Date: 25th January 2020 at 8:52pm
Written by:

Peterborough United 2 Rotherham United 1
Toney (2)                              Ihiekwe 35
Szmodics (22)

Rotherham United’s winning streak of five games came to an end this afternoon at London Road when an early Peterborough goal seemed to knock the wind out of the Millers before they’d got going.

The game was just two minutes old when a second Rotherham corner was blocked and the Posh quickly broke with Siriki Dembele who superb pass found Ivan Toney who put the ball past Millers’ ‘keeper Daniel Iversen into the corner of the net. Some nice movement from Rotherham saw the ball aimed towards Hakeeb Adelakun but Nathan Thompson got there before him followed by some good work by Matthew Olosunde who won a corner which was curled in by Dan Barlaser ending on the roof of the net. At the other end Jack Taylor saw his free-kick go inches past the upright and before Rotherham could get a foothold in the game ‘Boro had scored their second when a Dan Butler ball found Szmodics and with Iversen dithering the loanee from Bristol City hit the ball into the bottom corner of the net to make it two-nil to the hosts. Seven minutes later a corner found Butler who shot high and wide when it looked easier to score with only a wonderful save by ‘keeper Christy Pym kept out a shot from distance by Adelakun. A minute later the Millers won a corner which Barlaser took finding Michael Ihiekwe who volleyed the ball in from close range to half the deficit. Frankie Kent came very close to heading the hosts back into a two goal lead before an Adelakun shot from just outside the box was blocked then cleared to safety just before the half-time whistle.

The first booking of the game went to Ben Wiles four minutes into the second half for a foul on Siriki Dembele before Daniel Iversen made up for his iffy performance in the first half with a brilliant save from Ivan Toney. With ten minutes of the second half gone the game was brought to a halt and a tannoy announcement was made for a ‘qualified official’ in the crowd to take over as one of the linesman had picked up an injury. Five minutes later someone duly obliged and the game restarted. A Posh free-kick was dealt with by the visitors which was followed by Sammie Szmodic seeing yellow for a poor challenge on Matthew Olosunde who was getting more and more room down the wing. The first substitution of the afternoon was for the hosts who brought on Josh Knight for Reece Brown. Dembele missed a chance at one end while Olosunde flew down the other end and got a good ball into Michael Smith who saw his header kept out by some good ‘keeping from Christy Pym. This was followed a few minutes later by another great save from Pym after some super work by Hakeeb Adelakun finding his skipper in the area with Wood seeing the Posh ‘keeper do really well to save his header. The Millers brought on Julien Lamy replacing Hakeeb Adelakun while the hosts replaced Siriki Dembele with Ricky Jade-Jones. As the clock reached the ninety minute mark there were a number of other changes with Rotherham sending on Shaun MacDonald and Jerry Yates for Matt Olosunde and Ben Wiles and Posh substituting Joe Ward with Rhys Bennett. With the long delay for the official change the board showed eight added minutes on the board with the Millers desperately trying to find that equaliser. In the last minute of time added on the visitors were in full flow and when a cross into the box hit a defenders arm the visiting fans jumped off their seats, the players had arms in the air and the bench were shouting for what had to be a penalty. Referee Scott Oldham didn’t blink and carried on regardless leaving a few disgruntled people in his wake as he blew for the end of the game.

My honest assessment is that we didn’t try hard enough in the first half. We looked like a team that hadn’t played much together before and, yes, there were a couple of changes but nothing too drastic except, I have to say, we missed Matt Crooks with all at Vital Rotherham hoping our thoughts reach him.

As for Mr Oldham with the whistle – shaking my head just doesn’t do what I thought of his performance this afternoon justice.

The Millers dropped down to second after this afternoon’s games which isn’t so bad – as long as we keep going I’m sure we’ll get back up there again.

Crowd – 7,495

Referee – Scott Oldham

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