Magnificent Millers into the top six ... on-the-whistle report: Bolton Wanderers 0 Rotherham United 2

Magnificent Millers into the top six ... on-the-whistle report: Bolton Wanderers 0 Rotherham United 2

By Paul Davis | 18/09/2021

Magnificent Millers into the top six ... on-the-whistle report: Bolton Wanderers 0 Rotherham United 2
Ollie Rathbone in action against Bolton. Picture by Jim Brailsford

ROTHERHAM United swept into the play-off frame as a Ben Wiles double saw them see off high-flying Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The home side began the day in third spot, but the Millers midfielder struck twice in the first half to lift his side into sixth place.

This was a statement of intent by Paul Warne's men against the best opposition they have faced so far this season.

Bolton and Rotherham each hit the woodwork in a game of many openings played in front of a bumper League One crowd.

It's the first time the Millers have won away at Wanderers since 1990.

Both teams were eager to attack and the first real clear sight of goal came on eight minutes after a break from Rotherham winger Chiedozie Ogbene.

His cross was cleared into the path of Ben Wiles who shot wastefully over from a good position.

Four minutes later, Rathbone made space for himself 20 yards out and his low drive brought a full-lenth stop from Joel Dixon.

At the other end, Ricardo Almeida Santos met Josh Sheehan's corner with a powerful header which flashed wide.

This was a clash between two clubs expected to figure in the promotion shake-up and both were showing moments of real quality and danger.

Wiles broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, making up for his earlier miss with a stunning drive into the top corner from the edge of the area.

The packed away end was in raptures only three minutes afterwards when the same player put the Millers 2-0 as he got on the end of Dan Barlaser's corner at the back post, heading downwards and watching the ball bounce up into the roof of the net.

In a pulsating contest, Eoin Doyle should have reduced Bolton's arrears before the half-hour mark but hit the post with a low effort.

The home side were being cheered on by their biggest attendance of the season and the Rotherham fans had travelled in numbers and were in good voice, making for a cracking atmosphere.

Rotherham had to work hard to protect their lead as Wanderers pressed and were relieved to see Gethin Jones manage only a weak shot straight at Viktor from inside the box.

Bolton continued to press but Wiles came close to a remarkable hat-trick in the 36th minute when he was only inches away from connecting with a diving header.

The Millers went in at the break with their advantage intact yet knowing the match was far from over.

Striker Will Grigg had come in for his first Millers league start since his loan switch from Sunderland, with Freddie Ladapo missing out because of a foot injury.

Wiles was back in midfield as Jamie Lindsay took a turn on the bench and Richard Wood replaced Michael Ihiekwe in the back three.

Ihiekwe had missed some training towards the end of the week and was named among the subs.

Early in the second half, Johansson had to be sharp to keep out Lloyd Isgrove's low, 18-yard effort and Josh Sheehan sent a free-kick not far over the bar.

It was crucial the visitors didn't concede at this stage of the game and they were holding firm.

Michael Smith almost ended the contest on 59 minutes, his low shot from a tight angle hitting the inside of the post and rebounded to safety.

George Johnston's acrobatic effort at the back post flew wide but Rotherham were starting to take the sting out of the game and Bolton were struggling to find a way through.

By the end, three sides of the ground were silent while the away end celebrated a superb victory.

Bolton (4-2-3-1): Joel Dixon; Gethin Jones, Ricardo Almeida Santos, George Johnston, Liam Gordon; MJ Williams, Josh Sheehan (Kieran Lee 71), Lloyd Isgrove, Antoni Sarcevic (Elias Kachunga 77), Dapo Afolayan; Eoin Doyle. Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Nathan Delfouneso, Will Aimson, George Thomason, Alex Baptiste.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Richard Wood, Joe Mattock; Chiedozie Ogbene (Wes Harding H-T), Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser (Jamie Lindsay 60), Ollie Rathbone, Tolaji Bola; Will Grigg (Kieran Sadlier 78), Michael Smith. Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Michael Ihiekwe, Hakeem Odoffin, Josh Kayode.

Goals: Wiles 18, 21 (Rotherham)

Referee: James Bell (Sheffield).


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