ANALYSIS: Free-scoring Millers well ahead of schedule

HOW do you follow a wretched, morale-sapping year in the Championship basement?
All smiles after Jerry Yates nets the Millers' fifth goal against Oldham.All smiles after Jerry Yates nets the Millers' fifth goal against Oldham.
All smiles after Jerry Yates nets the Millers' fifth goal against Oldham.

Rotherham United are showing how at the moment, and with style.

The club that was setting records for all the wrong reasons just a few months ago is laying different kind of markers this time.

They've got the top league scorer in the country in Kieffer Moore and the tally of 20 league goals is second only to Manchester City in the four divisions.

The fact that 18 of the those have come at the AESSEAL New York Stadium shows that plenty still needs doing about their ropey away form but let's not quibble. Last season it took them until February to reach that total at home.

Five against Southend, five against Walsall, a modest three against Bury and now another five against Oldham. Forget the NYS becoming a fortress, it's become more of a torture chamber for visiting teams.

Richard Wood goes close with a header. Pictures: STEVE METTAM

Saturday's scoreline was still harsh on Oldham. They looked good value for a point  for more than an hour until Rotherham steamrollered them in the last 17 minutes.

Moore was playing at only "seven out of ten", according to Paul Warne, due to a groin problem.

Two goals wasn't bad in the circumstances and if the Ipswich loan man (what a shame he isn't ours) was a yard off it, plenty more around him compensated.

Ryan Williams and Jon Taylor provided plenty of go-forward down the flanks, Richie Towell and Darren Potter supplied the touches in the middle of the park and Warne had every right to be chuffed with the impact of his substitutes Joe Newell, Anthony Forde and Jerry Yates, all of whom were prominent in the late goals glut.

Early doors there was a deserved first for the club for Michael Ihiekwe, nodding in after Moore's header came off the bar.

Another striker in form, the experienced Craig Davies, exploited Rotherham's vulnerability to balls into the box to equalise with his fifth goal in as many games.

Playing some tidy stuff that belied their lowly position, Oldham would have gone in front but for a wild swipe by Tope Odabeyi when it looked easier to score.

Lively substitute Joe Newell tests the Latics' defence.

After the game there was a lot of the talk about the Millers' superior fitness and with good reason.

Oldham's defence, so leaky this season, did well to stand up to some pressure early in the second half but as the clocked ticked into the last 20 minutes, Warne's men found a second breath.

Moore's close-range goal after Williams had a shot blocked might have been out of the blue but there was only one team going to win it after that.

His second, a header from Newell's corner, put Rotherham in the clear before they added the gloss. Newell was again the creator with a mazy run and lay-off for Forde to steer in and the scorer then turned creator, nodding down for Yates to gleefully make it 5-1.

Oldham chief John Sheridan accused his team of giving up while Warne, despite his determination not to get too high about victories, will be chuffed at how his first full season in charge is unfolding.

Considering all that's gone on, this Millers side are ahead of schedule.


Marek Rodak 6, Will Vaulks 5, Ben Purrington 6, Michael Ihiekwe 6, Richard Wood 6, Ryan Williams 8, Lee Frecklington 6, Darren Potter 7, Richie Towell 7, Jon Taylor 7, Kieffer Moore 8

Subs: Joe Newell for Taylor (61) 7, Jerry Yates for Moore (85), Anthony Forde for Towell (81). Not used: Richard O'Donnell, Semi Ajayi, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Shaun Cummings