Date: 3rd December 2016 at 7:49pm
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Rotherham United slipped to their fifteenth game without a win this afternoon at the Pirelli Stadium with a two-one loss to Burton Albion.

The Millers started the game well under Paul Warne’s leadership and when a lovely ball from Izzy Brown went towards Jon Taylor it looked like it would be the opening goal until Ben Turner’s sliding challenge put the ball behind. A minute later Anthony Forde found Taylor but he headed the ball wide before Lewis Price, in the Millers goal for injured Lee Camp, came out to claim the ball at the other end from a John Brayford cross. On ten minutes the Millers perhaps should have scored when Danny Ward got passed John Mousunho to deliver the ball into the box which Taylor picked up and found the head of Brown who saw his ball flash behind. And the next minute it was Brown again who got to a loose ball sending it over to Taylor before another good challenge from Turner saw the ball go to safety. At the other end former Miller Chris O’Grady was given way too much space with Price managing to get his hands to it. The Millers could have scored again when Jon McLaughlin spilled a shot from Taylor but managed to pounce on it before it found it’s way back to the Millers winger. So it was a bit of a blow to the visitors and their followers on fifteen minutes when the Brewers took the lead. O’Grady got the ball off a Millers defender so easily and although the Millers did manage to block his original shot the ball fell to Jackson Irvine who slotted home from ten yards out. The goal spurred the hosts on and Jamie Ward, playing with a cast on a fractured wrist, twice had shots from distance before O’Grady saw an effort go just over the crossbar. At the other end Forde and Brown were working well together with the latter heading straight into the waiting arms of McLaughlin. A Forde free-kick after Brown was brought down twenty-five yards from goal, whistled past the upright before some good work by O’Grady was rewarded with a corner which ended up being blocked by Darnell Fisher. The hosts really should have doubled their lead before the half-hour mark when more poor defending let O’Grady square the ball to Irvine but this time he blazed over with Price stranded and an open goal in front of him. Lucas Akins was guilty of heading over before another dangerous ball into the box found Irvine who won a corner for Burton. Taylor was causing problems and a ball towards Danny Ward went out for a throw-in which Vaulks took long and was headed away by Akins.

The opening minute of the second half saw Joe Mattock win a free-kick after a foul by Tom Naylor which Anthony Forde took only to see his effort headed away by Chris O’Grady. Some nice work from Rotherham saw Mattock get a lovely ball into Jon Taylor but he put his shot behind. At the other end Lewis Price did well to claim a headed from O’Grady before a cross in from Matty Palmer was cleared by Will Vaulks. Jackson Irvine saw two shots at goal blocked by Darnell Fisher before some good work between O’Grady and Irvine saw the Australian’s shot go wide when it really should have hit the target. The first yellow of the game went to Naylor who brought Izzy Brown down which Mattock took and Jon McLaughlin easily saved. Just after the hour mark the hosts doubled their lead after the Millers failed to clear a set-piece which fell to Palmer some twenty yards out and he thumped his unstoppable shot into the top corner of the goal giving Price no chance. A few minutes later the Millers made a double substitution with Taylor and Forde making way for Joe Newell and Jerry Yates. A cynical foul on O’Grady by Vaulks saw the Millers defender get a yellow card before a Newell free-kick was headed away by the former Millers striker. Albion make their first change of the day bringing on Hamza Choudhry for Naylor followed a couple of minutes later by William Miller replacing Jamie Ward. A super cross in from Newell saw Danny Ward and Tom Adeyemi both go for the ball and both miss before Burton’s third sub saw O’Grady replaced by Tom Flanagan. With two minutes to go Newell has a shot which goes over before an effort from Danny Ward was blocked by John Brayford. As the board went up for four extra minutes the Millers were seeing more of the ball and in the final minute of the game a Mattock cross was converted by Adeyemi giving the visitors a consolation goal.

Once again we started well enough but couldn’t put the chances away and after Burton scored it seemed as though the players were resigned that they’d lose the game. It’s so frustrating at the moment and I feel sorry for Warney whose got to lift the players and try again next week.

I feel like a broken record but we’ve really got to take those chances when they come and we’ve really, really got to start defending like a team.

Oh hum on to next Saturday. . . .

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