Frustrated Rotherham United pipped at Wigan

ROTHERHAM United’s bid to go into the international break on the back of a good result came up short against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Substitute James Vaughan’s second-half effort separated the teams and although the Millers defended diligently in the first period and pushed forward more after half time, they lacked a killer touch and sufficient confidence in front of goal.

The 1-0 defeat leaves Paul Warne’s side with two wins from six league games on their return to the second tier.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rotherham arrived expecting to have to defend for long periods against a home side noted for their attacking play and that’s how it transpired.

Paul Cook’s team pressed for long periods in the first half and the Millers also had to make an unexpected early change at the back when Sean Raggett had to retire injured and Clark Robertson took his place.

It was a tough baptism for the former Blackpool man as the Latics pressed and probed.

Joe Mattock blocked from Callum Connolly and Josh Windass put an effort only a yard wide and then applied a clever flick to a drive from Nick Powell that had Marek Rodak scrambling.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Again going with a five-man midfield, shored up by big Semi Ajaym, Rotherham lacked an “out” ball. There was a brief opening for Jon Taylor but the space was quickly closed down and it was nearly half time by the time they had their first serious punt at goal, a low drive from Ryan Manning that was well held by Christian Walton.

Rotherham came out for the second half needing to show more attacking intent and a couple of early forays offered hope. Normal service was resumed when the prolific Will Grigg went close from distance and Rodak came to the rescue with a double save, first thwarting sub Callum McManaman in a scramble and then diving low to keep out Callum Connolly’s follow-up.

After a decent Millers spell, the breakthrough finally came on 73 minutes. MacManaman’s shot was too strong for Rodak to handle and Vaughan tucked away the loose ball.

Within minutes the scores could have been level again. A corner broke to Ryan Williams on the edge of he box and his measured shot was turned around the post by Walton.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Skipper Richard Wood was sacrificed for an extra attacker in Jamie Proctor and Rotherham forced a couple of scrambles late on. Williams couldn't get a clean contact and sub Kyle Vassell flashed a shot just wide of an upright but Walton wasn't really worked enough.

Richie Towell, newly returned to the club, remained on the bench but once the Brighton man is up to full fitness, his turn will come.

The Millers now have time to re-group before resuming against Frank Lampard's Derby in two weeks' time.

Wigan: Walton, Robinson, Morsy, James, Kipre, Dunkley, Evans, Powell, Connolly, Windass, Grigg

Millers: Rodak; Vyner, Raggett (Robertson 20), Wood, Mattock; Ajayi; Taylor (Vassell 59), Vaulks, Manning, Williams; Smith

Referee: Steve Duncan

Attendance: 9,584 (677 visitors)