Manager Matt Taylor silenced by late show ... the story of Rotherham United 2 Ipswich Town 2

Christ Tiehi celebrates his late Rotherham United leveller against Ipswich Town. Picture: Jim BrailsfordChrist Tiehi celebrates his late Rotherham United leveller against Ipswich Town. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Christ Tiehi celebrates his late Rotherham United leveller against Ipswich Town. Picture: Jim Brailsford
MATT Taylor's men were four minutes away from a dressing-down they didn't deserve.

They'd matched the Championship's second-placed side, gone toe to toe with visitors who hadn't tasted defeat on their league travels since January, had their chances of victory.

But now they were losing.

Rotherham United's squad had Christ Tiehi to thank for escaping the lash of Taylor's tongue after their teammate curled in a stunning stoppage-time equaliser against Ipswich Town.

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“I'll be honest, the players saved themselves a real b*llocking,” said the boss. “Ninety seconds or two minutes before Ipswich's second goal we turned down the opportunity to have a set-piece moment.

“We played it short, which I have no problem with as long as the ball still ends up in the box, but Ipswich cut it out, broke away and their goal was a result of that.”

The Millers stood up on Tuesday night against quality opposition. They remain in the drop zone, four points from safety, but have responded well to the embarrassment of the Sheffield Wednesday derby late last month.

Two wins in 15 second-tier matches is why they're 22nd. One defeat in the last five shows, Hillsborough apart, that they're trying.

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“I was so pleased we got something out of the game for the effort the players put in," Taylor said.

“We need to start picking up more points but in terms of what we are showing and where we can go from this point I am pleased.”

The manager had handed a first home start to Sam Nombe and the record signing wasted no time in making a £1-million-plus impact as he opened his Rotherham account within four minutes.

Fred Onyedinma danced down the right and the striker used his pace to get himself between Harry Clarke Axel Tuanzebe and slide in a low cross to bag his first goal for the club; the Millers up and running in the match, the striker up and running in his AESSEAL New York Stadium career.

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“The game suited Sam,” Taylor said. “That's why we started him. There was more space on the halfway line and space for him to run into and hustle and bustle.

“We picked him for his ‘legs’ to hurry up their defenders. The goal early gave him a boost, like for any attacker. He is a confident boy so hopefully this is the start of good things to come from him and puts more pressure on the other forwards.”

Rotherham were on top in the opening exchanges and Tiehi warmed up for what was to gloriously come later by firing a whisker over from 20 yards.

However, the Millers found themselves pegged back on 19 minutes. There was plenty they could have done to prevent Leif Davis rolling a training-ground free-kick straight into the path of the unmarked Sam Morsy on the edge of the box, nothing they could do to keep out an exquisite, curling, first-time finish.

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The Tractor Boys had two rejected shouts for penalties: one pretty much nailed on when Hakeem Odoffin - who was otherwise imperious at centre-half - made contact with former Rotherham loanee George Hirst, the other nothing more than a hopeful appeal for handball.

Sean Morrison came on just before the hour mark for the home side and within minutes of his introduction headed just wide while another substitute, Georgie Kelly, was denied a second goal in two games by the close-range sharpness of Town keeper Vaclav Hladky.

The contest was petering out into a draw when disaster struck in the 87th minute. Davis crossed low from the left and an inadvertent exchange between Viktor Johansson, Ollie Rathbone and Jack Taylor saw the ball bobble over the line off the Ipswich sub.

“We started the game really well and were on the front foot,” said Taylor. “Sam got his goal and the whole place was up.

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“We were so naive to allow the space for the equaliser and at times we had to hold on against a very good attacking team.

“But when the ball was in a dangerous area for us and we had set-piece moments we looked like we could create. I always felt we had a chance in the game.

“Their second goal was a ricochet. For that to go against us was almost heartbreaking.”

It's overstating the situation to say Rotherham's season was on the line but defeat would have left them in a sorry place.

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They roused themselves for a final push and Kelly's blocked shot on the turn in the 92nd minute fell to Tiehi for the Paris-born midfielder to apply French polish on a superb 18-yard leveller in front of the North Stand.

“He has got that in him,” said Taylor. “I've seen him do it in training and I think he has put a free-kick in the top corner for one of his clubs previously.

“He has had a bit of a problem with his groin area and he is reluctant to strike through the ball. He curled it. It was a bit of composure because he could have slashed at it with a tired body.

“In the last couple of games we have shown incredible spirit and character when we have been down.”

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The full-watt beams of Nombe and Tiehi as they embraced after the final whistle were as bright as the New York lights.

Joy. Relief. Even Taylor raised a smile. No b*llocking.

Rotherham (4-3-3): Viktor Johansson; Dexter Lembikisa, Daniel Ayala (Sean Morrison 58), Hakeem Odoffin, Cohen Bramall; Cafu, Christ Tiehi, Ollie Rathbone; Fred Onyedinma (Jordan Hugill 64), Sam Nombe (Georgie Kelly 68), Sam Clucas (Seb Revan 63). Subs not used: Dillon Phillips, Jamie Lindsay, Arvin Appiah, Tom Eaves.

Ipswich (4-2-3-1): Vaclav Hladky; Harry Clarke, Axel Tuanzebe, Cameron Burgess, Leif Davis; Massimo Luongo (Jack Taylor 69), Sam Morsy; Kayden Jackson (Omari Hutchinson 69), Conor Chaplin (Dane Scarlett 83), Marcus Harness (Dominic Ball 90); George Hirst (Freddie Ladapo 69). Subs not used: Christian Walton, Luke Woolfenden, Brandon Williams, Cameron Humphreys.

Goals: Nombe 4, Tiehi 90+2 (Rotherham); Morsy 19, Taylor 87 (Ipswich).

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).

Attendance: 10,800 (2,133).