Solihull Moors 3 Rotherham United 4
Osborne (6) Ladapo (76)
Gudger (8) Ihiekwe (79)
Ball (62) Smith (88, 91+1)
Rotherham United performed a comeback this evening that not even the most ardent of Millers could have envisaged after being three-nil down to come back to get themselves into a third round tie at home to Hull City.
It couldn’t have got off much worse for Paul Warne’s’ men when the non-league side took the lead in just six minutes when Jamey Osbourne got to a loose ball and let fly to beat Daniel Iversen in the Rotherham goal sending their fans wild. Two minutes later it was two after a good corner in found Lee Vaughan who in turn got the ball to Alex Gudger who looked to be the only blue shirt on-side and he shot the ball into the corner to double the score. The Millers looked shocked and gave away a couple of free-kicks that, luckily, came to nothing before Iversen did well to get to a shot from Paul McCallum and put it over the crossbar. The Millers had one or two forays up front, mostly made from Matthew Olosunde before Grudger did well to stop a shot from Freddie Ladapo causing problems. And it didn’t get better for Paul Warne when he was forced into an early substitution with Trevor Clarke not recovering from a knock and having to be replaced on twenty-five minutes with Michael Smith. Iversen had to be on his toes to stop a cross from Jimmy Ball doing any more damage before claiming the ball from a long throw from Jamie Reckord. Another long throw from McCallum found the head of Callum Howe before being put behind by Michael Ihiekwe which was followed minutes later by a shot from Jimmy Ball being beaten away by Iversen. The last few minutes of the half saw a bit of pressure from the visitors with crosses going into the box but finding nobody until one found Clark Robertson who was in a great position but saw his header go past the post.
We are told that Paul Warne gave his players ‘hell’ at half-time and in the opening minutes of the second half Dan Barlaser’s cross in found Freddie Ladapo but his control wasn’t the best and Solihull Moors flew forward with Jake Beesley who was stopped in his tracks by a timely tackle from Clark Robertson. Ladapo did a twist and a turn and shot at goal which Moors’ ‘keeper Ryan Boot stopped. At the other end the hosts won a corner after some good work between Vaughan and Beesley with the set-piece finding former Millers’ loanee Gavin Gunning who headed wide. A second change for Rotherham saw Chiedozie Ogbene come on for Carlton Morris. A good chance for the Millers saw Ladapo get a superb ball in from Matthew Olosunde only for the striker to head wide. The first yellow of the game went to the Moors’ goalie Boot for time wasting. And while the visitors were getting into the game Moors scored a third after Beesley got the better of Robertson and got the ball into Jimmy Ball who slipped the ball into the net from a few yards out. Matt Crooks was the Millers last substitute with Barlaser making way. Rotherham were finding more room and were getting some good balls into the area with Ihiekwe coming close which was followed by Nathan Blissett coming on for the hosts for Paul McCallum. After the Millers had one cleared off the line and other crosses-cum-shots saved with fifteen minutes to go they pulled one back. Ogbene had been causing problems since coming on and it was his cross into the box that found Ladapo who popped it into the net. Moors went straight down the other end and Beesley looked in a good position to make it four-one but put the ball wide followed by some good work from Rotherham saw a Crooks shot blocked then fall to Ihiekwe who smashed it into the net making it three-two. The hosts brought on Sam Jones for Beesley but it was all the Millers and Robertson sent Smith on his way but his cross was blocked before it could find Ladapo who was in space. Five minutes to go and Matt Crooks found himself with a shooting opportunity, let fly and saw the ball thump the bottom of the upright and go out to safety before an Olosunde cross was blocked. Some great work from Ogbene saw him get the ball into the box where Smith stooped down to head the ball into the net and make it three-all. It was Solihull’s turn to looked stunned and as the board went up for an extra five minutes more good work from Ogbene saw him again find Smith who headed in to make it four-three to the visitors sending the four hundred and thirty visiting fans barmy. Solihull had a chance to equalise when Gudger got a header in which Iversen claimed but their efforts were in vain with the Millers looking forward to a home tie with Hull City in January.
Well, if anyone can question the players’ never-say-die attitude they might need to take a hard look at themselves after that second half performance tonight. It’s quite unbelievable to think of being three-nil down away from home and yet win. At half-time it seemed impossible, we were having a bad time of it with Moors being much the better team. I suppose if we have to sum this game up in one word it has to be ‘phew’.
Attendance – 2,372 (437 Millers)
Referee – C Boyeson