Chiedozie Ogbene has Millers up and running in Championship ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Swansea City 1

Chiedozie Ogbene has Millers up and running in Championship ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Swansea City 1

By Paul Davis | 30/07/2022

Chiedozie Ogbene has Millers up and running in Championship ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Swansea City 1
Rotherham take an early lead through Chiedozie Ogbene. Picture by Dave Poucher

ROTHERHAM United put their first Championship point on the board with an opening-day draw at home to Swansea City this afternoon.

The promoted Millers were more than good value for the point that gets their campaign up and running.

Against a slick-passing Swans outfit, they led early on through Chiedozie Ogbene before being pegged back by a wonder-goal.

Both teams had chances to win an entertaining encounter at AESSEAL New York Stadium but it was the away goalkeeper who had most saves to make.

The visitors made the faster start and had their first real sight of goal on 13 minutes when last season's 24-goal top scorer, Joel Piroe, cut in from the right and fired over.

However, it was Rotherham who took the lead four minutes later as Swansea failed to deal with Wes Harding's long throw and Ogbene's flicked header over the keeper found the net.

The atmosphere at New York had already been intense and, with the Millers leading, it went up another notch.

Summer signing Conor Washington saw his shot saved and the Millers, now on the front foot and pressing hard, had the Swans rattled.

It took close-range heroics from keeper Andy Fisher to keep out Ogbene's overhead kick in the 25th minute as Rotherham attacked the away end.

Swansea had been knocked out of their stride by Rotherham's relentless approach and it required something special to get them back into the contest.

It arrived in the 38th minute in the shape of a scorching long-range shot from Harry Darling - a scorer at New York last season with MK Dons - who gave Viktor Johansson no chance from 25 yards.

The Millers could have undeservedly fallen behind close to half-time when a free-kick found Nathan Wood free at the back post only for the centre-half to head over.

Rotherham had handed debuts to three of their new boys and included another four on the bench.

Washington, Grant Hall and Cameron Humphreys made their first starts while Cohen Bramall, Jamie McCart, Scott High and Peter Kioso were also in the matchday 18.

Midfielder Ollie Rathbone, so instrumental in last season's promotion, missed out with a quad issue.

Five minutes after the break, Ogbene looked set to put Paul Warne's men in front again but was denied by another Fisher intervention as a curling effort was pushed away for a corner.

The game was swinging both ways and only an unbelievable Swansea miss just past the hour mark kept the scores level.

Michael Obafemi simply needed to tap the ball into an empty net at the back post but fluffed his effort from two yards out.

Moments later, Viktor Johansson had to be at his best to tip away Jamie Paterson's 15-yarder.

Kelly came on for his first home action in a Millers shirt to one of the loudest roars of the day and a flashing shot within minutes of his arrival tested Fisher.

With Bramall and Kioso also on the pitch, the match was evenly poised heading into the last 20 minutes and both teams wanted a winner.

Kelly needed a bandage wrapping around a head wound along with a change of shirt and quickly re-entered the fray.

Piroe clipped an effort wide while at the other end Bramall scented debut glory but didn't put enough power in his shot, allowing Fisher to make the stop.

Dan Barlaser forced yet another save from Fisher with a trademark piledriver in the 88th minute before Millers old boy Ryan Manning couldn't make the most of a ball into the box when he was clear.

It ended even: a good game, a good early point for the Millers at a higher level.

They could have won it.

Rotherham (3-5-1-1): Viktor Johansson; Grant Hall (Peter Kioso 67), Richard Wood, Cameron Humphreys; Wes Harding, Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Jamie Lindsay, Shane Ferguson (Cohen Bramall 67); Chiedozie Ogbene, Conor Washington (Georgie Kelly 67). Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Jamie McCart, Scott High, Hakeem Odoffin.

Swansea (3-4-2-1): Andy Fisher; Nathan Wood, Kyle Naughton, Harry Darling; Joel Latibeaudiere, Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes, Matty Sorinola (Ryan Manning 72); Joel Piroe, Jamie Paterson (Olivier Ntcham 72); Michael Obafemi. Subs not used: Steven Benda, Ben Cabango, Liam Cullen, Ollie Cooper, Cameron Congreve.

Goals: Ogbene 17 (Rotherham); Darling 38 (Swansea).

Referee: Matt Donohue (Greater Manchester).

Attendance: 10,454 (1,492).