MATCH REPORT: Below-par Millers fall at Wimbledon
Substitute Joe Newell’s fine second-half equaliser cancelled out Lyle Taylor’s early goal but the home forward struck twice in the closing minutes to complete a hat-trick and sentence Paul Warne’s men to a 3-1 defeat.
Chasing a fourth straight league win, the Millers were slow out of the traps and were left chasing the game after only 14 minutes. Andy Barcham played Taylor in behind the defence and he coolly clipped the ball over the advancing Richard O’Donnell and in.
It took a goalline clearance by Kieffer Moore to prevent a second goal before Rotherham finally warmed to it. Moore, watched by Mick McCarthy, manager of his parent club Ipswich Town, had a couple of efforts hacked clear but the visitors continued to labour against brighter, busier opponents.
After a half-time pep talk, the Millers pressed Wimbledon back from the restart. George Long got a vital hand in a penalty area scramble and Anthony Forde’s also worked the Sheffield United loan keeper.
Wimbledon nearly doubled their advantage just after the hour mark when Harry Forrrester’s chip forced O’Donnell into a smart, back-pedalling save, tipping the ball onto the crossbar.
Just when it looked like the game was drifting away from the visitors, a terrific strike out of the blue got them back in the game on 71 minutes. The ball dropped to Newell on the edge of the box and he met it with a first-time volley that gave Long no chance.
Barcham missed a chance to put the home side back in front when he volleyed over unmarked but there was no escape five minutes from time. Wimbledon won the ball on halfway and Taylor hared away to fire a rising drive past O’Donnell.
The forward then completed his treble in stoppage time. Richard Wood miss-controlled and the man of the match pounced to poke the ball into the bottom corner at the second attempt.
Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Francomb, Nightingale, Charles, Forrester, Soares, Trotter Kaja (Abdu 78), Taylor, Barcham
Millers: O’Donnell, Cummings (Ajayi 89), Mattock (Yates 89), Wood, Ihiekwe; Williams (Newell 58), Vaulks, Towell, Forde; Ball; Moore
Referee: D. Whitehouse
Attendance: 3,907 (317 visitors)