ANALYSIS: Derby day drama...a sign of things to come?

By David Beddows | 13/11/2017 0 comments

ANALYSIS: Derby day drama...a sign of things to come?
Kieffer Moore nets his 13th of the season to earn a last-gasp point for the Millers

A TENSE, closely contested dogfight that kept everyone guessing, Saturday's South Yorkshire derby at Doncaster could turn out to be the story of Rotherham United's season.

Amidst the drama of Richard Wood's wonder miss, his own goal and the dramatic finish, I'm not sure the first match between the clubs in ten years told us anything new.

Rovers look like a side organised and skilful enough to hold their own back in League One. The Millers, who can scrap as well as play, have the fire power to stay in and around the play-off pack but not yet the defensive reliability to go higher.

Richard Wood wheels away in celebration after thinking he had given Rotherham the lead

Kieffer Moore's importance can't be understated. The big issue isn't just whether he stays or goes back to Ipswich in January but how well Rotherham plan for it should they lose their leading scorer.

He's on 13 goals now and none were celebrated as wildly as his last-gasp equaliser at the Keepmoat.

READ: Reaction from boss Warne, defender Ihiekwe and how the game unfolded

Footballing wise, the match didn't live up to the cracking atmosphere and there's nothing new in that. Neither do many local derbies.

But what the 12,000 plus crowd did get was a honest, keenly contested affair that followed an impeccably observed minute's silence for Remembrance Day.

Paul Warne mentioned Armistice Day in his pre-match team talk, reminding his players of the millions who fell in the war and of the true meaning of sacrifice.

As usual, there was no lack of fight in his side and after hitting the woodwork three times, no-one could begrudge them a point, even if it was rescued by a 96th minute goal.

When Moore ended a last gasp melee by squeezing the into the bottom corner at the second attempt, it ensured he rather than Richard Wood stole the headlines.

Wood will still be wondering how, after Semi Ajayi hit the bar in the first half, he managed to head the loose ball against the bar when it looked easier to score. The "did it?" "didn't it? debate in the Sky studio over whether or not the ball dropped behind the goalline really shouldn't have been necessary.

Striker Kieffer Moore is ambushed by team-mates following equaliser

There was more sympathy for Wood over the line 64th minute own goal that gave Rovers the lead because the whipped-in cross from Rodney Kongolo was a good one and the skipper had to make an attempt to divert it.

Wood will never have a busier afternoon. He was also at the centre of a decent home shout for a penalty for handball in the second half.

While Rovers got on top and managed the game well after going in front, Donny manager Darren Ferguson's assertion that they deserved to win was well wide of the mark.

The Millers had twice as many shots and struck the woodwok a third time through Jonson Clarke-Harris in the closing stages.

"You sometimes get what you deserve in football and sometimes you don’t, I think today we got what we deserved," observed Warne, as honest as ever.

A scruffy point maybe, but it was still one which nudges Rotherham back into the top six.

PLAYER RATINGS

Richard O'Donnell 7

Josh Emmanuel 6

Michael Ihiekwe 7

Semi Ajayi 7

Richard Wood 5

Darren Potter 8

Ryan Williams 6

Will Vaulks 6

Joe Newell 5

Jon Taylor 6

Kieffer Moore 6

Subs: Richie Towell for Taylor (68) 6, Jonson Clarke-Harris for Emmanuel (74), David Ball for Wood (87). Not used: Laurence Bilboe, Anthony Forde, Jerry Yates, Ben Wiles


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