Date: 20th November 2010 at 8:32pm
Written by:

Will the real Rotherham United please stand up?

Because the team that deservedly beat – and gave Crewe Alexandra a lesson in football this afternoon at Gresty Road – were nothing like the uncertain, poor team that were soundly beaten by York City in mid-week.

The game was only seventy seconds old when the Millers got a corner. And from that Kevin Ellison put the ball into the middle of the goal, Rhys Taylor in the Railwaymen`s net hesitated then flapped at it, the ball hit Adam Dugdale and, although it was probably on its way in, it was toe-poked home by Mark Bradley to get his second goal of the season. Going down so early in the game seem to stun the home team and they stood by and watched the Millers and on five minutes Bradley sent a lovely ball to Ryan Taylor who turned well but saw his snapshot saved by namesake ‘keeper Taylor. Minutes later Marcus Marshall saw himself alone in the area but just failed to connect with a deep cross in. Crewe`s first shot came from Shaun Miller, after Johnny Mullins let him in, but he shot well wide. A one-two between Adam Le Fondre and Nicky Law gave the midfielder an opportunity to shoot but instead he tried to get the ball to Ryan Taylor and it was intercepted. The lively Clayton Donaldson then had a run at the visitors defence and, maybe would have been wiser to pass, but went on and was well dispossessed by skipper Nick Fenton. On twenty minutes a header from former Millers, Dave Artell, went wide and a minute later Ashley Westwood was through on goal but scuffed his shot and it went wide. On twenty-five minutes Shaun Miller put a pass through to Donaldson but it hit a Rotherham defenders foot before reaching the tall centre-forward with the unusual hair style and his shot was well saved by Jamie Annerson in the visitor`s goal. Donaldson had another shot that went wide while, at the other end, Taylor had a shot that hit the crossbar and Le Fondre saw an acrobatic shot sail over the crossbar. Danny Coid then got in the act, after receiving the ball from Bradley, hit a first time shot that was deflected wide and Taylor, receiving the ball from a hard working Marcus Marshall touched the ball just wide from six yards out.

Seven minutes into the second half Law broke down the left and put in a low cross that Taylor just couldn`t get too. Two minutes later Kevin Ellison had a shot well saved by Rhys Taylor and with the ball falling to poacher Le Fondre, Patrick Ada did well to block the ball and put it out for a corner. At the other end Dugdale saw a shot go just over the crossbar with Annerson looking beaten. On the hour mark Marshall weaved past three defenders, got into a good shooting position and with the Millers fans on their feet expecting to see the ball go over the line Lee Bell put in a last ditch tackle to stop the shot. But on seventy-five minutes the game should have been over and done with when Ada put his arm out to stop a shot from Le Fondre go into the net and gave away a penalty (though, curiously wasn`t booked). Up stepped Le Fondre but his shot was brilliantly pushed onto the post by Taylor to stop him getting his seventeenth goal of the season. Five minutes later Rhys Taylor did well again when he held onto a shot from Ryan Taylor. In the final minutes Marshall brilliantly back-heeled a ball to the on-rushing Law but his curled area went just over while, at the other end, Annerson slipped while taking a goal kick and the ball fell to Moore but was well blocked by Nick Fenton.

What a good performance by the Millers today – one where they fought and tackled, which has sadly been missing in the previous weeks.