Millers live to fight another day ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 2 Millwall 1

ROTHERHAM United staved off the inevitable for a few more days as their first win in 2024 saw them delay their impending relegation from the Championship.
RUFC v Sheff 02.03.2024RUFC v Sheff 02.03.2024
RUFC v Sheff 02.03.2024

The bottom-placed Millers saw off Millwall at AESSEAL New York Stadium with second-half goals from loanees Seb Revan and Charlie Wyke to inject a rare touch of brightness into their sorry campaign.

With six matches to play, the gap to safety is 18 points, meaning Leam Richardson's men aren't mathematically down until at least the next match.

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It was Revan's first goal in senior football while Wyke struck for the first time in a Rotherham shirt to seal only a fourth victory of the season.

Sam Nombe in possession for Rotherham United against Millwall at AESSEAL New York Stadium. Picture: Jim BrailsfordSam Nombe in possession for Rotherham United against Millwall at AESSEAL New York Stadium. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Sam Nombe in possession for Rotherham United against Millwall at AESSEAL New York Stadium. Picture: Jim Brailsford

For 20 minutes, nothing happened and both goalkeepers remained serenely untroubled.

That was still the case when Millwall's George Saville had the game's first attempt on goal, his half-volley from outside the area going well over the bar.

Suddenly, the Millers attacked down the right through Femi Seriki and visiting defender Japhet Tanganga was relieved that his touch as he tried to clear fell straight into the arms of his keeper.

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A long-range effort from Ryan Leonard caused Viktor Johansson no trouble at all as the half-hour mark came and went.

The keeper had to be at his flying best soon afterwards when Andy Rinomhota failed in a dodgy attempt to dribble out of his own penalty area and Zian Flemming sent in a curling shot that was bound for the corner of the net until the Swede's intervention.

Empty seats abounded as season-ticket-holders cast their votes against a season of woe by finding something else to occupy their time on a bank-holiday afternoon.

Jake Cooper headed just wide in a patch for Millwall that wasn't exactly purple but was better than anything that had gone before it in the contest.

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With injuries plaguing their squad more than ever, the Millers could name only eight substitutes as they made four changes to the side that had been beaten 3-0 at Preston North End on Good Friday.

Rinomhota, Cohen Bramall, Seriki and Tom Eaves came in as Lee Peltier, Cafu, Jamie Lindsay and Wyke dropped to the bench.

Ten minutes after the restart, Flemming was thwarted three times in quick succession as Johansson tipped over a header, Eaves cleared another header off the line and Hakeem Odoffin blocked a goalbound shot.

At the other end, Sam Nombe, with time and space on the edge of the area, should have done better than send a weak shot straight at Matija Sarkic.

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More Johansson heroics kept out a Tanganga header before Odoffin wasted a golden chance for the Millers by heading over from close range.

In the 71st minute, the match took a huge turn in favour of the Millers as Revan picked his spot from around 20 yards out on the right and finished superbly into the far corner.

However, the home team could hold on to their lead for only six minutes.

Johansson had just made the save of the day to foil Michael Obafemi but could do nothing to prevent substitute Ryan Longman levelling the scores.

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Somehow, Rotherham managed to come again and sub Wyke headed in Revan's 86th-minute cross to restore the advantage.

They survived late pressure and, for once, there were cheers and smiles at the final whistle of a Millers game.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Hakeem Odoffin, Cameron Humphreys, Seb Revan; Femi Seriki (Shane Ferguson 63), Ollie Rathbone (Cafu 63), Andy Rinomhota, Sam Clucas (Jamie Lindsay 79), Cohen Bramall (Lee Peltier 90+2); Tom Eaves, Sam Nombe (Charlie Wyke 79). Subs not used: Dillon Phillips, Arvin Appiah, Ben Hatton.

Millwall (4-2-3-1): Matija Sarkic; Ryan Leonard (Brooke Norton-Cuffy 74), Japhet Tanganga, Jake Cooper, Murray Wallace (Danny McNamara 24); George Saville (Romain Esse 86), Casper De Norre; George Honeyman (Adam Mayor 74), Zian Flemming, Duncan Watmore (Ryan Longman 74); Michael Obafemi. Subs not used: Bartosz Bialkowski, Shaun Hutchinson, Billy Mitchell, Tom Leahy.

Goals: Revan 71, Wyke 86 (Rotherham); Longman 77 (Millwall).

Referee: Alex Chilowicz (USA).

Attendance: 9,803 (919).