Rotherham United 1 Port Vale 1*
Smith (56) Amoo (88)
*Millers win 5-3 in penalty shoot-out
Rotherham United started this Papa John’s Trophy game with five changes to the starting line-up from the team that began the goalless draw at Oxford at the weekend with Vale taking the tie to a penalty shoot-out in the final minutes of the match.
It didn’t start so well for one of those players with Will Grigg going down in pain after an early challenge from Leon Legge but after treatment carried on. The resulting Kieran Sadlier free-kick was defended well by the visitors. The first corner of the game came five minutes in after a long throw from Vale’s Dan Jones was headed behind by tonight’s captain Michael Ihiekwe with first Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson then Ollie Rathbone getting the ball away from the set-piece. A Sadlier corner was aimed towards Joshua Kayode but was headed clear with a cross from Wes Harding minutes later just a bit short for Tolaji Bola at the back post. On the quarter of an hour mark some great work between Sadlier and Hakeem Odoffin saw the ball fall to Rathbone who sent in a perfect cross for Grigg but as he turned Vale’s ‘keeper Aidan Stone brilliantly to dived to his right and saved. Both Joe Mattock and Sadlier saw shots blocked before Legge gave a corner away which was sent in by Sadlier to Grigg who went down under a challenge but his appeal for a penalty fell on deaf ears. After two long Vale throws were dealt with by the hosts Devante Rodney sent the ball into the area finding Nathan Smith who put the ball over when it looked easier to score. At the other end a good ball in from Rathbone found the head of Kayode but he put the ball wide under pressure from a Vale defender. Sadlier saw a cross-come-shot go across the face of goal before the midfielder sent a lovely ball towards Bola who couldn’t quite get there. Rathbone tried his luck from just outside the area which led to a corner and with Sadlier’s cross looking for Kayode the Vale defence put the ball out for another corner which found Ihiekwe who put the ball behind. In time added on Harding fouled Dennis Politic on the edge of the area giving away a free-kick which Tom Conlon took but only found Odoffin in the Millers’ wall leaving the game goalless at half-time.
Starting with two changes Shane Ferguson and Michael Smith on for Tolaji Bola and Will Grigg, the Millers made a great start from kick-off in the second half with only a great save from Aidan Stone keeping out Jamie Lindsay. A Sadlier free-kick found Ferguson who in turn sent the ball to Ollie Rathbone only for central midfielder to see his shot go inches past the post. At the other end the visitors had a chance after Dennis Politic left his marker behind and tried his luck from some twenty-five yards out with the ball whistling past the upright before the same player had another go which Viktor Johansson got his hand to. And the visitors had another chance minutes later after Dan Jones sent the ball in for Leon Legge who saw his header saved by the Millers shot-stopper. On fifty-six minutes the Millers went in front after a cross from Kieran Sadlier found substitute Smith in the area who hit the ball in the net. Tom Conlon had a shot at the other end from distance stinging the hands of Johansson before Devante Rodney eased by his marker only to shoot wide from a tight angle. Port Vale made four changes fetching on David Amoo, Scott Burgess, Mal Benning and Aaron Martin for Dennis Politic, Ben Garrity, Dan Jones and Ryan Johnson. And it was Amoo who came close to equalising only to be foiled by Johansson who put the ball out for a corner which saw Legge head just wide. Ollie Rathbone and Michael Ihiekwe made way with the hosts who brought on Mickel Miller and Rarmani Edmonds-Green. Joshua Kayode won a free-kick which Sadlier swung into the area but it couldn’t get past the Vale defence followed by some good work from the Millers Irish U23 international who got the ball to Lindsay but Stone did well to stop him in his tracks. Sadlier gets into defender mode and stops a ball from Amoo reaching Benning followed by another change for the visitors with Danny Amos on for Leon Legg and minutes later Freddie Ladapo comes on for the Millers with Joshua Kayode going the other way. Sadlier gets the ball from Odoffin and tries his luck from distance but his shot went over followed by some good defending at the other end from Edmonds-Green to stop a Nathan Smith shot reaching it’s target. Some brilliant work from Odoffin saw him get by his marker by hooking the ball over his own shoulder but there wasn’t a red shirted player in the area to collect. Ladapo was the next to have a go but his shot was blocked but only fell to Ferguson who also saw his shot blocked. At the other end the visitors saw a shot from Benning blocked before the left-back had another go which was deflected into the path of Amoo who shot home from close range for the equaliser. As the clock ticked round to time added on the Millers had a great chance to go back in front with first Smith who mis-kicked before Sadlier headed wide from just yards out. A fantastic save from Johansson at the other end kept Conlon out sending the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Smith scores for the Millers
Conlon makes it one-all for Vale
Sadlier found the bottom right corner to make it two-one to the hosts
Walker makes it two-all
Great pen from Ferguson gives the lead back to the hosts
Rodney makes it three-three
Ladapo sneaks one in – four-three
JOHANSSON SAVES from Amoo!
Up stepped Joe Mattock and made it five-three
The Millers are through to the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy!
Referee – Peter Wright
Attendance – 1,560, with 148 Valiants making the journey
Rotherham United 1 Port Vale 1*
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