On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Norwich City 2

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Norwich City 2

By Paul Davis | 17/10/2020

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Norwich City 2
Freddie Ladapo scores in the first half. Picture by Dave Poucher

TEN-MAN Rotherham United suffered stoppage-time agony for the third time in three games as they were beaten 2-1 in their Championship clash with Norwich City at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The visitors were in the Premier League last season and the Millers in League One but the home side were heading for a draw deep into time added on despite having to play nearly half an hour a man down after Angus MacDonald's sending-off.

It was a tale of two penalties. Freddie Ladapo had missed one on the first half for Rotherham and Jordan Hugill scored his right at the death to snatch victory for the Canaries.

The misery followed the leaking of late goals at Birmingham City and at home to Huddersfield Town.

Millers manager Paul Warne, watching in self-isolation at his Tickhill home, will still have been proud of his team's performance against his boyhood club.

MacDonald could have no complaints about seeing red in a match where namesake Shaun and Dan Barlaser stood out for Rotherham.

Rotherham swept into lead with only two minutes ten seconds on the clock.

Clark Robertson won the header on the left from goalkeeper Tim Krul's attempted pass and suddenly Freddie Ladapo was in the clear as he ran in on goal.

The  striker made no mistake as his low shot nestled in the net for his first ever Championship strike.

Norwich had already seen a Xavi Quintilla header saved before the Rotherham went ahead and now they twice tested Jamal Blackman.

The home keeper pulled off a sharp stop to deny Marco Stiepermann on ten minutes and did just as well three minutes later when Adam Idah had been played in down the left by Stiepermann.

Ladapo wasted a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 when the home side were awarded a 21st-penalty for an Idah foul on Robertson.

The forward's low show to his right lacked real conviction and was saved by spot-kick specialist Krul.

Just before the half-hour mark in a pulsating first half, Blackman again did well, this time tipping Idah's long-range piledriver over the bar.

The action at both ends never let up as Mickel Miller headed over from point-blank range on 36 minutes after great work down the right by Wes Harding and only seconds later Blackman had to get down to hold Emi Buendia's shot.

Midfielder Barlaser had come in for his first start since his permanent move from Newcastle United and there was a place on the bench for new winger Florian Jozefzoon - the ninth and final Millers signing of the transfer window.

Joe Mattock was absent, with centre-half Robertson moving to left-back for his first action since picking up a quad injury on September 12 opening day.

Miller was preferred on the left winger to Kieran Sadlier and Ladapo got the vote up front in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

Soon after the break, Idah fired high and away as the Canaries threatened but the Millers stormed up the pitch and only last-gasp defending from Ben Gibson stopped Ladapo forcing the ball home.

The game turned against the Millers in two horrible minutes as Michael Ihiekwe put the ball into his own net in the 68th as he tried to deal with Max Aaron's right-flank cross and Angus MacDonald was given a straight red in the 70th for a two-footed tackle on Oliver Skipp.

Rotherham were down in numbers but not in heart and Robertson could have restored their lead in the 79th minute, shooting across goal and wide when he was alone in the penalty area.

Quintilla drove the ball wide on 83 minutes but it was the Millers who then came close again, Matt Crooks shooting only for Krul to somehow keep out the ball on the line.

Blackman, giving by far his best display in a Rotherham shirt, denied Hugill and Teemu Pukki in quick succession before Mario Vrancic headed wide.

But he was powerless in the dying seconds when debutant Florian Jozefzoon tripped Buendia and Hugill stepped up to deliver the killer blow.

Goals: Ladapo 3 (Rotherham); Ihiekwe og 68, Hugill pen 90+5 (Norwich).

Rotherham (4-1-4-1): Jamal Blackman; Wes Harding, Michael Ihiekwe, Angus MacDonald, Clark Robertson; Shaun MacDonald (Richard Wood 73); Wiles, Barlaser, Crooks, Miller (Florian Jozefzoon 67); Freddie Ladapo (Michael Smith 78). Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Jamie Lindsay, Kieran Sadlier, George Hirst.

Norwich (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Max Aarons, Grant Hanley, Ben Gibson, Xavi Quintilla; Lukas Rupp, Oliver Skipp (Mario Vrancic 80); Adam Idah, Marco Stiepermann (Teemu Pukki 80), Emi Buendia (Kenny McLean 90+6); Jordan Hugill. Subs not used: Michael McGovern, Przemyslaw Placheta, Josh Martin, Alex Tetty.

Referee: David Webb (Lancashire).

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