Date: 4th November 2017 at 8:06pm
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Rotherham United are out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking despite taking the lead this afternoon at Gresty Road against League Two side Crewe Alexandra.

The Millers started on the front foot and after a shot from Joe Newell was blocked by Perry Ng it fell to Will Vaulks who made Dave Richards in the Alex goal work hard to hold onto it. Minutes later Newell saw a shot flash across goal before some good work from Ryan Williams saw a ball heading for David Ball blocked by Ng with what looked like the use of the arm but any appeal from the Millers was dismissed by Referee Oldham. On twenty-one minutes the Millers pressure was awarded with a goal after Kieffer Moore had made a nuisance of himself on the edge of the six yard box the ball found its way to Vaulks whose shot from just outside the box flew into the top corner of the goal sending the six hundred travelling fans wild. Newell was having a lot of space down the left and again minutes later saw his cross-come shot hacked away. Just after the half-hour mark the hosts got a corner which was taken by George Cooper with Millers’ ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell doing well to climb highest among a sea of bodies to claim. The Millers had a couple of corners at the other end with it ending when Darren Potter put the ball just wide before more good work from Newell saw him looking to send Ball on his way but former Miller Michael Raynes was there to get in a good tackle. As the board went up for one extra minute the Millers thought they’d scored after a lovely corner kick from Newell found Moore who headed the ball home and while the visiting players and fans were celebrating Mr Oldham went over to consult his linesman and disallowed the goal making the Millers take the corner again. This time Crewe got the ball away and flew up the other end putting the ball into the area and appealed for a penalty, which the referee turned down.

With everyone except the Referee and his little helper in front of the Rotherham fans, wondering why the second goal had been chalked off news filtered through that there was an infringement before the corner kick was taken when the Crewe centre-half ended up on the ground.

Crewe were quick out of the blocks in the second half and with just two minutes on the clock they had equalised. Shaun Cummings fouled Chris Dagnell and a super ball in from the resulting free kick from George Cooper saw Millers’ ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell start to come for it then decide against it and go back which allowed Brad Walker a free header into the net for the equaliser. After that it was only a matter of time before the Railwaymen scored again. After flattening Harry Pickering, Ryan Williams was the first player to see yellow. A Will Vaulks free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar and went out to safety before he dragged a shot wide minutes later. Jon Taylor replaced Williams and Shaun Cummings saw yellow for a foul on Cooper. At the other end a Cooper corner found the head of Michael Raynes who saw the ball deflected over the bar. With twenty minutes to go Richard Towell came on for David Ball. Walker was the next to see yellow for a poor foul on Kieffer Moore before Dave Richards did well to save from the Millers striker. Former Miller Jordan Bowery was replaced by Chris Porter. Vaulks saw another shot go over the bar before O’Donnell was in the right place at the right time to save from Chris Dagnell. The final Millers sub of the afternoon saw Michael Ihiekwe replace Richard Wood. Moore went close with a header in the final minutes of the game but Porter sent Callum Ainley on his way on the eighty-ninth minute the Millers defence hesitated and when he saw O’Donnell race off his line he put the ball over his head and it somehow ended up in the back of the net – whether from Ainley or an unfortunate Semi Ajayi who was trying to cover for his ‘keeper we don’t know. In five minutes added on at the end of the game Potter appeared to be shown a yellow card for pushing followed a couple of minutes later by a yellow for Moore for a shove on Raynes.

So this is another year when Millers fans won’t need to watch the draw for the second round of the Cup. After a confident first half we would love to know what was said at half-time to make the Millers play like they’d never met one another before. Answers on a postcard . . . .