Swansea City 1 Rotherham United 0
Rotherham made a few changes from the previous game with Jamal Blackman back in goal and starts for Angus MacDonald, Matt Crooks and George Hirst
The hosts started the brighter and had an early corner which was initially defended by Michael Ihiekwe then by Jamie Lindsay before it went for a Swans throw in which Matt Olosunde was wise too. The Millers first corner came on ten minutes which was headed out before finding Crooks who sent it in again with Connor Roberts doing well to stop the ball finding Hirst. Minutes later Hirst worked well to send the ball into Jamie Lindsay with Jay Fulton doing well to stop the Scot getting a shot away. At the other end Roberts and Yan Dhanda worked well together with Roberts seeing his shot go into the side netting. A corner for the hosts found the head of Cullen with Blackman, the Millers’ ‘keeper, doing well to put behind for another corner which came to nothing. A Millers free-kick was sent in well by Florian Jozefzoon but there wasn’t a player in a red and white shirt there to collect. Matt Crooks had a shot at goal which Freddie Woodman came out for and sent Jamal Lowe on his way who tried to pick out Liam Cullen but Blackman got there before him. Minutes later the hosts made their possession pay when a corner came into a crowded penalty box which Blackman punched beyond the area only for it to fall to Matt Grimes just outside the area. His shot-come-cross came off a Rotherham player then appeared to be fumbled by the Millers’ keeper and went into the net. Another foul on Hirst saw the first booking of the day go to Swansea’s Ryan Bennett. On thirty-eight minutes Swansea really should have made it two after a combination of Roberts and a wet pitch stopped the ball going out and with Blackman committed the ball came off Wes Harding to Lowe whose strike from close range hit the upright. At the other end some nice work from Ben Wiles saw him send the ball in for Jozefzoon but Kyle Naughton did well to get there first and put the ball behind for a corner. The Dan Barlaser set-piece saw Angus MacDonald climb highest but couldn’t direct his header towards goal. As the board went up for time added on Dan Barlaser saw yellow for a high foot with the resulting free-kick being headed away by Ihiekwe.
Rotherham started the second half with Trevor Clarke on for Matt Olosunde and Jamie Lindsay making way for Mickel Miller. In the opening few minutes Jamal Lowe pulled the ball back for Liam Cullen whose shot was gathered by Jamal Blackman. A third change for the Millers saw Michael Smith on for George Hirst on the fifty-third minute. Although the Millers were probably seeing more of the ball this half the game was very much stop and start with neither team making much progress in the penalty areas and the offside flag working overtime. Through sheer determination Clarke won the visitors a free-kick which Dan Barlaser took but it fell to a Yan Dhanda who tried to counter attack but Wes Harding was there to clear for the Millers. Clarke was hauled down for a free-kick, though surprisingly no yellow card which came to nothing. A fourth change for Rotherham saw Kyle Vassell take over from Flo Jozefzoon. After Dhanda was brought down the hosts got a free-kick some twenty-five yards which Blackman turned behind with the corner bothering no-one. Nice work from Barlaser saw him find Miller who in turn sent a cross in towards Smith but the ball hit Ben Cabango and bounced up into the grateful arms of Swans’ ‘keeper Freddie Woodman. Wiles sent Harding off down the pitch with the defender looking for Smith but Woodman was quick off his line to collect. The first change for the Swans saw Wayne Routledge on for Liam Cullen. Some great defending by Harding stopped Jake Bidwell making it two with the Millers defender putting the ball behind with the resulting corner being headed away by Crooks. A second Swans substitution saw Yan Dhana make wasy for Kasey Palmer. With eight minutes to go the Millers got a free-kick which was easy for Woodman before some neat work from Vassell getting a low ball from Clarke but Woodman did well to claim. A cross from Vassell was sent to Smith who saw his header cleared off the line which looked suspiciously like a handball but referee Matt Donohue said no. Another sub for the hosts saw Korey Smith on for Jamal Lowe. In the final minute of ninety another header from Smith was dropped by Woodman and then scrambled off the line. In the five added minutes it was all the Millers and when a Clarke free-kick found Angus MacDonald it looked like it might be the equaliser but the Millers’ defender put the ball over. Rotherham did keep trying and Vassell and Smith had chances without testing the home ‘keeper.
Well, we weren’t thrashed and I think we managed to keep Cullen and Lowe quiet in the second half although, let’s be honest here, we could easily have let another two in but for some good defending and the post. Don’t know about anyone else but I had a bit of a frown on my face with the changes that were made off the bench but I am happy to eat my words and say I thought every sub made a difference.
Another away game in mid-week – let’s bring something back from Loftus Road, lads.