Heartbreak at the death for the Millers ... on-the-whistle report: Bristol City 2 Rotherham United 1

Tariqe Fosu tries to make progress for the Millers in the first half. Picture by Jim BrailsfordTariqe Fosu tries to make progress for the Millers in the first half. Picture by Jim Brailsford
Tariqe Fosu tries to make progress for the Millers in the first half. Picture by Jim Brailsford
ROTHERHAM United could have won their clash with Bristol City and almost sealed their Championship survival as they created a flurry of late chances at Ashton Gate this afternoon.

Even the draw the Millers looked to be heading for would have seen them take a huge step towards achieving their goal.

Instead, they threw it away in added time and the battle for safety goes on.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They slipped a place in the table to 19th and are three points above the drop zone with three matches to go. All of the teams in the bottom three have only two games left.

Jordan Hugill's second-half penalty had brought them back into proceedings before Shane Ferguson and Georgie Kelly couldn't put away opportunities and the Robins survived a spot-kick claim in the closing stages.

City had dominated the contest before Rotherham threatened to turn it on its head.

There was an instant test for Viktor Johansson as he dived to beat away Sam Bell's shot in the opening minute.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A shoulder injury had made the goalkeeper a major doubt but he'd come through training on the eve of the trip to the south west.

Twelve minutes into the contest, Bell crossed low and hard from the left and the Millers were relieved to see old boy Zak Vyner direct the ball over the bar.

The home side had looked lively in attack and Rotherham fell behind on the quarter-of-an-hour mark when Tommy Conroy guided a header into the corner of the net from Cameron Pring's pinpoint delivery

They were struggling to find a way into the game and were lucky not to further behind as Alex Scott skied his close-range shot over the bar after more damaging work down the flank from dangerman Bell.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On a calm, cloudy day in the south west, the Millers didn't muster an effort on goal in the opening half an hour. They lacked sharpness and were too wasteful in possession on the odd occasion they threatened to worry the Robins.

Chiedozie Ogbene was being marked by three men and couldn't make inroads and 'flair' players like Tariqe Fosu and Domingos Quina weren't offering their usual thrust.

Cameron Humphreys, already on a booking, survived a huge penalty shout when Conway went down and the all-too-easy way the City man had initially beaten him summed up the visitors' afternoon so far.

Tyler Blackett had returned at centre-half after a hamstring niggle, with Richard Wood dropping to the bench, while there was a start for Fosu in favour of Ferguson was was among the substitutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With Rotherham having lacked leadership before the break, the old warrior, Wood, entered the fray for the second half, taking the captain's armband off Hugill.

It took him only four minutes to put head to ball in the opposition box but he was stretching and his effort from Conor Coventry's looping cross lacked the power to bother home keeper Max O'Leary.

However, the Millers remained as lack-lustre as they had been before the break and it took another good save from Johansson to prevent Conway scoring again.

Against the run of play, they were handed a 67th-minute lifeline when Hugill was felled in the area by Vyner and the striker got up to send O'Leary the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The scorer was immediately substituted to make way for Kelly.

Suddenly it was all Rotherham. Ferguson hit the post, Kelly fell but was given no spot-kick and then the sub centre-forward brought a desperate save from O'Leary with a low curling effort that was heading for the bottom corner.

A point seemed in the bag but Andi Weimann forced the ball home in the 91st minute for the Robins.

Now there's the little matter of the crunch encounter with Cardiff City at AESSEAL New York Stadium on Thursday when the Millers could all but mathematically make certain of their Championship place next season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bristol C (4-2-3-1): Max O'Leary; George Tanner, Zak Vyner, Kal Naismith, Cameron Pring; Andy King (Joe Williams 79), Matty James; Harry Cornick (Mark Sykes 73), Alex Scott (Andi Weimann 73), Sam Bell; Tommy Conway (Nahki Wells 84). Subs not used: Harvey Wiles-Richard, Jay Dasilva, Anis Mehmeti.

Rotherham (4-3-3): Viktor Johansson; Lee Peltier (Wes Harding 55), Cameron Humphreys, Tyler Blackett (Richard Wood H-T), Cohen Bramall; Jamie Lindsay, Conor Coventry (Ollie Rathbone 55), Domingos Quina (Shane Ferguson 81); Chiedozie Ogbene, Jordan Hugill (Georgie Kelly 68), Tariqe Fosu. Subs not used: Robbie Hemfey, Leo Hjelde.

Goals: Conroy 15, Weimann 90+1 (Bristol C); Hugill pen 67 (Rotherham).

Referee: Josh Smith (Peterborough).

Attendance: 19,350 (739).

Related topics: