Bristol City 1 Rotherham United 0
Although Rotherham United started well it was the hosts who had the first chance on just three minutes when former Millers loanee Jack Hunt put a good ball into the area only to see it just go over Callum O’Dowda’s head. A Jon Taylor free-kick could only be pushed away by City ‘keeper Niki Maenpaa and ended going for a corner which Will Vaulks headed over. A corner for the hosts brought off a superb save from Millers’ ‘keeper Marek Rodak at the near post before some neat work from Hunt saw the ball fall to Jamie Paterson but Rodak was equal to his header. The Millers might have gone in front on twenty minutes after some nice work from Michael Smith saw his shot saved by Maenpaa before Famara Diedhiou and O’Dowda had shots blocked at the other end. The busy Jon Taylor saw a shot go just past the post before the same player had a shot saved by the City goalie. At the other end half shots from Josh Brownhill and Paterson came to nothing before the Millers broke and Taylor found Smith who saw his shot well blocked by the hoe defence. With seven minutes to go in the first half the Millers had the best chance of the game after some good work from Smith saw the ball end up with Taylor who brought off a good reaction save from Maenpaa with the Millers winger taking the resulting corner finding Clark Robertson’s head with Diedhiou managing to scramble it clear at the second time of asking. Some good work from Ryan Williams saw him get away from his marker and ends up winning a throw which Vaulks took and Maenpaa only punched away as far as Taylor who fired just wide when it looked like he would open the scoring. After fouling Williams for the umpteenth time of the half referee Scott Duncan finally gave him a yellow card. In time added on the hosts got a free-kick which was well dealt with by the Millers to end the half.
The Millers started the second half with a Jon Taylor corner which found the head of Semi Ajayi who in turn found Clark Robertson but his acrobatic kick missed the ball completely. Straight up the other end saw Hakeeb Adelakun head over the crossbar followed by a shot from Famara Diedhiou only finding the waiting arms of Marek Rodak. Billy Jones saw yellow for the Millers on the fifty-first minute for a foul on Marlon Pack and minutes later the ball fell to Ben Wiles, making his first start for Rotherham, whose shot from just outside the box was blocked. Just before the hour mark the hosts brought on Matty Taylor to replace Hakeeb Adelakun. Some good work from Jones found Wiles who saw his shot go just wide before a Taylor corner found Semi Ajayi who was unable to get the ball from under his feet to have a shot at goal. Things turned for the Millers on sixty-four minutes when what looked like a coming together between Billy Jones and Famara Diedhiou saw the Millers defender get a second yellow and an early bath. The Millers sacrificed Ben Wiles fetching on defender Sean Raggett. A poor challenge on Ajayi saw Scott Duncan give a yellow card to Jay Dasilva which was followed by a lunge at Josh Brownhill by Richie Towell who was shown a straight red and leaving the visitors with just nine men left on the pitch. Rodak did well to get to a shot from Brownhill before the Millers brought on Ryan Manning for Ryan Williams and Niclas Eliasson came on for the hosts for Dasilva followed minutes later by Andreas Weimann replacing Callum O’Dowda with Rotherham’s last substitution of the game surprisingly seeing Jon Taylor taken off for Anthony Forde. The game was a bit one sided with Bristol getting corner after corner which eventually paid off on eighty-four minutes when a Jack Hunt cross was headed home by Adam Webster. Rodak was in action minutes later doing well to keep out a long range effort from Jamie Paterson and managed to parry a shot in time added on but only as far as Hunt who shot over. In the final minutes of the game Brownhill saw a shot cannon off the crossbar with the last action of the game being a yellow card to Manning for a late tackle on Paterson.
You just can’t make it up can you? The Millers could have gone in at half-time in front and looked like they’d at least get an away point only to go down to nine men but only losing one-nil. Let’s hope lady luck finds us for the start of 2019.
Referee – Scott Duncan
Attendance – 21,207 (550 Millers fans)