Not pretty but a point on the board as the Matt Taylor era begins ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Millwall 1

NEW manager Matt Taylor kicked off his Rotherham United reign with a point as the Millers fought out a Championship draw with Millwall at AESSEAL New York Stadium tonight.
Matt Taylor takes charge of his first Millers match. Picture by Kerrie BeddowsMatt Taylor takes charge of his first Millers match. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
Matt Taylor takes charge of his first Millers match. Picture by Kerrie Beddows

He watched his team start well but then fade in the second half when the visitors could have snatched a winner.

Taylor has moved up from League One and some of the Millers' play was more third tier than second in a scrappy contest where they rarely reached the heights they had threatened to early on.

Dan Barlaser fired them in front from the penalty spot but a wonder-goal had Millwall level before the interval.

The opening game of the Taylor era was only nine minutes old when the Millers took the lead.

Ben Wiles made ground down the right, to the roar of the crowd, and he was upended in the box by Jake Cooper.

Barlaser - aka the Geordie Pirlo - stepped up and his spot-kick into the left-hand corner just squeezed through former Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long.

It wasn't his best effort but nobody cared.

Tom Bradshaw, a Rotherham target back in 2016, fluffed his lines for the visitors on 15 minutes when he had the opportunity to shoot but it was the Millers, much improved from last weekend, who were looking the more dangerous side.

However, they let their standards take a dip and only a bad miss from Tyler Burey after Richard Wood had misjudged a header kept the scores level before Bradshaw sent an effort over the bar.

The rain was falling as October made its presence felt and Taylor added a coat to his touchline attire by the half-hour mark.

The home fans were warmed as half-time approached when Brooke Norton-Cuffy broke through two challenges and wasn't far away with a rising shot.

The Millers were looking forward to go in at the break in front but Zian Flemming suddenly stepped up, let fly from 25 yards for Milwall and the ball flew into the top corner.

Taylor had been given a rousing New York welcome before the start as he stepped on to the pitch and acknowledged home supporters.

"Matt Taylor's red-and-white army," sang the North Stand.

Having just arrived at the club and taken training for just two days, he made no changes to the side that had started last Saturday's match against Wigan Athletic which had brought a first home league loss for the Millers.

Both sides probed without penetrating in the early stages of the second half until Flemming rattlled the bar with a long-range free-kick and moments later Bradshaw headed over when he should have scored.

Millwall were beginning to gain the upper hand and chants of 'Come on, Rotherham' came from the kop as supporters tried to stir their team.

Wiles was maybe roused too much because he blazed the ball over when Ogbene's run and feed gave him a real sight of goal.

In the 66th minute Bradshaw got his foot to a low cross but his luck was out again and the ball went wide.

Flemming gave Viktor Johansson a comfortable save as Millwall remained on top.

At the other end, as the clocked ticked down, Long had very little to do in the visitors' net.

Just like Barlaser's penalty, this wasn't Rotherham's best effort, and they will be happy to have taken a draw that moved them up a place to 13th in the table.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Grant Hall, Richard Wood, Wes Harding; Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Jamie Lindsay 90), Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Ollie Rathbone (Shane Ferguson 75), Cohen Bramall (Lee Peltier 75); Chiedozie Ogbene, Conor Washington (Tom Eaves 58). Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Cameron Humphreys, Georgie Kelly.

Millwall (4-2-3-1): George Long; Danny McNamara, Jake Cooper, Shaun Hutchinson, Murray Wallace; Billy Mitchell, George Saville; Andreas Voglsammer (Mason Bennett 75), Zian Flemming, Tyler Burey (Callum Styles 85); Tom Bradshaw (Benik Afobe 75). Subs not used: Bartosz Bialkowski, George Evans, Jamie Shackleton, George Honeyman.

Goals: Barlaser pen 9 (Rotherham); Flemming 42 (Millwall).

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northampton).

Attendance: 8,618 (278).