Bristol Rovers 1 Rotherham United 0
A narrow loss at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon saw former Millers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris give all three points to Bristol Rovers.
Although the Millers had more of the ball in the opening minutes with Jake Hastie easily getting by three defenders only to see his cross in hooked away and a Matt Crooks cross across the face of goal didn’t find a white shirt it was the hosts who had the first chance on seven minutes when Alex Rodman found Abu Ogogo but the midfielder saw his header go over. Minutes later Clark Robertson had to be on his metal when Luke Leahy sent a ball in towards former Miller Jonson Clarke-Harris but the visiting centre-back got to the ball first. Rotherham ‘keeper Daniel Iversen was brought into the action just after the quarter of an hour mark when a good ball from Liam Sercombe found Tyler Smith but Iversen got down well to save and punched clear minutes later from a Sercombe free-kick. At the other end some good work from Carlton Morris saw a good ball into the area somehow fall into the arms of Rovers’ ‘keeper Anssi Jaakkola before a challenge on Jamie Lindsay saw a Ben Wiles free-kick fail to find anyone in a white shirt. Some lovely work from Billy Jones down the right saw him send a cross towards the head of Freddie Ladapo who saw his header well held by Jaakkola. A poor challenge on Hastie by Rodman saw a Wiles free-kick eventually find the Rangers loanee who hit the ball towards goal which Jaakkola did well to tip over the crossbar with Robertson not able to keep the resulting corner down. In the final five minutes of the half a Leahy cross found the head of Tyler Smith who put the ball just wide with the Millers having the last chance of the half when Hastie sent a low ball into the area which a defender did well to put it out for a corner which came to nothing.
The second half was just four minutes old when Liam Sercombe’s ball over the top for Jonson Clarke-Harris saw the former Miller hit the ball into the right-hand corner of the net to give the hosts the lead. Abu Ogogo then tried his luck but his shot was well held by Daniel Iversen before Freddy Ladapo at the other end shot high and wide from just outside the box. Jamie Lindsay did well to get the better of Ed Upson with Rovers captain Tony Craig heading just over his own bar. The resulting Ben Wiles corner found Michael Ihiekwe but he couldn’t get the ball to a Millers player in the box. The first substitution of the afternoon saw Billy Jones make way for Matthew Olosunde which was followed five minutes later with Michael Smith replacing Carlton Morris. The hosts got a free-kick in a good place which was aimed towards Craig but hit a Rotherham player going out for a corner before Rovers came close to a second when a powerful Sercombe shot was parried away by Daniel Iversen which found the head of Alfie Kilgour who put the ball over the bar. A cross into the box from Hastie brought off an excellent save from Anssi Jaakkola which was followed by Ben Wiles being replaced by Shaun MacDonald for the visitors and Jonson Clarke-Harris and Tyler Smith going off for Rovers with Victor Adeboyejo and Tom Nichols on. A long ball from Matt Crooks towards Ladapo saw Jaakkola race off his line kicking the ball into the stands before a dipping ball from distance from Leahy went over Iversen who was relieved to see it go just wide of the upright. With four minutes to go Olosunde received a good ball from Ihiekwe cut inside and let fly with Jaakkola doing well to tip the ball round the post with the resulting corner being poor. In the final minute of the ninety Adeboyejo had a shot from a tight angle which Iversen did well to stop before the Millers had a chance when Ihiekwe got a ball to Ladapo but the striker couldn’t keep the ball down. The last action of the game saw Rovers final sub when Rollin Menayese replaced Alex Rodman.
Official Attendance – 7,321 with 524 Millers
Referee – Michael Salisbury
Thanks to PT for the match report