Date: 9th April 2011 at 9:24pm
Written by:

Rotherham United could only manage a one-all draw at a warm and sunny Cheltenham this afternoon, despite going into the lead on twelve minutes.

With all the Robins fans expecting their team to bounce back from their eight-one thrashing last week, it was the Millers that started the game well and the returning Tom Pope was soon in the thick of the action when he turned on eighteen yards and smashed the ball towards goal only to be thwarted by home ‘keeper Scott Brown. A minute later the striker got his head to a ball and it looked to have gone over the line and with Millers fans and some players up and cheering, the game carried on when the referee, Mr Williamson, said it had been cleared off the line. On twelve minutes the ball was being bounced around the area and eventually went out to Jason Taylor on the edge of the area and he smashed the ball past the ‘keeper into the back of the net. Cheltenham came straight back when Matt Green rounded the Millers midfield and saw his shot hit the post and come out to Wes Thomas who was flagged offside. Nicky Law could have doubled the visitors lead on fifteen minutes when he shot from some twenty yards out but the ball went across goal and past the far post. A few minutes later Dale Tonge found Pope’s head with a good ball but a Town defender managed to clear the ball off the line. Jamie Annerson, in the Millers goal, then did well to firstly to save from Green and, then from the resulting corner, Andy Gallinagh saw Annerson finger tip his shot over.

The home side came out the brighter for the second half and only a good block from Danny Harrison stopped David Bird getting the equaliser. Harrison was in action at the other end on the hour mark when he received a good ball from Pope but saw his shot go just past the post. On sixty-two minutes, a deep cross in the area from Danny Andrew was spilled by Annerson but as the stand in ‘keeper looked as though he’d claimed it at a second attempt, the ball seemed to be kicked out of his hands and there was Gallinagh to tap it into an empty net. Appeals from the Millers players were ignored by referee Williamson, who frankly would have looked good today in a red and white striped shirt and red shorts. Two minutes later Scott Brown did brilliantly to keep out a close header from Nicky Law, and, at the other end, some good play saw a good ball put through to Green but the striker, with no one around him, seemed to kick a divot and the Millers got the ball away. Marcus Marshall was the next Miller to try and beat Brown but, once again, the ‘keeper did well to get to the ball and tip it over for a corner. Twelve minutes from time, Martin Riley saw a header go just over the bar and near the end of the game Brown did well to save again from Harrison. Adam Le Fondre, on for Pope, shot from eighteen yards out and when it looked like it might go in the net, it was deflected and fell into the arms of Brown. In time added on Tom Newey got a good cross into the box to Liam Henderson, on for Marshall, but his header went just wide.

I suppose a point is better than nothing at all, but the Millers really should have gone in more than one up at half-time and certain players seemed to go missing for large parts of the game today.

And, I thought I’d seem some bad officials in the last couple of seasons but today’s were dreadful. In front of us John Melligan handled the ball in the area, with the linesman looking straight at the incident. The referee was unsighted and looked at the linesman who said ‘no penalty’. Another incident saw a clear back pass which was ignored and I don’t think anyone has a clue why Nick Fenton was booked in the first half. We really do need to get out of this division so we can see some better officials.