Match Reports

Millers Lose Seven Goal Thriller

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Ipswich Town 4 Rotherham United 3
Burns 9, 29              Eaves 2
Moore 14                  Odoffin 60
Hutchinson 90+5  Cafu (pen) 90+4

It was a cruel night for the Millers at Portman Road after taking an early lead going in at half-time losing three-one to pulling it back to three-all – with their first penalty of the season – only to see Ipswich get a fourth.

Leam Richardson made four changes for the start of the game with Jordan Hugill, Tom Eaves, Lee Peltier and Sam Clucas all back in the starting eleven and Sam Nombe, Charlie Wyke and Cameron Humphreys on the bench with Seb Revan not in the squad.

Rotherham started the game excellently with some good work from Sam Clucas seeing him get the ball to Tom Eaves who saw his shot put the Millers in front. At the other end the Millers had to defend which Lee Peltier did well to stop former Miller Kieffer Moore get a header on target before a free-kick for the hosts saw Moore rise the highest but put the ball wide of the post. The first name into the book was Hakeem Odoffin for stopping Jeremy Sarmiento getting forward. Jordan Hugill came close to getting onto a loose ball but some good defending from Luke Woofenden stopped him in his tracks before nine minutes on the clock saw Wes Burns get to a cross from Leif Davis putting his diving header into the net to make it one-all. And it might have been worse a minute later when Burn again got the better of his marker getting into a good position before firing across the face of goal the ball going just wide. On fourteen minutes it was worse when Burns became provider finding Moore free in the box and putting the ball into the net. Eaves got the better of Harry Clarke with the ball going out for a throw-in which was taken short to Christ Tiehi who turned it for Hugill only to see the Millers forward flagged offside. Tiehi did well to put Moore off a shot winning a goal kick which Moore gets too first before Andy Rinohmota wins a free-kick which Clucas sends into the box for Rathbone who fetches a save off home ‘keeper Vaclav Hladky. Then it went from bad to worse for Rotherham after a shot from Burns saw Johansson save on the floor with his foot the ball finding Davis. He sent it back to Burns who makes it three-one to the hosts. Sarimento and Rathbone charge after the ball with the Millers midfielder coming off worse after seemingly getting a bit of a push which sends him into the hoardings. Instantly medical staff and players surround him with the injury cart being sent for and a dazed Rathbone being helped onto it and taken off. Femi Seriki takes his place as a concussion substitute. A cross from Davis saw Burns rise above Kioso but saw his header go wide before a Clucas free-kick at the other end is turned behind for a corner which Moore heads away from under the crossbar to clear. The board went up for ten minutes as Eaves did well to put the ball out for a throw to the hosts before Morrison got the better of Moore to give away another throw-in. The Millers went forward with Hugill and Rinomhota before setting Seriki on his way whose cross was put behind for a Rotherham corner which Clucas took short to the Sheffield United loanee who sent it back for Clucas to put into the box but it was cleared. A poor pass back to Hladky saw him stop it going out for a corner but only at the expense of giving it to Eaves who saw his shot put behind for a corner which was too high for Hugill. A foul on Tiehi by Lewis Travis saw Johansson take the resulting kick but it came to nothing as the referee blew for half-time.

Town started the second half with Nathan Broadhead taking the place of Jeremy Sarmiento. It was a bit stop-start for the start this second period with both sides winning free-kicks that came to nothing. Christ Tiehi and Sam Morsy both challenged for the same ball with the Millers man coming off the worst and needing treatment before Sean Morrison had to be on his metal to get to a cross from Wes Burns to put it behind before it reached a blue shirt in the box. Just before the hour mark some nice work between Tiehi and Peter Kioso saw PK look to get away from Morsy who then stopped him by fouling him. Sam Clucas took the resulting set-piece looking for Morrison but Cameron Burgess but only as far as a red shirt who found Clucas his ball in eventually finding Hakeem Odoffin who drove the ball into the net to make it three-two. Lee Peltier saw yellow for obstruction before some poor defending from the hosts saw Jordan Hugill get the ball and cross towards Femi Seriki but it was just a little high before Viktor Johansson and Kioso between them stopped Burns from getting his hat-trick. Leif Davis took the resulting corner which saw Johansson doing well to save on the line. The Millers’ ‘keeper was in the action again minutes later when he came off his line to head the ball away before making himself big to get the better of Burns before Lewis Travis finds space to put the ball into the box with Johansson winning the foot race and seeing the ball out for a goal-kick. A quick free-kick from Clucas found Kioso who crossed the ball for Seriki who headed wide before a double change for the visitors saw Jordan Hugill and Lee Peltier making way for Sam Nombe and Cameron Humphreys while Omari Hutchinson and Massimo Luongo came on for the hosts Conor Chaplin and Lewis Travis going the other way before an injury to Harry Clarke saw him replaced by Axel Tuanzebe. A long kick from Johansson came close to finding Nombe in the box but was cleared before a ball in the air from Morrison saw it cleared as far as Clucas who sent it forward for the Millers substitute but Vaclav Hkadky got there first. In the final ten minutes of ordinary time an Odoffin cross found Kioso who sent a cracker of a low shot in only to see the ball hit the upright and bounce to safety. Some good defending by the Millers saw Kieffer Moore header cleared before it could reach a player in blue before Odoffin won a free-kick at the other end of the pitch which Clucas took looking for Kioso only for the home ‘keeper to collect. Two more changes for Rotherham saw Charlie Wyke and Cafu come off the bench for Andy Rinomhota and Tom Eaves while  Kayden Jackson replaced Wes Burns for Ipswich. Odoffin won a free-kick which found Tiehi who sends it up front for Clucas the midfielder finding Wyke who puts his shot wide. Wyke and Nombe between them battle for the ball winning it back and putting it through for Nombe who couldn’t quite control it before Wyke and Clucas work well before Cafu put pressure on a Town player finding Morrison before the ball went out for a Millers throw. Nice work in the middle of the park for the Millers saw them win a throw-in which Morrison takes long into the box which was cleared but only as far as Kioso who was brought down by Kayden Jackson. Cafu picked the ball up and put it on the spot and looking as cool as a cucumber waited for Mr Stroud’s whistle and coolly sent the ball straight down the middle to make it three-three. But not a minute later the Millers brought on their own misery by giving Hutchinson way to much space to curl the ball into the net to give Ipswich a four-three win.

Heart-breaking. For the players, the management and the fans. We thought we’d got an away point – we actually had it in our heads that we might even go and get the winner and then – well, the story of the Millers season.

But you have to look at the positives from this game – and there were many. Some lovely football, never giving in, coming back from three-one to three-three, giving Ipswich, who are now on equal points with Leeds United who are in second place, a bloody good fright.

Exciting – yes. Enjoyable – yes. Disappointing in the end – oh my goodness, yes.

Attendance – 28,026 with 145 Millers making the trek

Referee – Keith Stroud

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