ROTHERHAM United landed a Boxing Day blow on bottom-of-the-table Bury to bank their second successive Christmas three-pointer.
Early strikes from David Ball and skipper Lee Frecklington set them on their way and another sweet effort from utility man Will Vaulks capped a 3-0 win in front of 1,452 happy travelling fans at Gigg Lane.
It was a professional performance from Paul Warne’s side, taking advantage of some slack defending to get a stranglehold and then closing the match out well in the second period.
Bury looked nervous and flaky from the start and were duly punished inside the first ten minutes.
First, they failed to deal with a corner and Ball was allowed time and space from Ryan Williams’ pass to curl into the far corner on five minutes. It was his fourth goal in six games.
The home side had only just digested that blow when Rotherham notched another simple goal. Anthony Forde’s corner came in and Frecklington got ahead of his man to expertly steer a header into the unguarded part of the net.
Apart from a free header the home side put wide, the Millers’ biggest scare of the first half came when Williams escaped with a yellow card for a late tackle on Phil Edwards. The home crowd were baying for a red.
Unchanged from Saturday’s win over MK Dons, Rotherham were allowed plenty of space and time in attacking areas and it was almost too easy for them at times in the first half.
Bury came out firing after the break and even though Jay O’Shea pulled a decent chance wide, it was a relatively quiet Boxing Day for goalkeeper Marek Rodak.
Jay O’Shea did have him scrambling from a raking shot from distance before the Millers’ 13-goal top scorer Kieffer Moore made an appearance from the bench in his first match back from suspension.
But it was Vaulks who put the gloss on the vicytory with another super strike in the 83rd minute. Switched from centre-half to midfield to accommodate sub Richard Wood, he took possession just outside the area and rifled in a shot to rival his goal against MK Dons on Saturday.
Rodak turned Nicky Ajose’s late shot around a post to ensure a clean sheet and only a last-ditch block denied Semi Ajayi adding to the Millers’ tally.
Their third win from four, it sets the Millers up nicely for Saturday’s trip to Walsall.
Bury: Fasan, Leigh, Dawson (Bunn 71), Mayor, Edwards, Aldred, Laurent, Whitmore, O’Shea, Ince, Ajose
Millers: Rodak; Emmanuel, Vaulks, Ajayi, Mattock; Forde, Frecklington, Towell (Wood 70), Williams (Newell 58); Yates; (Moore 78), Ball
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Attendance: 4,630 (1,452 Millers)
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