MATCH REPORT: Home defeat condemns Millers to the drop

Disappointment...for interim Millers boss Paul WarneDisappointment...for interim Millers boss Paul Warne
Disappointment...for interim Millers boss Paul Warne
THE waiting is over for Rotherham United.

After months of struggle, they finally bowed to the inevitable today with relegation from the Championship.

 A 1-0 defeat to Fulham at the New York Stadium condemned them to the drop back to League One after three years in the second tier, in doing so becoming the Football League’s first relegation casualties of the season.

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Needing a victory to stand any chance of staying up in, the Millers competed well for an hour but as so often they couldn’t last the pace, losing to a 65th minute goal from Sone Aluko.

Play-off chasers Fulham were in stroll mode in the first half, hogging possession but doing little with it and the two best chances came at the other end. Danny Ward should have at least hit the target with an early header from a peach of a cross from Joe Newell  while Lee Frecklington demanded a flying save from David Button.

The game opened up more in the second half. Fulham forward Chris Martin contrived to miss a sitter from six yards and Button foiled Jon Taylor from close in.

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Striker Carlton Morris, making his first start on loan from Norwich, showed some nice touches but Rotherham’s growing confidence was punctured when Aluko got the last touch in a goalmouth scramble to break the deadlock.

Ward had a late effort blocked and Aimen Belaid lashed a late chance over before the Millers’ fate was finally sealed. It was their 30th defeat of the season and their eighth in succession in what has been a depressing campaign.

Millers: Price; Vaulks, Ajayi, Belaid, Fisher (Purrington 75); Taylor, Smallwood, Frecklington (Forde 79), Newell; Ward, Morris (Yates 62).

Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Malone, McDonald, Kebano (Ayite 62), Cairney, Johansen, Madl, Aluko, Martin, Kalas

Referee: Tim  Robinson (West Sussex)

Attendance: 9,004 (1,245 visitors)