PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 2 ROTHERHAM UNITED 1
An injury time penalty for the hosts meant that Rotherham United had to make the long trek home form Plymouth with nothing, but already knowing they had booked a place in the play-offs.
Millers Manager Paul Warne made three changes on Saturday fetching in David Ball, Anthony Forde and Ryan Williams and it was two of the three, Ball and Williams, who nearly opened the scoring in the opening minutes with the forward sending Williams on his way but his cross was well defended by Argyle. At the other end the Millers were thankful for goalkeeper Marek Rodak who put a shot from Ruben Lameiras behind with the resulting corner eventually falling to David Fox which Rodak saved. Richie Towell, Ben Purrington and Richie Towell did well to stop Plymouth getting shots on target as the hosts started to get on top in the game. With twenty-two minutes gone the travelling six hundred were up on their feet thinking they’d gone in front when a cross from Williams found Ball who stuck the ball in the net but a linesman’s flag soon had them sitting down again. But on thirty-three minutes they were up on their feet again and this time the goal stood after Michael Smith latched onto a mistake by Zak Vyner and he passed to Ball who in turn found Towell in the area and the Brighton loanee stuck the ball into the corner of the net to give the visitors the lead. Minutes later Towell laid off a lovely pass for Ball but Argyle ‘keeper Remi Matthews rose above everyone to take the ball. At the other end Rodak had to be on his toes to stop a shot from Joel Grant before Josh Emmanuel did well to block a shot from Lameiras. In time added on at the end of the first half Graham Carey collected the ball on the touchline and got by two Millers defenders hitting a shot from eighteen yards out which hit his own player and went out to safety.
The second half started slowly although Richie Towell had a cross-cum-shot saved by Remi Matthews before Ryan Williams got himself into the box and appeared to slip under a challenge from Oscar Threlkeld, getting a yellow card for his troubles. At the other end Michael Ihiewke did well to tackle Graham Carey before he could get a shot away. Michael Smith, Williams and Anthony Forde all saw Smith equal to anything they could throw at him before Argyle equalised on the fifty-sixth minute after Joel Grant got the better of his marker and put the ball out of reach of Marek Rodak. A deflected shot from Forde saw Matthews under pressure and he had to put the ball over his own crossbar before Will Vaulks should have done better with a shot which was easy for the Plymouth shot stopper to save. Some nice work between Smith and Ball saw them get the ball to Towell who brought off a good save from Matthews and some good work a few minutes later from Gary Sawyer stopped Towell adding to his tally. Antoni Sarcevic made way for former Miller Lionel Ainsworth while the Millers brought on Jon Taylor for Forde. And it was the Millers sub who nearly put them back into the lead after he latched on to the perfect ball from Ball but finding himself one-on-one with Matthews the Millers winger couldn’t get it past the home ‘keeper who saved with his feet. Caolan Lavery came on for Smith and after Williams went down with an injury he was replaced by Joe Newell. Towell did well to head a free-kick away before Taylor had a chance at the other end only to see his shot hooked away before Lavery saw a shot fly into the side netting. With it looking like it was going to be a point-a-piece Ruben Lameiras was replaced by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair. Rotherham thought they had taken the lead in the final minute of the match after a cross from Newell saw Lavery touch the ball in but again the linesman had raised his flag. Four minutes of time was added on and a minute into that a sliding tackle from Vaulks saw Carey go down and referee Handley point to the spot. Carey took the penalty and gave the hosts a two-one victory.
We really have got to make those chances count. Luckily, it doesn’t make much difference to the Millers but it could well do to Plymouth who still have a chance of getting into a play-off position.
RICHIE TOWELL gets my Man of the Match vote.