On-the-whistle report: Bristol Rovers 1 Rotherham United 0

By Paul Davis | 28/09/2019

On-the-whistle report: Bristol Rovers 1 Rotherham United 0
Jake Hastie in action against Bristol Rovers

OLD boy Jonson Clarke-Harris condemned Rotherham United to defeat in their League One clash at Bristol Rovers.

The in-form striker struck against his former club in the 48th minute and his eighth goal in 12 games left the Millers still 13th in the table.

Rotherham's response to going behind was disappointing and Rovers, unbeaten at home this season, could have extended their lead.

Clarke-Harris, once the Millers' record buy, had been well shackled by the visitors in the first half but he needed only three minutes of the second to settle the contest.

He latched on to LIam Sercombe's ball over the defence and opened the scoring with an emphatic low drive from just inside the area.

Paul Warne's men never looked like they could force their way back into the encounter in a display lacking drive and imagination.

In the first half, goalkeeper Daniel Iversen came to their rescue, saving well with his feet in the 17th minute after Tyler Smith had slipped away from Clark Robertson to bear down on goal.

Rotherham mustered their first effort on target in the 32nd minute as Freddie Ladapo's back-post header from Billy Jones' cross gave Anssi Jaakkola a comfortable catch.

Three minutes later, Jake Hastie's controlled 22-yard volley was heading in until Jaakkola tipped it over the bar.

Hastie opened up the Bristol defence on the stroke of half-time with a mesmerising little run but there was no teammate in front of goal to connect with his low cross.

There seemed little to choose between the two sides at that point but Clarke-Harris, well shackled by the visitors until that point, needed only three minutes of the second to make his mark.

His pinpoint finish after stealing half a yard on the Rotherham defence was to prove the difference and the Millers hardly threatened an equaliser as Rovers gained control.

Sercombe, denied on the volley by Iversen, or Alfie Kilgour, who headed the rebound wide, could have increased the MIllers' deficit in the 70th minute and soon after Sercombe wasn't far away with a speculative 40-yard effort.

Rotherham substitute Matt Olosunde cut inside and his 86th-minute curling shot troubled Jaakkola but the Millers were indebted to Iversen again when he thwarted sub Victor Adeboyejo as the clock ticked down.

Ladapo had a stoppage-time shot blocked but, in truth, an equaliser would have been an injustice as the visitors didn't deserve a share of the spoils.

Bristol (3-5-2): Anssi Jaakkola; Tom Davies, Tony Craig, Alfie Kilgour; Alex Rodman (Rollin Menayese 90+3), Abu Ogogo, Ed Upson, Liam Sercombe, Luke Leahy; Jonson Clarke-Harris (Victor Adeboyejo 78), Tyler Smith (Tom Nichols 78). Subs not used: Jordi Van Stappershoef, Michael Kelly, Kyle Bennett, Cameron Hargreaves.

Rotherham (4-4-2): Daniel Iversen; Billy Jones (Matt Olosunde 63), Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock; Ben Wiles (Sean MacDonald 76), Matt Crooks, Jamie Lindsay, Jake Hastie; Freddie Ladapo, Carlton Morris (Michael Smith 69). Subs not used: Lewis Price, Richard Wood, Daniel Barlaser, Julien Lamy.

Goal: Clarke-Harris 48 (Bristol).

Referee: Michael Salisbury (Preston).

Attendance: 7,321 (524).


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