Rotherham United 4 Portsmouth 1
Smith (29, 55) Harness (49)
Rotherham United came to life in the second half scoring three goals to give them a third league win in a row beating Portsmouth four-one at the New York Stadium.
The visitors started the better with Shaun Williams forcing Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson into a fingertip save sending the ball over for a corner with the set-piece falling to Mahlon Romeo some thirty yards out whose shot went over the crossbar. The hosts got a corner on nine minutes after some nice work between Will Grigg and Ollie Rathbone found Wes Harding who brought off a good save from Pompey ‘keeper Gavin Bazunu . After some good defending from Harding and Michael Ihiekwe John Marquis got the better of his marker only to see the ball go wide. At the other end a good move for the Millers saw an Ihiekwe header from a Dan Barlaser free-kick find Rarmani Edmonds-Green whose shot was well saved by Bazunu. Minutes later a long pass upfield from the visiting goalie saw Johansson quick off his line to stop the ball finding Ryan Tunnicliffe in a good position. On twenty-nine minutes it was the home fans who were up and cheering after Harding sent a lovely ball into the middle for Michael Smith who headed in from close range to give the Millers the lead. Four minutes later Portsmouth had a free-kick in a good position which Marcus Harness took curling his effort wide. More good work from the hosts saw Will Grigg chest the ball down for Smith who put the ball over. The first yellow of the game went to Ihiekwe who stopped Bazunu launching the ball forward before Barlaser did well to get to a Lee Brown cross before a Portsmouth player in the box.
Portsmouth came out the better in the second half and within four minutes were on level terms after Marcus Harness tamed the ball and curled it into the net just beating the outstretched hand of Viktor Johansson. Michael Ihiekwe limped off and Chieo Ogbene who came off the bench to replace him was soon in action tricking his way down the wing before passing the ball to Ollie Rathbone whose shot was saved by Gavin Bazunu. Michael Smith twice went close seeing one shot saved and the other blocked before a long range shot from Rathbone was fumbled by the Pompey number one and there was Smith who saw his original shot come off a defender before he back-heeled it for his tenth goal of the campaign and regaining the Millers’ lead. Minutes later Bazunu did well to get to a Dan Barlaser cross before Will Grigg but on the hour mark a Barlaser free-kick found the head of skipper Richard Wood who headed home to make it three-one. Three minutes later it was four for Rotherham after a lovely ball in from Mickel Miller found Ben Wiles who hit the back of the net from the centre of the box. Miller might have had his own goal on sixty-seven minutes but for some good work from Bazunu who pushed the shot away for a corner. Will Grigg made way for Freddie Ladapo while former Miller George Hirst came on for Pompey, John Marquis going the other way and minutes later Shaun Williams was replaced by Louis Thompson and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild came on for Ryan Tunnicliffe. Some good work between Wiles and Smith saw the midfielder get the ball back in front of goal but put it wide before Ogbene left Thompson for dead racing to the edge of the box and sending the ball in but Ladapo was offside. At the other end Johansson did well to come out and claim a shot from Mahlon Romeo. Romeo then saw yellow for a poor challenge on Wiles followed by a booking for Kieron Freeman who also fouled the Rotherham midfielder. Michael Smith was replaced by Joshua Kayode with ten minutes to go. Barlaser was the next to try his luck but his shot was saved by Bazunu. Rathbone was then shown yellow for a trip of Joe Morrell. George Hirst collected the ball from his ‘keeper and flew down the pitch shooting wide before Rarmani Edmonds-Green did well to block a shot from the same player. Lovely work from Rathbone saw him slip the ball to Miller who saw his shot put behind for a corner which Barlaser sent in to the box, Bazunu punching away to safety in the final minutes of the game.
Attendance – 9,684 (1,242 Pompey fans making the long journey)
Rotherham United 4 Portsmouth 1
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