On-the-whistle report: Millwall 1 Rotherham United 0

On-the-whistle report: Millwall 1 Rotherham United 0

By Paul Davis | 02/04/2021

On-the-whistle report: Millwall 1 Rotherham United 0
Michael Ihiekwe in action at Millwall. Picture by Jim Brailsford

ROTHERHAM United missed a penalty and will be without Richard Wood for the next game of their survival run-in after their captain was sent off in the Championship defeat at Millwall.

The skipper had been off the pitch for only nine minutes when the Lions won the contest with a spectacular Jed Wallace half-volley in the second half.

The ten-man Millers fought back bravely but centre-forward Michael Smith cost them a deserved point when he failed to beat the goalkeeper with a late spot-kick.

It was the second time in the last three matches the top scorer has seen an effort from the spot saved.

Wood saw red for bringing down Wallace when the Millwall man was running through on goal and now misses Easter Monday's home clash with Wycombe Wanderers.

The loss dented ten-man Rotherham's safety hopes and they remain third bottom in the table.

The home side did most of the early pressing but it was the Millers who had the first sight of goal.

A slip by Scott Malone presented Freddie Ladapo with the ball and the striker was only a whisker wide with a well-executed, 12th-minute shot on the turn.

Eight minutes later, Ladapo looked to be held back in the Millwall area but referee John Brooks waved away strong penalty shouts from the Rotherham players and bench.

Michael Ihiekwe thought he'd given the Millers the lead on 39 minutes only to see Bartosz Bialkowski pull off a stunning save to paw away his header.

Soon after, at the other end, Mason Bennett was first to a corner at the near post and steered the ball wide.

It wasn't pretty but Paul Warne's men will have been happy with their efforts as they shaded a goalless first half.

Winger Chiedozie Ogbene and midfielder Jamie Lindsay were back in the squad after long injury absences but manager Warne chose to stick with the side that had signed off for the international break a fortnight ago with a 2-0 win at Bristol City.

That meant another start for London-born Ladapo who was desperate to do well back on his own 'patch'.

Winger Ogbene was back in a Millers shirt for the first time since requiring knee surgery in September while Lindsay returned following seven weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring pull.

Nine minutes after the break, Ladapo looked to be held again in the area but ref Brooks delivered his second 'no penalty' verdict.

He did produce a red card seconds later, though, sending off Wood when the centre-half felled Wallace.

From the ensuing free-kick Viktor Johansson produced a stunning stop to thwart Danny McNamara as a rebound from the wall fell to the Millwall wing-back.

Depleted Rotherham were relieved to see a Bennett shot deflect wide but Wallace was lurking when the corner came in and fired a superb shot into the top corner.

The visitors tried to respond and Lewis Wing sent a rasping, long-range attempt wide in the 74th minute before Ihiekwe was only inches away from connecting with Smith's low cross right in front of goal.

On 84 minutes, Smith tumbled in the box and Brooks finally ruled in the Millers' favour.

The frontman struck his spot-kick hard and low but Bialkowski, diving to his right, was equal to it and the chance of a vital point was gone.

Angus MacDonald hooked an effort inches off target but the penalty had been Rotherham's golden opportunity.

Goals: Wallace 64 (Millwall).

Millwall (3-5-2): Bartosz Bialkowski; Shaun Hutchinson (Alex Pearce 31), Jake Cooper, Murray Wallace; Danny McNamara, George Evans, Ryan Woods (Maikel Kieftenbeld 88), Billy Mitchell (Connor Mahoney 74), Scott Malone; Jake Cooper (Jon Dadi Bodvarsson 74), Mason Bennett (Kenneth Zohore 74). Subs not used: Frank Fielding, Shaun Williams, Tom Bradshaw, Mahlon Romeo.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Angus MacDonald; Wes Harding, Lewis Wing (George Hirst 79), Dan Barlaser (Florian Jozefzoon 79), Matt Crooks (Trevor Clarke 79), Ryan Giles (Ben Wiles 59); Freddie Ladapo (Jamie Lindsay 59), Michael Smith. Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Shaun MacDonald, Chiedozie Ogbene, Kieran Sadlier.

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire).

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