Rotherham United’s Easter didn’t get any better after looking like they would get all three points on Friday until the ninety-eighth minute they then conceded three goals on this cold, wet Easter Monday to lose three-one at Charlton.
The Millers nearly had the perfect start when a good ball in from Joe Newell found Will Vaulks who smashed a shot from just over twenty yards out against the bar and with the ball rebounding back to him he headed over. Five minutes later the visitors had another chance when more good work from Newell saw him get the ball to Michael Smith who flicked it on which was picked up by Matty Palmer who tried to put Josh Emmanuel through but his pass came to nothing. Vaulks had another chance on ten minutes when he got a superb ball from Anthony Forde but he side-footed the ball over from twenty yards out. At the other end Tariqe Fosu-Henry won a free-kick which he took himself and put over the bar which was his last involvement of the afternoon as he went off injured being replaced by Sullay Kaikai. Semi Ajayi had to be on his toes when a Jake Forster-Caskey free-kick flew into the box and a minute later returning skipper Richard Wood appeared to have handled the ball and referee Graham Horwood gave a penalty but seconds later changed his mind and gave the Millers a free-kick for a push on Smith. After a good spell for the hosts it was a a defensive error that gave Charlton the opening goal after Josh Emmanuel gave the ball away on the edge of the area to on-loan striker Michal Zyro who rifled it into the bottom corner. Just after the half-hour mark referee Horwood got injured and one of the linesman took over in the middle. A Joe Newell free-kick was easily caught by Addicks’ ‘keeper Ben Amos before Forde put in a cross which eventually fell to Emmanuel whose cross was also caught by Amos. Ryan Williams then flew into the box only to see his shot deflect off a defender into the arms of Amos. As five minutes of added time went up Forster-Caskey seemed to want to change shirts with Michael Smith and while the Millers man asked for a free-kick the referee gave a throw-in but did book Forster-Caskey (confused? You soon will be). Minutes later Patrick Bauer again pulled Smith all over the place in the penalty area but again a free-kick was awarded to the hosts.
Two minutes into the second half a good cross in by Joe Newell was put behind for a corner which fell to Ben Purrington whose shot took a deflection and fell into the arms of Ben Amos. Some more good work from Newell saw him put a cross in the area but before it got to Michael Smith a home defender cleared. Michal Zyro saw yellow for pulling back Matty Palmer before the Polish midfielder caused problems in the Millers defence but put his shot wide. Will Vaulks gave away a free-kick which Jake Forster-Caskey took and the ball was glanced into the net by Joe Aribo to make it two-nil to Charlton. Some nice work from Josh Emmanuel saw him cross the ball in for Michael Smith but his header was easy for Amos to hold on to. On the sixty-fifth minute the Addicks went three in front after Nicky Ajose sent the ball to Joe Aribo who had all the time in the world and ran into the box to send the ball into the top corner of the net via the crossbar. Rotherham brought on Jon Taylor to replace Anthony Forde with Ajose going off for the hosts and Stephy Mavididi coming on. A lovely run from Ryan Williams saw him put the ball into the danger area towards Jon Taylor with the ball being put behind for a corner. Newell’s corner was flicked away but it eventually came back to Smith who saw his header palmed away by Amos but only as far as Richard Wood who saw the ball come off him and go into back of the net to make it three-one. With ten minutes to go Marek Rodak had to be on his mettle when a ball in from Bauer flew into the area but the Millers’ ‘keeper held on to it. Josh Magennis came on for the hosts for Zyro with Ben Purrington making way for Caolan Lavery for the Millers. After he’d been wasting time for the final twenty minutes of the game a yellow card was shown in time added on to home ‘keeper Ben Amos. A good save from Rodak in the last minute of the four added on went for a corner which came to nothing.
It seems a long time since Vaulks had those shots in the opening minute of the game but again it seems that the Millers defence hasn’t helped themselves.
Well done to the six hundred and thirty-six who braved the snow this morning to get to the capital – see you all next week at the New York Stadium.