Date: 20th October 2015 at 11:17pm
Written by:

Neil Redfearn`s first home game as Rotherham United Manager ended in a one-all draw against high flying Reading this evening.

The visitors got off to a good start this evening at the New York Stadium and in the opening minute Millers` ‘keeper Lee Camp got down well to a shot from Garath McCleary. Grant Ward got hold of a loose ball and got it to Tony Andreu and although his ball in was a good one there wasn`t a red shirt in the middle and it was easily cleared. The visitors won a corner on five minutes which Camp did well to catch but a quick counter attack was foiled as there wasn`t a Rotherham player past the half-way line before Ali Al Habsi easily smothered a ball in from Andreu. At the other end Farrend Rawson did well to block a Nick Blackman shot that looked like it would have ended up in the back of the net. Minutes later a lovely ball from new boy Harry Toffolo went just short of Jonson Clarke-Harris before an equally good ball in from Andreu for Matt Derbyshire saw Al Habsi put the ball behind from the Millers forward with the resulting corner coming to nothing. Rawson is in action again at the other end when he got a powerful header away before a great tackle from Toffolo stops Blackman in his tracks. On twenty-six minutes the deadlock was broken when a ball over the top found Blackman who chested the ball down and took aim and struck a fantastic half-volley which flew into the roof of the net sending the visiting four hundred and seventy Royal fans wild. Paul Green perhaps should have done better just before the half-hour mark when he got his head on a lovely ball from Grant Ward but the midfielder put the ball well wide before Lee Camp pulled off a super save from Portuguese striker Orlando Sa. A good interception from Toffolo saw him get the ball to Andreu who in turn found Clarke-Harris and with Al Habsi scrambling about in his area the Millers striker put the ball just wide before the Millers defence did a good job in the final minute of the half ending with captain Danny Collins getting a good header away from danger.

Two minutes into the second half and Jonson Clarke-Harris forced Michael Hector to put the ball out for a corner. Tony Andreu took the kick and Danny Collins found himself alone at the back post and forcibly bounced the ball over the line for the equaliser. Four minutes later Ali Al Habsi brought off a good save from Clarke-Harris followed shortly afterwards by another good stop from a Tom Thorpe shot. Collins did well at the other end when he gets to a good effort from Daniel Williams before what started off as a good move ended when Grant Ward and Matt Derbyshire obviously weren`t on the same wavelength. At the other end it was all hands to the pump as first Paul Green stopped Chris Gunter getting a shot in at the near post before Lewis Buxton ran the length of the box to get to a cross from Garath McClearly which is followed by a good stop from Farrend Rawson – a bit kamikaze defending but it worked! The first card of the night was shown to Danny Collins whose late tackle on Williams gave away a free-kick before a super tackle by Thorpe in the middle of the park saw him send Green on his way before his pass didn`t quite get to Clarke-Harris. Harry Toffolo did well a few minutes later to Hector with the next action of the game being a yellow card for Andrew Taylor for a foul on Derbyshire. Clarke-Harris takes the resulting free-kick and get`s it back when it hit the Reading wall but his second stab at it went over into the Millers faithful behind the goal. Toffolo is the next to see yellow when he runs into Sa who goes down and rolls around for a few minutes before getting up and running off. The free-kick from Oliver Norwood didn`t bother anyone and the long punt upfield from Camp ends up in a corner for the hosts. Andreu took the corner and found Clarke-Harris who laid it back to Thorpe who saw Al Hasbi make a super save only for Derbyshire about to pounce on the ball when he appeared to be bundled over but referee Jeremy Simpson ignored any appeals. With fifteen minutes to go Green was urged to shoot from the crowd from twenty-five yards out which he did and hit his own player in Andreu who tried to make amends by trying an acrobatic shot which went over. At the other end Rawson did very well to keep out Nick Blackman while Thorpe did well to get to a loose ball in his own area and clear. And the Millers have Camp to thank when a good ball from Sa found Matej Vydra, on for McCleary, who took aim and fired only to see the Miller` ‘keeper bring off a super save and get the ball to safety. A free-kick for the visitors ended with the Millers having a counter-attack with Grant Ward and Green but his cross into the box was blocked. With the clock running down Blackman found himself in front of goal but some good defending by Collins stops him getting a shot away Vydra tries a thunderous shot from twenty yards out which goes just over the crossbar. After another block from Collins the Millers were on their way up field when the referee blew his whistle, which looked like it was a minute short of the four added on which brought boos from the Rotherham fans for Mr Simpson.

Well that was a much better display than Saturday and although some of our defending was a bit haphazard it worked. I think we also had problems in midfield in the shape of not actually having one and our width was also non-existent. But saying that there were three or four players out there this evening that gave their all and a point was, I think, a good result in the end.