Rotherham United 2 Swansea City 1
Manning (79 & 87 pens) McBurnie (25)
Two second half penalties saw Rotherham United come back from one down to beat Swansea City two-one at the New York Stadium this afternoon.
Before the game a minutes silence was held for the victims of the Leicester City helicopter crash last week and to remember our fallen heroes in all wars for Armistice Day ended by the last post played on the bugle.
Swansea were the quickest out of the traps in the first half and after some good work from former Barnsley loanee Oliver McBurnie they won the first corner of the game which Millers’ ‘keeper Marek Rodak did well to punch to safety. A long throw from skipper for the day Will Vaulks was headed away for another one by Swans’ ‘keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt with the second one being cleared by former Blades defender Kyle Naughton. Daniel James was finding it quite easy to get to the edge of the box and was only stopped by Jon Taylor fouling him with the resulting free-kick coming to nothing followed by another good run from James which saw Rodak get his hands to the ball. A scuffle near the away dugout saw referee Harrington show yellow cards to Leroy Fer of Swansea and Rotherham’s Michael Smith and Vaulks. On the twenty-fifth minute some nice work from Bersant Celina to James saw the Swansea winger brush Zak Vyner aside and send a great ball to McBurnie who stuck it into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead. Minutes later it could have been two when James found himself in acres of space only to see his shot go inches over the crossbar and another move ended with James seeing his shot go over from close range. Celina received a perfect pass from Naughton but he hadn’t reckoned for Rodak who kept the Millers in it with a top class save. At the other end a nice run from Taylor saw him get the ball into Semi Ajayi but he headed straight at Nordfeldt before a corner won by Smith was aimed again at Ajayi but the City ‘keeper was equal to the header. The final minute of the half saw the Millers best move when a nice move from Smith found Richie Towell who put it out to the wing to find Kyle Vassell and his cross found Taylor on the post but his shot was blocked by Matt Grimes.
Ryan Manning came on for the hosts for the second half with Kyle Vassell making way. Marek Rodak had to be on his toes to keep Rotherham in the game in the opening minutes of the half when a good effort from Leroy Fer produced a great save. Some nice work from sub Manning saw him put a superb cross into the box but there was nobody there to collect. Jon Taylor, who had started despite a knee injury was replaced by Joe Newell just after the hour mark. A free-kick from Matt Grimes was well saved by Rodak followed by a cracker of a shot from Jay Fulton which went just wide. Zak Vyner did well minutes later to block a shot from Daniel James before a Bersant Celina shot went just over. With twenty minutes to go the Millers made Kristoffer Nordfeldt make his first save of the game when a Manning free-kick hit the wall and he did well to get down to it. Celina was booked for kicking the ball away after the referee had awarded the Millers a free-kick. Richie Towell was replaced by Jamie Proctor for the last fifteen minutes. Although James hadn’t had as much room in the second half as he did the first. a burst of speed from the Welsh U21 player saw him send a super ball over to Celina but he fired straight into the waiting arms of Rodak. With just over ten minutes to go a ball into the box from Will Vaulks saw Nordfeldt hesitate just that bit too long and as it bounced he knocked over Proctor and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Manning to get the equaliser for the Millers with eight thousand two hundred Rotherham fans finding their voices. Swansea didn’t give up but neither did the Millers and when James got the ball some lovely football from Ryan Williams saw him get the ball and race up the other end. A foul on the edge of the box on Joe Newell from Mike van der Hoorn saw the Millers number twenty-two send the ball to his side for Vaulks whose shot from distance hit Fer who put his hands up to stop it and Mr Harrington again pointed to the spot. Again up stepped Manning and smacked the ball into the net from the resulting penalty to send the Millers fans into raptures. But neither side gave up and a silly foul on the edge of the box by Joe Mattock on Celina saw Grimes step up but he hit it straight at the Millers wall who got it away. In time added on a foul on Proctor by van der Hoorn saw his name added to the referees notebook followed by City subs Courtney Baker-Richardson and Barrie McKay replacing Jay Fulton and Kyle Naughton. Michael Smith did well to get the ball into the corner and a minute later charged upfield and eventually won a corner which ran the five added minutes down and ended in a Rotherham getting all three points.
I have to say I thought Swansea were treating the first half as a training game this afternoon and the Millers had nothing to give but they came out better in the second half and two good spot kicks saw us get our first home win since mid-September.
Crowd – 9.006 (778 Swans)
Referee – Tony Harrington