On-the-whistle report: Nottingham Forest 1 Rotherham United 1

On-the-whistle report: Nottingham Forest 1 Rotherham United 1

By Paul Davis | 20/10/2020

On-the-whistle report: Nottingham Forest 1  Rotherham United 1
Action from Forest v the Millers. Picture by Jim Brailsford

ROTHERHAM United survived a second-half onslaught to earn a Championship away point at bogey side Nottingham Forest.

The Millers, who haven't won at the City Ground since 1955, managed to hang on for a draw in the face of severe pressure from the home side.

Manager Paul Warne, absent as he completes his self-isolation, studied at university in Nottingham many years ago and watched on TV as his side somehow came through one of the stiffest exams they will face this season.

They led through Dan Barlaser's 50th-minute and then kept out Forest with a mix of their own heroism and Nottingham's profligacy until Sammy Ameobi finally evened up matters in the 79th minute.

The hard-earned point put them 16th in the table.

Forest, in new boss Chris Hughton's first home match in charge, did most of the pressing early on but Rotherham were solid in defence and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman wasn't called into action.

The Millers were relieved to see old boy Lewis Grabban fail to connect in front of goal on 16 minutes, with Ryan Yates dragging the loose ball wide.

Jamie Lindsay won possession down the right four minutes later and sent over an inviting cross but Freddie Ladapo could get neither power or direction on his header.

Rotherham had their first serious effort after 27 minutes as good link-up play between Michael Ihiekwe, Ladapo and Mickel Miller ended with the left winger cutting inside and shooting over.

As the interval approached, the visitors were handling Forest's threat. Tobias Figueiredo climbed highest at a corner but headed off target for the home side while Joe Lolley was high and wide from distance and by the break neither keeper had had a save to make.

With the games now coming thick and fast, Rotherham rested midfielder Shaun MacDonald, who had been so influential at the weekend against Norwich City, bringing in Lindsay.

Richard Wood came in at centre-half in place of Clark Robertson, absent because of a foot injury that could keep him out until the New Year.

At left-back was Billy Jones, chosen ahead of Joe Mattock, back in training but not ready to play following a period of self-isolation.

The Millers need only our minutes of the second period to go in front. Jones was tripped by Cyrus Christie as the Forest defender tried to recover from a slip and Barlaser stepped up to bury the penalty.

Superb Rotherham defending kept them in the lead as Jones put in a block on Grabban just as the striker was pulling the trigger and captain Richard Wood was prominent among the bodies as Scott McKenna's header was kept out close to the line.

The home side should have been level on the hour but Yates, once a Millers transfer target, crashed his header from Nicholas Ioannou's cross on to the bar.

Soon after, Blackman thwarted Grabban with a sharp save and then the white shirts of the defiant visitors converged to divert Joe Lolley's follow-up.

Rotherham responded with a Barlaser free-kick that skidded off the turf and thudded into the chest of keeper Brice Samba.

However, it was Forest doing nearly all the attacking. In the 72nd minute Blackman foiled Lolley who then hit the post with a second shot before Blackman was equal to Grabban's low drive.

A goal looked to be coming and Sammy Ameobi duly tapped in a 79th-minute leveller from Grabban's low delivery.

Grabban wasted a golden chance on 84 minutes to put the Millers behind when an Ihiekwe slip saw the forward played through to round Blackman only to hit the side-netting.

At the other end, Ihiekwe looped a header wide but it was a rare moment of late Rotherham danger as they dug deep for a share of the spoils.

Goals: Barlaser pen 50 (Rotherham); Ameobi 79 (Forest).

Forest (4-2-3-1): Brice Samba; Cyrus Christie, Tobias Figueiredo, Scott McKenna, Nicholas Ioannou; Ryan Yates, Jack Colbeck (Harry Arter 74); Sammy Ameobi, Luke Freeman (Lyle Taylor 67), Joe Lolley; Lewis Grabban. Subs not used: Jordan Smith, Loic Mbe Soh, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Mighten, Samba Sow.

Rotherham (4-1-4-1): Jamal Blackman; Wes Harding, Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Billy Jones (Kieran Sadlier 76); Dan Barlaser; Ben Wiles, Jamie Lindsay (Shaun MacDonald 67), Matt Crooks, Mickel Miller (Matt Olosunde 68); Freddie Ladapo. Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Florian Jozefzoon, George Hirst, Michael Smith.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire).




Spotted something we should know about?

Call our Newsdesk on 01709 803562
Or email newsdesk@rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk
Message us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheRotherhamAdvertiser/