Date: 26th August 2017 at 7:02pm
Written by:

Let me start by saying that Rotherham United didn’t lose this game this afternoon because of the referee they lost to a team who were better, stronger and knew how to ‘play’ the home players (and officials) – but the plonker in the middle with the whistle certainly didn’t help.

Charlton started the game well and when a Jake Forster-Caskey free-kick deflected off the wall for a corner it was only an offside flag that stopped them getting at least a shot in on goal. A minute later Ricky Holmes saw a shot blocked by Michael Ihiekwe and Millers’ ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell gather. At the other end Jamie Proctor won a free-kick which Joe Newell floated in towards Proctor who was kicked in the face and had to leave the pitch to have cotton unceremoniously stuffed up his bleeding nose. On eight minutes the hosts really should have gone in front after some good work between Proctor and Kieffer Moore but Proctor scuffed his shot and the ball went inches wide. Moore made Addick’s goalie Ben Amos work minutes later when he received a superb ball from Joe Mattock easily got past his marker and struck his shot well which Amos saved. But on sixteen minutes the visitors went ahead when Patrick Bauer rose above everyone else from a Forster-Caskey corner to give Charlton the lead. And it could have been two soon afterwards when Tarique Fosu got by the Millers defence and only some good work from Semi Ajayi stopped the ball reaching a number of Charlton players in the box. A poor challenge on Ryan Williams by Josh Magennis saw the Charlton forward get a yellow card. Ajayi should have equalised just after the half-hour mark when he got his head to a Newell corner but he put it wide with an open net in front of him before Amos got a touch to a Moore effort minutes later. Holmes should have done better from just outside the box before Joe Mattock was the next in the book for a cynical foul on Fosu. Holmes and Magennis had chances which O’Donnell was equal too before former Millers loanee Forster-Caskey tried his luck on the stroke of half-time which bothered no-one except the Millers fans behind the goal.

The Millers started the second half with Jon Taylor replacing Ryan Williams and Michael Ihiekwe getting a yellow for a foul on Billy Clarke. Taylor found Lee Frecklington with a nice ball with the Millers skipper heading towards Jamie Proctor whose shot across goal found no-one before some more lovely work from Taylor who initially lost the ball but fought hard to get it back and get it into the box only for a Charlton player to get there before Kieffer Moore. Will Vaulks came on for Josh Emmanuel on fifty-five minutes. Joe Newell was slow to pick up Ricky Holmes but the winger’s ball across goal came to nothing. On the hour mark the Millers had another chance to equalise when Moore won the ball and ran the length of the pitch and with Proctor free to his left the young striker decided to have a go himself and the ball only went as far as the waiting arms of Ben Amos. On sixty-six minutes a Charlton attack left Proctor on the floor and asking for help but referee Mr Kettle ignored the Millers striker and in the mayhem a dipping cross in from Holmes found Magennis who headed the ball into the back of the net to make it two-nil to the visitors. After receiving treatment on the pitch Proctor was stretchered off with what looks like a bad knee injury with Jonson Clarke-Harris coming off the bench to replace him. A Newell free-kick was headed wide by Ajayi before Ahmed Kashi had to be alert to clear from a Newell cross. A Newell corner had to be dealt with by Amos before Holmes saw yellow, after being warned numerous times, Charlton made a couple of subs bringing on Karlan Ahearne-Grant and Lee Novak to replace Tarique Fosu and Billy Clarke and, as the game was going into nine minutes of time added on Ricky Holmes was replaced by Ezri Konsa Ngoyo. Magennis tried his luck from thirty yards out which came to nothing before Vaulks received a ball to his feet from Taylor but couldn’t get a shot on target. Vaulks was the next player to see yellow for a challenge on Forster-Caskey before a throw-in from the Millers midfielder found the head of Clarke-Harris who saw his header fly into the arms of Amos. In the last seconds of the game Newell had a chance to get a consolation goal but his shot went wide.

What a difference two weeks made – five good goals against Southend, a very good performance at both Peterborough and Huddersfield and then today which, frankly, was a performance like we were watching last season. Our midfield were all over the place but never where they should have been and for part of the game our defenders were getting in each others way. Have to do better against Pompey next Sunday in front of the television cameras.

Do I want to talk about Mr Trevor Kettle? No. But I will ask why this man is still officiating in League football.