MATCH REPORT: Two-goal Ball hands Millers a seaside bonus

By David Beddows | 09/12/2017 0 comments

MATCH REPORT: Two-goal Ball hands Millers a seaside bonus
David Ball celebrates his first at Blackpool. PIC: Jim Brailsford

DAVID Ball struck twice as Rotherham United came from behind to earn a welcome seaside bonus at Blackpool.

Trailing to Kelvin Mellor’s first-half effort, they dug in and hauled themselves back through Ball’s late brace to win 2-1 and bag their first league win in eight.

Despite a shaky first 45 minutes, it was a deserved three points at a freezing Bloomfield Road, with a change in tactics at the interval by Paul Warne doing the trick.

Rotherham had started with three centre-halves and employed Josh Emmanuel and Joe Mattock as wing backs in an attempt to arrest the team’s slide and plug leaks at the back. Skipper Lee Frecklington was missing, as was suspended top scorer Kieffer Moore.

The Millers lacked any sort of cohesion in their play in the first half once going behind on 21 minutes to a screamer. Mellor took possession wide on the right and despatched a pile driver that flashed in of the far post.

Jonson Clarke-Harris and David Ball were too often isolated, with Clarke-Harris’s header giving home goalkeeper his only worrying moment of the half.

He was hooked at half time along with Michael Ihiekwe. Jerry Yates and Anthony Forde replaced them in a switch to 4-4-2.

The change brought an improvement as Blackpool were forced to do some defending. Yates and Ball were denied by last-ditch blocks and Rotherham were finally able to find inroads in behind.

They should really have pulled level midway through the second half. First Yates was left in space with a clear sight of goal only to spray the ball high and wide. Three minutes later, Forde swung in a corner and Wood’s header came back off the bar.

Despite surviving a couple of scares, Rotherham got their reward on 77 minutes. Will Vaulks slung in a long throw and the ball fell for Ball to stab home to the delight of the frozen travelling fans behind the goal.

The comeback was completed in the 87th minute. Forde whipped in a corner and Ball got in at the near post to glance in a header and make sure of the points.

It was the Millers' first win from behind since Feburary 2015.

Blackpool: Allsop, Mellor, Aimson, Robertson, Taylor, Daniel, Ryan, Spearing, Longstaff (Cooke 82), Solomon-Otabor, Vassell (Delfouneso 9)

Millers: Rodak; Ajayi, Wood, Ihiekwe (Forde HT); Emmanuel, Vaulks, Towell, Williams, Mattock (Cummings 85); Ball, Clarke-Harris (Yates HT)

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)

Attendance:


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