Rotherham United 6 (six) Bolton Wanderers 1
Wiles (14) Verlinden 4
Ladapo (28, 53)
Morris (40, 55)
Rotherham United buckled down and came back from losing an early goal to beat Bolton Wanderers six-one on a sunny September afternoon at the New York Stadium.
It was a nervy start for the Millers and on two minutes Daniel Iversen, returning to the number one spot after being on international duty with Denmark, wanted too long to clear a back pass from Michael Ihiekwe and was eventually hurried into clearing under pressure from Ali Crawford. And the hosts didn’t recover from that scare when two minutes later Wanderers got a corner which they took short and left the defence wanting when Thibaud Verlinden flew into the box and put the ball into the net to give Bolton the lead. After some good work between Jake Hastie and Crooks and then Hastie and Ben Wiles the ball fell to Freddie Lapado but he put the ball wide before the forward had another chance but his shot went straight into the waiting arms of Bolton ‘keeper Remi Matthews. But just before the quarter of an hour mark their work saw reward after Matthew Olosunde saw Wiles in space and the midfielder did really well to flick the ball over a defender, cut inside and drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net for the equaliser. Minutes later Hastie came close when he received a ball from Crooks and smashed the ball forward seeing it go inches over the crossbar. At the other end a shot from Dennis Politic didn’t bother Iversen as he watched it go over before Freddie Ladapo headed against the crossbar with the Bolton defence getting the ball to safety. But a minute later Ladapo made it two-one when more good work from Crooks saw him get the ball to the tall forward who played a one-two with Carlton Morris and hit the ball into the net via the underside of the crossbar. Iversen was called on when a wayward pass from Crooks found the Bolton goalscorer who shot low at goal only to see the Millers’ ‘keeper get his legs to the the ball and send it behind, although Referee Seb Stockbridge strangely gave a goal-kick. A late challenge on Liam Bridcutt earned Jamie Lindsay a yellow card with the midfielder then finding himself in front of goal only for his shot to be deflected away from goal. The first substitution of the afternoon saw Bolton replace James Weir with Jason Lowe. With five minutes of the half left a quick throw-in found Michael Ihiekwe who sent the ball forwards where Morris found himself unmarked and made it three-nil going into the break.
The second half was a little bitty to start with but eight minutes in Jamie Lindsay sent in a great ball for Freddie Ladapo who got the better of Remi Matthews and headed home his second and the Millers fourth of the afternoon. Two minutes later it was five after a Joe Mattock centre was initially cleared by Jack Hobbs but only as far as Carlton Morris who slammed the ball forward hitting Hobbs who saw the ball roll, probably a little cruelly, over the line and into the net. Ladapo was finding a lot of room and tried his luck from the edge of the area which was an easy save for Matthews before a Jake Hastie free-kick went just over the crossbar. Keith Hill brought on Ronan Darcy for Luke Murphy. Morris was the next player to put the ball just over the crossbar with Matthews beaten with the hosts getting goal six on the sixty-sixth minute after more good work from Ben Wiles saw a lovely cross in to Ladapo who was forced off the ball by Hobbs and Matthews with the ball falling to Hastie who tapped the ball home on his home debut. Having done their bit Hastie and Morris were replaced by Michael Smith and Shaun MacDonald while Dan Barlaser came on for Jamie Lindsay. After a foul on former Miller Josh Emmanuel Crooks saw yellow. A cross from the latest sub, Barlaser, found Smith who saw his header come off a defender and cleared followed by Ladapo nearly getting his hat-trick after a great cross from Mattock found the forward whose effort went just over. In time added on some more super work from Matthew Osolunde saw him get the ball to Wiles but his header went wide.
Well, what a difference a week makes, eh?! I think a lot of us thought the worse with just four minutes gone but the lads dug in and deserved the win which, to be honest, could have been in double figures.
Attendance – 10,088 (2,600 Wanderers)
Referee- Seb Stockbridge