Rotherham United turned in a battling performance, to make it two home wins on the spin against Macclesfield Town. Ben Wright had cancelled out Danny Harrison’s opener in the first half, but goals from Adam Le Fondre and Drewe Broughton meant that all three points belonged to the Millers.
The millers were forced into one change to the side, with Pablo Mills returning to the heart of the defence, in place of Nick Fenton who was withdrawn during the victory against Bury at the weekend.
The Millers first chance came after just three minutes, Marcus Marshall raced onto a through pass, to cut the ball back from the byline, perfectly for Craig McCallister, but his left-footed shot was straight at Jon Brain.
After a stop-start opening to the game, Rotherham managed to make the breakthrough on 11 minutes. A long ball by Dale Tonge was headed clear, and Harrison hit it on the half-volley from 25 yards, into the bottom corner.
When Le Fondre won a corner on the right-hand side, Nicky Law drifted the ball in and Gavin Gunning’s header was destined for the bottom corner, until Brain somehow got a hand to it.
The visitors equalised midway through the first-half with their first real attack of the game, thanks to some slack defending by the Millers. A shot from distance was blocked by Ian Sharps, and Craig Lindfield was allowed to thread a pass through to Wright who rammed the ball past Andy Warrington.
The visitors began to get back in the game, but it was Rotherham who almost got a second, just after the half-hour. Marshall’s cross from the right was headed clear, and Harrison, in what was almost a carbon copy of his first attempt, volleyed just wide of Brain’s goal.
With five minutes of the half remaining, a quick turn by Marshall created him enough room to cross from the left, and when McAllister couldn’t get a shot away in the box, he found Josh Walker, whose snap-shot rolled narrowly wide.
Neither team could get a firm grip on the game in the second half, and the first real chance fell to the visitors. When Walker was caught in possession in his own half, Lee Bell put Wright through, who raced away from the defence, and as he shaped to shoot, Mills dived in to make a fantastic block challange.
McAllister flicked on midway through the Macclesfield half, for Le Fondre to chase, and when he flicked inside, substitute Abdulai Bell-Baggie raced towards goal, but his shot on the angle was saved, and McAllister’s header from the rebound was comfortably held by Brain.
With just 20 minutes remaining, the Millers were given a scare, when Emile Sinclair was given time and space in the box to get a shot away, but he never got hold of it, and it didn’t trouble Warrington as it rolled well wide.
At the other end, Broughton flicked on Warrington’s kick for Le Fondre, and with his back to goal, laid off for Harrison, but his shot, this time with his left foot, was just the wrong side of Brain’s left-hand post. Within minutes Law found space in the area on the left, and opted to cross, but despite Millers players queuing up in the goalmouth, Nat Brown managed to clear.
Chaos ensued on 78 minutes, when the Millers were awarded a penalty. Le Fondre managed to beat two men on the right hand side before working away into the box where he was felled by Sean Hessey. Following a lengthy discussion with the linesman referee Salisbury eventually pointed to the penalty spot, for a kick after Le Fondre had hit the deck. Le Fondre brushed himself down and stepped up to place the ball into the bottom corner and give the lead back to the Millers.
Within two minutes, the game was put beyond doubt. Law picked the ball up in his own half and burst through midfield, before sliding in Bell-Baggie. The loanee’s effort was saved by Brain, but bounced to the feet of Broughton who reacted quick enough to slot the ball into an empty net.
Matthew Tipton was introduced as manager Simpson made two changes, and had the Silkmen’s best chance of the game. A reverse pass by Bell found the substitute on the left hand side of the area, but his effort was sliced well wide.
The referee brought the game to an end after four added minutes, as the Millers took three well earned points in the hunt for automatic promotion.