On-the-whistle report: Blackpool 1 Rotherham United 2

By Paul Davis | 12/10/2019

On-the-whistle report: Blackpool 1 Rotherham United 2
Jake Hastie in action at Blackpool. Picture by Trevor Price

ROTHERHAM United issued a huge statement of intent as their second League One win in succession lifted them to within two points of the play-off places.

Last week, the Millers swept to a 4-0 triumph at home to Coventry City. This week, they did it a harder way, soaking up Blackpool pressure before blasting the home side with two goals.

That's two top-six teams Paul Warne's men have now seen off in eight days and they're up to 10th place themselves with a game in hand.

Michael Smith steered them in front in the 51st minute and Clark Robertson, playing against his former club, thundered in a sweet volley as the clock was ticking down to wrap up a superb victory.

Rotherham were poor in the first half at Bloomfield but stepped up gear after the break and the Seasiders had no answer.

Only Daniel Iversen in the Millers goal stopped the home side leading at the interval as he pulled off a number of saves.

The Dane got down to his left to parry a Matt Virtue shot after 16 minutes and produced a stunning diving stop to keep out Sean Scannell's fierce drive six minutes later.

Around the half-hour mark, he had to be alert at his near post to hold on to  a header from Armand Gnanduillet following a cross from former Rotherham centre-half target Ben Heneghan.

Just before the break, the Millers almost stole the opening goal as Michal Ihiekwe connected with Dan Barlaser's free-kick and his looping header bounced off the top of the bar.

Six minutes after the restart, Rotherham went  ahead when Robertson - a late call-up to the starting 11 when left-back Joe Mattock was injured before kick-off -  headed Barlaser's free-kick back across goal and Smith was on hand close in to force the ball home.

Provider turned hero in the 87th minute when Robertson produced his stunning finish.

Virtue grazed the bar for Blackpool and Iversen made his save of the season in the ninth minute of stoppage time to thwart Liam Feeney. Somewhere in that incident referee Chris Pollard had spotted an infringement on Curtis Tilt and Gnanduillet despatched the penalty.

lt was too late to late to save Blackpool. The Millers had done their job by then.

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Jak Alnwick; Ollie Turton, Ben Heneghan, Curtis Tilt, James Husband (Calum MacDonald 85); Callum Guy, Jay Spearing (Nathan Delfouneso 63); Liam Feeney, Matt Virtue, Sean Scannell (Ryan Hardie 77); Armand Gnanduillet. Subs not used: Christoffer Mafoumbi, Ryan Edwards, Michael Nottingham, Evan Bange.

Rotherham (4-4-1-1): Daniel Iversen; Matt Olosunde (Billy Jones 83), Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Clark Robertson; Ben Wiles, Jamie Lindsay, Dan Barlaser, Jake Hastie (Chiedozie Ogbene 58); Matt Crooks (Trevor Clarke 63); Michael Smith. Subs not used: Lewis Price, Shaun MacDonald, Julien Lamy, Carlton  Morris. 

Goals: Smith 51, Robertson 87 (Rotherham); Gnanduillet pen 90+9 (Blackpool).

Referee: Chris Pollard (Suffolk).

Attendance: 9,932 (1,801).


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