Brave Millers overcome by Leeds

ROTHERHAM United were left to pay for missed chances as they emerged second best from their big Yorkshire derby against Leeds.

Jon Taylor struck the woodwork and Ryan Williams couldn’t make the most of a great chance in the first half before the relieved home side took control after the break to win 2-0.

It is now three Championship wins out of three for them and although this was a second league defeat out of three for Paul Warne’s side, the way they competed in that first period against a side tipped to challenge should offer hope.

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Sean Raggett kept his place in the back four after the midweek cup win over Wigan and big Semi Ajayi was pushed up into a five-man midfield to try and counteract Leeds’ numbers in the middle the park.

In front of a crowd of more than 33,000, the tactics worked a treat in the first half as Rotherham defended in numbers and attacked with menace. Kemar Roofe, Luke Ayling and Mateusz Klich all went close and Marek Rodak was kept on his toes but the Millers should have capitalised on a ten-minute hot spell midway through the half.

First, a defensive mix-up presented Williams with the ball only yards from goal. Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell came to the rescue with a good save.

Leeds also breathed a huge sigh of relief moments later when Taylor took aim and unleashed a shot that rattled the foot of the post. The drama wasn’t done. Williams header demanded a decent save snd then Rotherham worked a good position for Matt Palmer only for the midfielder to fire over.

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It made for uncomfortable viewing for the home crowd and colourful Argentinean boss Marcelo Bielsa but all nerves were settled four minutes into the second half. The hosts forced a mad scramble and even though Rodak kept out an initial effort, the ball broke for Ayling to head in. After some uncertainty about whether the ball had crossed the line, the effort was allowed by referee Robert Jones despite protests.

The goal settled Leeds down and they began to dominate possession. Skipper Richard Wood kept his team in his when he headed off the line when Samuel Saiz, six yards out, looked a cert to score.

Ryan Manning, this week’s loan signing from QPR, was brought on for his debut before Leeds doubled their advantage on 72 minutes. Kemar Roofe took possession tight to the byline and skipped past the challenge of Raggett to beat Rodak from a tight angle.

There was no way back after that.

Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper (c), Berardi, Phillips, Klich, Alioski, Hernandez, Saiz, Roofe

Millers: Rodak; Vyner, Raggett, Wood (Vassell 75), Mattock; Taylor, Ajayi, Vaulks, Palmer (Manning 65), Williams; Smith (Proctor 78)

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 33,699