Match Reports

Millers Score Five In Final Game

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Rotherham United 5 Cardiff City 2
Hugill (25, 69)                  Phillips (38)                                            
Eaves (45+2, 57 (pen)     Tanner (47)
Nombe (63)

Rotherham United wiped Cardiff City away this afternoon at the New York Stadium despite the visitors twice coming back to equalise.

Already down the Millers were determined to give their long suffering fans a good day and they started on the upper foot with a corner in the opening minute which found Tom Eaves whose shot was blocked. Cian Ashford and Ollie Tanner worked well together for City with the latter sending a cross come shot into the box which was easy for Dillon Phillips in the Millers’ goal to collect before Tanner set off at pace but Seb Revan kept with him and stopped him crossing. A nice ball over the top from Revan went out for a corner which Cohen Bramall sent into the box for Eaves with the ball being blocked but only as far as Appiah whose saw his cross held by Cardiff ‘keeper Ethan Horvath. A medical emergency in the stands saw the game stopped for a couple of minutes before the referee was told he could re-start the game. Tanner found himself in room down the wing and sent a low cross in meant for Famara Diedhiou but Cameron Humphreys was wise to it and got there first. Rotherham’s first shot on target was on twenty-five minutes after Bramall received the ball from Humphreys and did well to get into a passing position sending the ball in low which Jordan Hugill simply toe-poked over the line to give the Millers the lead. A corner for the visitors saw Phillips climb above everyone else and punch the ball to safety before some lovely work from Revan saw him send the ball high into the area for Eaves but the Millers goalscorer headed wide. At the other end Tanner, who seemed to be unmarked for much of the game, found Josh Bowler on the move the midfielder sending a shot in which Phillips did well to clear. City won a free-kick which Tanner took sending the ball into the box for Nat Phillips who bent down well to head it into the net to make it one-all. City were trying for another when Ashford and Diedhiou worked well together the latter seeing Lee Peltier there to clear before Phillips had to be on his toes again when Bowler did well to bring the ball down at the back post only to see the Millers’ ‘keeper’s make a reflex save putting the ball over with the resulting corner falling to Ashford some twenty-five yards out his shot going inches wide. Some super work from Arvin Appiah saw him try to bring Eaves into play but the ball went past him to Revan who let fly seeing his shot go just past the upright. As the board went up for a further four minutes the Millers went looking for another goal and it came thanks to some good work from Appiah who set the ball up for Bramall to put into the box to find Eaves who was on the floor but still managed to put the ball into the net to give the Millers a two-one lead at half-time – and it seems a long time since I said that.

Within a couple of minutes of the second-half the Bluebirds had equalised again. Cian Ashford got past his marker and sent a ball in which Tanner got hold of his shot appearing to get a deflection and go into the bottom corner of the net making it two-all. At the other end another good cross in from Cohen Bramall found Jordan Hugill who tried to set Tom Eaves up but a City defender managed to somehow clear before Eaves found the ball at his feet just outside the box sending it into the box for Hugill who probably didn’t get a good angle on the ball as he saw it go wide. Some super work from Seb Revan with a sliding tackle to get the ball away from Ollie Tanner and at the same time won a goal-kick for the Millers. The hosts went close on fifty-five minutes when Hakeem Odoffin and Eaves worked together well to set up Ollie Rathbone who went to shoot but saw his shot blocked but only as far as Eaves who brought off a good save from Ethan Horvath. A minute later there was a scramble in the box with Odoffin going for the ball being pushed over once then flattened by David Turnbull with referee Andy Davies having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The three forwards on the pitch had a conflab about who was taking it with Eaves winning and putting the ball down he slid the ball into the net to put the Millers back into the lead. The first yellow of the game went to Arvin Appiah for a foul on Josh Bowler – a foul the ref had been ignoring all of the first half and it was about that time the Millers fans started shouting for Viktor Johansson to take the pitch – he did come out and applaud us from the bench but no game time for him yet. A change for Cardiff saw  Raheem Conte replace Mahlon Romeo and City thought they’d equalised again just after the hour mark when Conte was given too much room and sent a fast ball towards goal but the ball hit the side-netting. The Millers went straight up the other end and made it four-two when Sam Nombe got the ball just outside the box and twisted past his marker to shoot seeing the ball fly into the net. At the other end Turnbull did well to send a lovely ball for Famar Diedhiou who let fly only to see Odoffin there to clear. With twenty minutes to go Nat Phillips sent a poor back-pass back to Horvath with Hugill getting there and slipped it into the empty net to make it five-two. And still the fans were asking for Viktor Johansson to come on the pitch. Peltier did well at the other end to clear Ashford’s shot off the line which was his last action of the game when he made way for Grant Hall while Femi Seriki came on for Arvin Appiah. Changes for the Welshmen saw Callam O’Dowda and Rubin Colwill come on for Ollie Tanner and David Turnbull. On eighty minutes, both players on hat-tricks, Hugill saw his shot come back off the crossbar falling to Eaves who saw his shot blocked before Seriki had a go which brought off a good save from Horvath. And still the Millers fans were pleading with Steve Evans to put Viktor Johansson on. Phillips did well to claim a cross from Bowler before it found a blue shirt. The board went up for five added minutes and finally the Millers fans got their wish and Viktor Johansson took over in goal from Dillon Phillips and three stands at the New York Stadium stood up to applaud and serenade him. Shane Ferguson and Ben Hatton also came on for Sam Nombe and Seb Revan. Bramall went on the run down the wing again crossing for Hall who saw his shot blocked and go out for a corner which Ferguson took finding Hugill who headed wide.

Best game of the season? Very probably. Was it too late? Of course, but the players showed what they could do this afternoon – how many of them will we see in a Millers shirt next season waits to be seen.

After the game the clubs awards were given out on the pitch before the players and their families, the management, backroom staff and their families did a lap round to say thank you to the fans.

Attendance – 10,547 with 1,541 Cardiff fans in the ground

Referee – Andy Davies

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