Derbyshire seals important win

MATT Derbyshire’s early goal earned Rotherham United three precious points against Brighton at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

 The Millers won 1-0 in front of a jubilant Easter crowd and with rivals Wigan losing to Derby, Steve Evans’ men are now seven clear of the Championship’s bottom three with only five games to go.

 The decisive moment came after only eight minutes. Jordan Bowery, recalled to the starting line-up, produced some neat work tight to the sideline with Paul Green and crossed for the inrushing Derbyshire to turn the ball in at the near post.

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 It was the spark for a strong first half from the Millers. They outworked and outplayed Brighton and might have added to their lead before the interval through Bowery and Paul Green.

 The only snag was that they didn’t have the security of a second goal and it took a brave save at feet by Emi Martinez to deny Beram Kayal an equaliser early in the second half.

 Although Brighton improved and got on top, there were still chances at the other end to make the game safe.

 David Stockdale excelled to thwart Derbyshire one-on-one and sub Danny Ward shot just wide on the turn. It meant the match remained finely balanced but the Millers closed it out and walked off to a standing ovation, everyone recognising the importance of the result.

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 Millers: Martinez, Hunt, Lafferty, Rawson, Broadfoot, Green, Arnason, Smallwood, Pringle, Bowery (Ward 77), Derbyshire

Brighton: Stockdale, Saltor, Dunk, Stephens, Halford, Ince, Lua Lua (Mackail-Smith, Kayal, Bennett, Carayol (Teixiera 82), O’Grady (Best 46)

Referee: Kevin Wright (Merseyside)

Attendance: 9,872 (982 visitors)