ANALYSIS: Rotherham United produce characterful victory

By David Beddows | 24/04/2017 0 comments

ANALYSIS: Rotherham United produce characterful victory
The Millers celebrate after Tom Adeyemi's winner

OF all the wins up and down the county in the Football League on Saturday, none will have got as many smiles of acknowledgement as Rotherham United's.

All the defeats, all the setbacks, all the weeks of getting knocked down and having to get back up again and Paul Warne needing to come out and lament another hard luck story, it's been an horrendous ride.

That's why no-one, apart from Ipswich Town, would begrudge the weakest boys in the Championship playground a good day for once.

The 1-0 victory doesn't put right all the mistakes and setbacks that have gone before and Warne, usually one of the most positive guys around, didn't pretend it did.

As well as giving his players a deserved pat on the back, he was measured in his assessment, admitting the team wasn't as good as in the previous three games and that with more self-belief they could have given Ipswich a harder time.

While Warne's argument that there is more to come from the current group can be hard to make when the defeats come and thick and fast as they have, it's easier after a victory.

Despite taking on a weakened Ipswich team shorn of big hitters Tom Lawrence and David McGoldrick (Grant Ward was cooling his heels on the bench), it was a characterful performance from the Millers.

A first penalty of the season, taken by Danny Ward and saved comfortably by Dean Gerken, was a bad omen.

The sight of Ward collapsing before half time with a hamstring injury and then having to withdraw from the action was another and it was compounded when Semi Ajayi's, the team's new defensive kingpin, came off with the same problem before the hour mark.

For once, Rotherham took the blows and delivered a knockout one of their own when Tom Adeyemi smashed in at the kop end 11 minutes from time.

That goal took Adeyemi's tally for the season to seven, emphasising why Warne wants to keep him for an assault on League One.

It was still a team effort, underpinned by a couple of smart stops from Richard O'Donnell and a goal-line clearance from Darnell Fisher when the pressure was on.

Manager Paul Warne gets his point across. Pics: Kerrie Beddows

The loss of Ward and Ajayi meant Rotherham had to make running repairs. Jon Taylor filled Ward's boots up front alongside Carlton Morris and Will Vaulks dropped back to centre-half.

Rotherham could, indeed, have put Ipswich to the sword more. Taylor put a great late chance into the kop and sub Jonson Clarke-Harris had a header dribble a foot wide.

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy, who saw Dominic Samuel rattle the woodwork, was "miffed" to see his rejigged side lose but intended congratulating Warne on his first win as permanent manager.

After three months and 17 matches without a win, a weight has been lifted.


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