. Ogbene did well to get to his own ball minutes later before sending it to Rathbone who saw his shot from distance easily caught by Hoffmann. At the other end Vickers had to be alert to get to the ball before a cross from McGeady could reach Leon Dajaku. Some great work from Smith who firstly won the ball back before running down the line sending the ball to Ladapo in the box who dinked the ball in the net to make it two-one to the hosts. At the other end a cracking shot from Stewart came back off the face of the upright with Wes Harding doing well to clear from McGeady who shot from the rebound. In time added on some great football from Rotherham saw Ogbene get the ball to Ladapo who glanced across the face of goal.
Sunderland began the second half with Bailey Wright replacing Luke O’Nien and Elliot Embleton making way for Lynden Gooch. And the half was only a minute old when Aiden McGeady saw yellow for a lunge on Rotherham’s Chieo Ogbene with the free-kick going out for a Sunderland throw. Ogbene set off on a run weaving past two defenders before getting the ball to Freddie Ladapo who turned but couldn’t score. A minute later Dan Barlaser found himself with the ball some twenty-five yards out and shot seeing the ball going inches wide. A great tackle from Callum Doyle stopped Ladapo getting a shot away with the ball going out for a corner which Ferguson took and saw Michael Ihiekwe head the ball firmly into the net to make it three-one to the hosts. Just after the goal Aiden McGeady wiped out Ogbene and saw a second yellow and early bath sending Sunderland down to ten men. The resulting free-kick from Ferguson was well defended. Sunderland’s last change saw Corry Evans on for Leon Dajaku. Ogbene ran passed the Black Cats substitute and was brought down with Evans getting booked the free-kick fetching two corners which weren’t capitalised on. Smith sent a super ball to Ladapo who in turn found Ben Wiles with the Millers man not able to find Smith who had run on but the ball fell to Ogbene who again was fouled. Ferguson was the first Rotherham player to see yellow and was followed a minute later by Michael Smith, both for time wasting, which didn’t really bother him as a couple of minutes later a super ball in from Ogbene found the head of the Millers’ striker who made it four-one. Paul Warne made three changes fetching off Cheio Ogbene, Shane Ferguson and Michael Smith for Joshua Kayode, Kieran Sadlier and Mickel Miller. Ladapo came close to making it five getting past one player in the box before Doyle stopped him. At the other end Vickers easily got to a shot from Stewart before it got to Evans. Some good work from Sadlier found Miller in the area who saw his header go over before the striker won the ball back a minute later sending it into the area for Kayode who headed just wide. A super cross in from Rarmani Edmonds-Green went towards Kayode who couldn’t quite get to it. Sadlier saw an effort saved by Ron-Thorben Hoffmann before the ball went to the Sunderland ‘keeper who saw Kaydo get the better of him and should have had a shot himself but sent it to Ladapo who tapped the ball into an empty net to make it five-one.
What an absolutely great performance from every player who put on a Rotherham shirt this afternoon and it was a team who deserved to beat Sunderland for the first time since 1962.
Referee – David Rock
Attendance – 10,573 – 2,601 Black Cats
Rotherham United 5 Sunderland 1
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