Date: 10th December 2016 at 6:40pm
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Rotherham United won just their second game of the season this afternoon at the New York City with the only goal of the game being scored on twenty-four minutes by Izzy Brown.

Before the game both sets of supporters impeccably held a minute’s silence for two former Rotherham players, Harold Waller and Dennis Walker, who sadly passed away earlier this week.

The Millers got off to a good start when a superb ball from Izzy Brown found returning skipper Lee Frecklington who brought a good save from Alex Smithies in the Rangers goal. A minute later Millers ‘keeper Lewis Price pulled off an equally good save from a Conor Washington shot which curled in behind the Millers defence. Minutes later Price had to be on his toes to make another save after Yeni N’Gbakoto drove the ball towards goal from an acute angle. On ten minutes Brown worked his way down the pitch to aim the ball at Danny Ward but a Hoops’ defender got there before him before some nice work from Joe Newell found Ward in the area but the Millers striker put his header just wide. Millers’ fans hearts were in their mouths when Aimen Belaid, making his first start of the season, seemed to have got the better of Joel Lynch but somehow managed to put the ball into the arms of his own goalkeeper. After doing all the heard work Newell put a ball into the box which didn’t quite reach Ward before Richard Wood, at the other end, did well to turn a Jordan Cousin’s shot away. Then on twenty-five minutes Chelsea loanee Brown got the ball from a throw-in, sent it to Ward then flew down the pitch to get the reverse pass from Ward and fire home sending the majority of the eight thousand seven hundred fans wild. This was the first time Rotherham had scored the first goal in a game since 24th September, so the fans were entitled to go a bit barmy! QPR tried to get themselves back into it but both Darnell Fisher and Joe Mattock were on hand to deny them before Jake Bidwell received the ball from a corner and shot over into the fans behind the net. On the half hour mark Washington and Tjaronn Chery worked well together with Price pulling off another great save from the Dutch player. Anthony Forde tried a shot which Smithies did well to get a hand too to parry to safety before Wood had to be on his toes to hack the ball away from Sandro with Brown there to guide it away from goal. Belaid did well to get his head to the ball when Price seemed in two minds whether to come or not before a Newell free-kick at the other end was scrambled away to safety. With time added on nearly up the first yellow of the game went to N’Gbakoto for a challenge on Fisher after the ball had been played.

The start of the second half saw Referee Jeremy Simpson get in on the act with Massimo Luongo seeing yellow for a lunge at Aimen Belaid and booking Tom Adeyemi minutes later for a foul on Sandro with the Brazilian even coming over to the Millers fans in the family stand to show us his sock – as you can imagine he didn’t get an awful lot of sympathy! Tjaronn Chery tried a shot from thirty yards out which saw Lewis Price get his fingertips to it to put it over and with the corner hitting the referee and going clear I think the Hoops realised it probably wasn’t going to be their day. Adeyemi managed to get the ball down the other end of the pitch which found Danny Ward who in turn got it to Izzy Brown who struck the ball only for Alex Smithies to make a great save. Just short of the hour mark QPR brought on Sebastian Polter for Yeni N’Gbakoto and a minute later the Millers really should have been two up after a lovely ball into the box from Joe Newell fell to his skipper but Frecklington seemed to get the ball stuck under his feet and couldn’t make proper contact with it, Brown was having a brilliant game and more than once chased down balls to push the visiting defence back. At the other end a shot towards goal from Chery was headed clear by Richard Wood and after some good work between Adeyemi and Newell the ball was just a bit early for the on-rushing Ward. Sandro (and his twisted sock) was replaced by Ben Gladwin which was followed by a yellow card for Polter for a nasty foul on Fisher. Both Newell and Ward had chances before some superb defending by Belaid, who really grew into the game, stopped Washington getting through. But on seventy-eight minutes the hosts really should have doubled their lead after a thunderous shot from Ward hit the post it rebounded to Newell who, with the goal at his mercy, looked up and skied the ball over the bar into the Millers fans behind. Trying to make amends Newell then went on a run which ended with him winning a corner for his team which Wood headed towards goal only to see it hacked off the line by Gladwin. After going down with what looked like cramp Tom Adeyemi got a standing ovation being replaced by Will Vaulks and while all that was going on Lee Frecklington was shown a yellow card (not sure what for). Izzy Brown also gets a standing ovation when Jon Taylor came on to replace him. Wood and Belaid have to stand strong in the Millers defence and get headers away and with Ward running alongside him Taylor scurried to the other end and didn’t pass but decided to go solo winning a corner for the hosts. With the Fourth Official holding the board up for an extra five minutes Belaid did well to get his head to a long throw before Price claimed it. Another standing ovation from the Millers fans when Joe Newell was replaced by Stephen Kelly. The Millers had another couple of half-chances but everyone went wild on the pitch and in the stands when the referee finally blew his whistle with most of the Rotherham players running towards caretaker Manager Paul Warne!

Three points! A clean sheet! What else can we ask for? And, it was actually a good competitive game too.

 
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