Millers march to the summit ... on-the-whistle report: Ipswich Town 0 Rotherham United 2

Millers march to the summit ... on-the-whistle report: Ipswich Town 0 Rotherham United 2

By Paul Davis | 23/11/2021

Millers march to the summit ... on-the-whistle report: Ipswich Town 0 Rotherham United 2
Michael Smith in action at Ipswich. Picture by Jim Brailsford

ROTHERHAM United swept into top spot in League One on their way to setting a new record under the management of Paul Warne at Ipswich Town tonight.

The superb Millers saw off the big-spending Tractor Boys with goals from Ben Wiles and Shane Ferguson to stretch their unbeaten run to 15 games - the longest undefeated stretch in their boss's five-year reign.

Warne's men were too good, too strong, too fast for a Town team that had been built at great expense in the summer.

Wiles' first-half opener was the stand-out moment in a contest that Rotherham always had in their control and few people would bet against them winning promotion on this form.

They made a decent start, despite some misplaced passes, and went close to taking a 12th-minute lead.

Freddie Ladapo fed Jamie Lindsay and it took a flying save from Christian Walton to deny the Scot whose effort from the edge of the box was curling into the top corner.

Ipswich needed a mistake from Shane Ferguson, uncharacteristically giving up possession in midfield, to fashion their first sight of goal, Conor Chaplin taking advantage to set up Scott Fraser who fired wide on 20 minutes.

Four minutes later the Millers took the lead and it was that man, Wiles, showing his magic again.

The young midfielder burst forward from 40 yards out, weaved his way through a mass of defenders and unleashed an unstoppable shot beyond Walton.

The 22-year-old has been in superb form all season and this stunning strike - his seventh of the campaign - was further proof that he has developed into one of the best players in the division.

Just after the half-hour mark, Ladapo was only a whisker away from doubling the visitors' advantage with a low shot that went just the wrong side of the post.

Ipswich were neat on the ball but Rotherham's pressing game was working to good effect and all the chances were being created by the away side.

It was so cold in East Anglia that Richie Barker had ditched his trademark shorts in favour of a pair of tracksuit bottoms but the assistant boss will have been warmed by the Millers' first-half running and tenacity.

Richard Wood headed off target when he was picked out by Ferguson's usual free-kick accuracy and Ipswich trailed off at the interval, deservedly behind, to some booing from the home crowd.

Rotherham had made three changes to the team that had seen off Cambridge United 3-1 at the weekend and were forced into a fourth just before kick-off when Josh Vickers hurt his groin in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Viktor Johansson.

Striker Michael Smith returned from a one-match ban, Michael Ihiekwe was back in the three-man rearguard and Lindsay made his first midfield start since his September hamstring tear.

Will Grigg, Wes Harding and Kieran Sadlier dropped to the bench while Ollie Rathbone missed out for a second game in succession because of illness.

Four minutes after the restart, Ladapo failed to react to Smith's header across goal and a big opportunity went begging while at the other end Lee Evans whipped a free-kick just over the bar.

The Millers, snapping away and attacking at pace, had been the better team throughout the contest and went 2-0 in front on 59 minutes.

Ladapo threatened the goal from Chiedozie Ogbene's cross and Ferguson scampered in to drill home the loose ball from a tight angle for his first goal for the club.

Smith headed over as Rotherham remained in command and a memorable result, brought about by an even more memorable performance, was never in doubt as they saw out the the encounter against opponents who didn't have an effort on target - a tame Joe Pigott header - until stoppage time.

Ipswich turned over. The Millers top of the league.

Ipswich (4-2-3-1): Christian Walton; Janoi Donacien, Toto Nsiala, George Edmundson, Bailey Clements (Matt Penney 63); Lee Evans (Kyle Edwards 63); Sam Morsy; Conor Chaplin (Joe Pigott 73), Bersant Celina, Scott Fraser; Macauley Bonne. Subs not used: Vaclav Hladky, Rekeem Harper, Kane Vincent-Young, Cameron Burgess.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Richard Wood, Michael Ihiekwe; Chiedozie Ogbene (Wes Harding 81), Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Jamie Lindsay, Shane Ferguson (Mickel Miller 81); Freddie Ladapo (Kieran Sadlier 86), Michael Smith. Subs not used: Hakeem Odoffin, Will Grigg, Josh Kayode.

Goals: Wiles 24, Ferguson 59 (Rotherham).

Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Attendance: 18,221 (267).


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