On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 0 Nottingham Forest 1

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 0 Nottingham Forest 1

By Paul Davis | 23/02/2021

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 0 Nottingham Forest 1
Michael Ihiekwe battles for the Millers against Forest. Picture by Dave Poucher

ROTHERHAM United suffered four consecutive defeats for the first time this season as they went down to Nottingham Forest at windswept AESSEAL New York Stadium to remain in the Championship drop zone.

Victory would have taken the Millers clear of the bottom three but they looked jaded after all their travelling the previous week and gave their poorest performance of 2021.

They fell to a 68th-minute Ryan Yates goal that had suspicions of offside surrounding it and spurned a glorious chance to equalise eight minutes afterwards when substitute Freddie Ladapo fluffed his lines in front of an open goal.

Striker Michael Smith headed aganst the bar in stoppage time on a night when little went right for Paul Warne's men.

They remain in 22nd spot and know they missed a big chance to make progress up the table this evening.

The first opening of the contest fell to the home side in the sixth minute when Wes Harding crossed and Michael Ihiekwe looped a header on to the roof of the net.

The wind was blowing at New York and Rotherham's set-pieces were causing problems but neither goalkeeper was called into action as both teams fought hard for superiority.

The Millers broke quickly and Smith, after being fed by Matt Crooks, drove  a low, 20th-minute shot just wide.

Seven minutes later, it was Cyrus Christie's turn to fire not far off target as Forest had their first attempt on goal.

Quality was at a premium in difficult conditions and the ball spent much of the time in the swirling air.

Lewis Wing had a sight of goal but could no better than direct his shot straight into the arms of visiting keeper Brice Samba.

Anthony Knockaert's free-kick for Forest on the stroke of half-time was much more dangerous and Viktor Johansson needed to be at his flying best to push it away.

Manager Warne had made one change to the side that had gone down fighting 1-0 at leaders Norwich City on Saturday, replacing wing-back Ryan Giles on the left with Matt Olosunde.

There was no place in the squad for captain Richard Wood who had picked up a groin injury in training on the eve of the clash.

Johansson pulled of an even better save to keep out Glenn Murray's header 11 minutes into the second half. The offside flag was being raised but the Rotherham man wasn't to know that as he threw out his left arm while in mid-air to somehow divert the ball over.

More heroics from Johansson thwarted Knockaert when the winger cut in from the right but even the Swede was powerless to prevent the Millers falling behind on 68 minutes.

Yates looked to be in an offside position when he latched on to the ball to score from close range but the opener was allowed to stand.

Within minutes, Ladapo was only inches away from connecting with Ben Wiles' cross as Rotherham tried to hit back.

The big opportunity came in the 75th minute but Ladapo kicked and made no contact with the ball when the goal was at his mercy and Clark Robertson's follow-up was blocked.

It summed up a frustrating, worrying night for the Millers who were relieved to see Lyle Taylor's 85th-minute drive fly wide.

Smith hitting the woodwork so late on just rubbed salt into the wounds.

Goals: Yates 68 (Forest).

Rotherham (3-5-1-1): Viktor Johansson; Michael Ihiekwe, Angus MacDonald, Clark Robertson; Matt Olosunde (Freddie Ladapo 66), Lewis Wing, Dan Barlaser (Ryan Giles 80), Ben Wiles (Kieran Sadlier 80), Wes Harding; Matt Crooks; Michael Smith. Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Trevor Clarke, Shaun MacDonald, Florian Jozefzoon, George Hirst.

Forest (4-2-3-1): Brice Samba; Cyrus Christie, Tobias Figueiredo, Joe Worrall, Gaetan Bong; Ryan Yates, Cafu; Anthony Knockaert  (James Garner 87), Filip Krovinovic (Tyler Blackett 87), Luke Freeman (Joe Lolley 66); Glenn Murray (Lyle Taylor 75). Subs not used: Jordan Smith, Loic Mbe Soh, Jack Colback, Alex Mighten.

Referee: Matt Donohue (Manchester).




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