Date: 6th April 2015 at 7:31pm
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Rotherham United took the first half to Brighton and defended like Trojans in what was a massive win in the bright sunshine at the New York Stadium this afternoon.

The game began with a minute`s silence for supporter John Fearns who sadly died at the last home game which was impeccably observed by both sets of fans.

Although it was the Millers who had the better of the first half it was it was the visitors who had the first shot with Kazenga Lua Lua stinging the hands of Emi Martinez in the home goal. At the other end former Millers` loanee ‘keeper David Stockdale was alert enough to stop a shot-come-cross from Ben Pringle before Lua Lua forces Martinez into another good save. But the breakthrough was made on eight minutes when some super work from Jordan Bowery putting the ball into the centre for his strike partner Matt Derbyshire who put the ball past a helpless Stockdale into the back of the net. Minutes later Kari Arnason saw Danny Lafferty on his own and sent the defender on his way with the Irishman winning a corner which sadly came to nothing. Just before the quarter of an hour mark some more nice football from Bowery found Pringle who tried to bring Derbyshire into the move but the pass was much too short and easily cleared before a Dale Stephens free-kick at the other end was expertly caught by the Martinez. Another free-kick for the visitors a minute later was defended well stopping Chris O`Grady getting to it before the former Millers striker gave away a free-kick by fouling Farrend Rawson. On twenty-six minutes the hosts really should have been two in front after a Pringle free-kick finally came to Kirk Broadfoot who sent it to Bowery but the Millers striker tried to hard and headed well over the crossbar. And after Paul Green made a hash of a lovely ball to him from Derbyshire by falling down he was guilty of an golden edged chance minutes later when he played a one-two with Derbyshire and with the goal at his mercy put the ball wide. On thirty-eight minutes referee Kevin Wright showed the first yellow card to Pringle after Lua Lua beat him for pace and his only way to stop the winger was to grab him from behind and pull him down. Martinez did well a minute later to catch the ball from a long throw before Joe Bennett managed to get past the Millers defence only to send the ball into the waiting arms of the Rotherham ‘keeper who in on loan from Arsenal. A clumsy foul on Green saw Rohan Ince the next in the book with Smallwood taking the resulting free-kick which troubled no-one.

If the Millers were on the front foot in the first half the Seagulls came out much the better side for the second and Rotherham were a little lucky to see a Joe Bennett corner fly across the face of goal and find nobody. On fifty-four minutes the yellow card was out again for Beram Kayal who insisted on standing in front of Emi Martinez as he took a kick and as the ball ricoched off the midfielder the referee booked him. But Kayal nearly had the last laugh when minutes later he found himself one-on-one with Martinez but the Millers` ‘keeper kept his cool and smothered the ball. Kirk Broadfoot had to be alert a minute later to block a shot from Rohan Ince before Paul Green was the next to see yellow for a late tackle on Kayal with Broadfoot standing tall to block the resulting free-kick. On the hour mark Jordan Bowery must have had the gods with him when a ball in from Leon Best, on for Chris O`Grady at half-time, saw him mis-time his clearance and nearly put it in the back of his own net. At the other end a Pringle free-kick has David Stockdale in a tangle and under pressure from Broadfoot dropped the ball but is thankful to see it cleared up field with some nice work between Kari Arnason and Danny Lafferty saw the latter chip Stockdale but the ball went just wide. Bowery is the next to see a shot go wide before the Millers striker won a corner which Arnason headed wide of the back post. With twenty minutes to go Jack Hunt decided it was his turn to have a go and dipped and swerved past the Brighton defenders into the box before letting fly with a curling shot that went wide which is followed by some superb work from the Seagull`s ‘keeper after a stunning run from Lafferty saw his give the ball to Derbyshire who saw the visiting shot-stopper make a super save. At the other end Lafferty did very well to get to a header before Bruno Salter before Mustapha Carayol saw a shot end up in the side netting. Another good save from Martinez stopped Craig Mackail-Smith, on for Lua Lua, scoring with his first touch of the game before both Paul Green and Lafferty were well placed to get headers away. With five minutes to go Arnason does well to win the ball in midfield and tries to send Derbyshire on his way but the Millers striker, perhaps a bit worried about being off-side, left his run a little late and the ball went out of play. Farrend Rawson does well to get his body in the way of a Bennett shot that looked destined for the back of the net while a header from Derbyshire at the other end troubles no one. Danny Ward, on for Bowery, got on the end of a lovely ball from Arnason but with Stockdale left standing the ball went just wide. As the board went up for three extra minutes Martinez did well again to get down to a ball from Kayal while Stockdale pulls off a good save from Derbyshire in the last seconds of the game.

And breathe! Well that was certainly a game of two halves! And what an important three points that is for the Millers which I think showed with the rousing applause the final whistle brought from the majority of the nine thousand eight hundred fans at the game this afternoon.

 
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