Burton Albion 0 Rotherham United 1
O’Hara og (24)
Rotherham United got their third away win in a row yesterday when a first half goal was enough to bring all three points back from the Pirelli Stadium.
The hosts came out looking like they meant business when, in the first minute of the game, a cross from Lucas Akins found Nathan Broadhead who hit the upright with the Millers defence scrambling the ball away to safety from the rebound. And it was Broadhead again minutes later whose shot saw Millers’ ‘keeper Daniel Iversen doing well to get down to smother. A corner for the Millers saw Dan Barlaser’s cross put behind by Akins with the second one ending up as a Millers throw-in. Some good work between Michael Smith, Kyle Vassell and Clark Robertson saw the ball fall again to Smith whose tame shot didn’t worry Kieran O’Hara in the Burton goal before Vassell’s good work paid off when he won a free-kick which the striker took himself which the Burton defenders were equal to. At the other end Robertson had to be alert to head away a dangerous ball from Akins with the visiting defender clearing from the resulting corner before Scott Fraser blazed the ball over from twelve yards out. Vassell hassled John Brayford taking the ball from him sending Matt Olosunde on his way who sent in a lovely ball towards Freddie Ladapo only for a Brewers defender to get there before him and head clear. After a bit of pressure the Millers got the goal on the twenty-fourth minute after Ben Wiles had made himself some room, got inside the box to shoot only to see it deflect off a defender to hit the post then hit O’Hara before bouncing into the back of the net. The hosts won a free-kick which Broadhead put well over the crossbar. Vassell sent in a rasping shot which hit the crossbar before going to safety while at the other end the Millers defence were busy keeping out a shot from Fraser that looked destine to be the equaliser. Iversen was brought into the action getting his hands to a Liam Boyce header before some good work from Barlaser sent Smith off on a run with his shot being blocked by the Burton ‘keeper.
The Millers had the first chance of the second half when a super ball from Dan Barlaser found the head of Michael Ihiekwe who put the ball just inches wide. More good work from Kyle Vassell saw his get the ball to Freddie Ladapo whose shot went behind for a corner which Barlaser sent in to Clark Robertson who really should have hit the target but saw the ball go wide. A Matt Crooks header was well brought down by Vassell who turned and shot which was deflected for a corner which Kieran O’Hara did well to collect. A couple of free-kicks for the visitors saw a Ihiekwe header cleared by a home defender under his own crossbar. As the hour mark was coming up John Brayford hit a thunder-shot towards goal which hit his own player and went behind. The first substitution of the afternoon saw Shaun MacDonald replace Freddie Ladapo, which raised a few eyebrows amongst us Millers fans, which was followed soon afterwards by an appeal from the Burton players for a penalty when Fraser went down under a challenge from Millers’ skipper Richard Wood but referee Kinseley wasn’t interested. Rotherham should have put the game to bed when a flick-on from Michael Smith found Vassell whose shot from twenty yards out went sailing over the crossbar. Jamie Lindsay came on for Dan Barlaser with Burton fetching on Oliver Sarkic for John Brayford. After a shot from Vassell went out for a corner Ben Wiles, taking over the duties now Barlaser isn’t on the field, found Ihiekwe who in turn head down to Wood whose shot saw Burton scramble to safety. Matt Olosunde got free of his marker and although it wasn’t the best of shots from the former Manchester United youngster it made the home defence have to think. The final Rotherham change came with ten minutes to go when Michael Smith made way for Jamie Proctor while Burton took off former Millers loanee Stephen Quinn bringing on Kieran Wallace. Robertson got the only yellow of the game after being booked for time wasting with his throw-in eventually finding Lindsay who saw Vassell running in but just failed to find him at the back post. MacDonald and Proctor combined with the latter letting fly in front of goal only for a Burton defender clearing before Ben Wiles almost did score when a lovely strike from the midfielder was blocked late by John-Joe O’Toole. With three minutes to go Burton brought on David Templeton for Scott Fraser. Some lovely work from Olosunde saw his clipped ball into the area find Proctor who in turn saw his shot put behind for a corner which Wiles took finding the head of Robertson who saw the ball headed off the line and away by Colin Daniel. In time added on Burton really should have equalised when a cross from Liam Boyce found Broadhead in acres of space to shoot but the Welsh U21 forward put the ball over and in the last minute of the five added on a long throw from Akins wasn’t cleared and fell to Templeton who saw his shot smash against the upright with Iversen beaten.
Lucky? Of course we were lucky! Our goal, which I’d love to give to Ben Wiles, probably had that little element of luck about it (ahem) but it was some nice football that got it to that point and again in the final five minutes when twice Burton really should have got a point. But, you know, when your luck is in you really have to take it by the scuff of the neck and say ‘thank you very much’ – we certainly did that yesterday.
My Man of the Match – KYLE VASSELL – ran his socks off, set-up chances, got into great positions and was being pushed and pulled and fouled by the opposition from the opening minute of the game.
Crowd – 3,822 – no official Rotherham figure but we understand that around 1,600 tickets had been sold.
Referee – Nick Kinseley.