MATCHDAY CENTRE: Hope on the horizon for Rotherham United

THEY'VE still got it all to do but a little bit of hope was offered in East Anglia on Saturday.

Rotherham United did what they have only rarely done this season, they gave themselves a chance.

Three points would have done wonders for confidence and if it hadn't been for David McGoldrick's last gasp belter, a deserved first away win of the season would have been secured.

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A first point on the road is a start and it did prevent the Millers picking up another unwanted club record of eight straight defeats in a season.

Taking control of his first away game, Kenny Jackett had plenty to be encouraged about.

Richard Wood took on the captaincy in the absence of Lee Frecklington and led by example, his unflinching commitment to the defensive cause setting an example that others followed.

Similarly too, Frecklington's replacement Will Vaulks typified the effort and application of the players in front of the back four by throwing himself into tackles and headers like his life depended on it.

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And then there was Danny Ward, weighing in with a couple more opportunist goals to take his tally to eight in 15 league games. With stats like that, he should be pushing for promotion, not embroiled in a relegation fight.

It wasn't all sunshine and roses.


Jackett wasn't happy with the way Freddie Sears was allowed to sneak in at the near post and poke in Ipswich's early opener.

Ward's quickfire equaliser after the nervy home side failed to deal with Joe Newell's corner repaired the damage but Rotherham's resolve was tested for the rest of the first half and Lee Camp had to be sharp to beat away Myles Kenlock's header.

While Jackett's main concern has been curing the country's leakiest defence, he doesn't want to compromise the attack. He's dropped the one-up-front system preferred by former boss Alan Stubbs for a 4-4-2 and the players looked happy with it.

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Ward's cushioned volley from Vaulks's long throw early in the second half gave the Millers something to hang onto and the way they were able to stand strong, cut out crosses and strangle the life of Ipswich's attacks was testament to the work that's gone on on the training ground.

Town have had a poor start by their standards and the fans voiced their anger at manager Mick McCarthy and his robust, direct style of football.

Even McGoldrick's 25-yard leveller off virtually the last kick didn't appease them.

Ipswich walked off to boos while the Rotherham players hung their heads, the result feeling more like a defeat.

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Jackett, who gave a late run to new boy Peter Odemwingie, reiterated afterwards that he is a glass-half-full type of person and he needs to be.


Given the league position and recent form, this has to be considered a point in the right direction.