Rotherham United players ratings as the Millers hold Middlesbrough 0-0

Kyle Vassell had an excellent gameKyle Vassell had an excellent game
Kyle Vassell had an excellent game
Paul Davis assesses the performances on a memorable night at the Riverside Stadium as Paul Warne's men earn their first Championship point on the road.


Formation: 4-1-4-1

Marek Rodak: 8

Made a couple of important saves, commanded his area and caught or punched away everything that came near him. His decisiveness helps his back four.

Zak Vyner: 7

A good, solid display. Up against a shrewd, tricky operator in Stewart Downing and he stuck to his task well. Part of a really organised, resolute Millers defensive effort.

Semi Ajayi: 8

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Peerless again. The best central defender on show. He wins every duel down the flanks. Just turns on the burners, gets to the ball and is then too strong for his opponent. Long may this form continue.

Clark Robertson: 7

Slotted in very comfortably next to Ajayi. You would never have guessed this was his first league start of the season. Nothing spectacular. He just did his job. A clean sheet says everything. Deserves to start at Preston.

Joe Mattock: 7

Got forward at every opportunity as the Millers took the game to Middlesbrough and cut out plenty of crosses, which is not always the strongest part of his game.

Will Vaulks: 8

Another player in a rich vein of form. Drove the Millers forward, broke up Boro attacks, competed for everything and used the ball well. Caught the eye of press-box observers who hadn't seen him before.

Ryan Williams: 6

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As lively and energetic as ever. He works hard for the team. But he loses a mark for that first-half chance he failed to put away. It was similar to the one he missed at Leeds United. A more committed finish would have done the trick.

Richie Towell: 7

Always puts in a shift. He covered the ground in both halves. A key man for the Millers. Didn't do as much as we know he can with the ball, but his contribution off it was important.

Ryan Manning: 7

Looked a threat going forward. Comfortable on the ball, direct and not scared to try his luck when he got a sight of goal.

Kyle Vassell: 8

Made up for a lack-lustre contribution against Bolton Wanderers last weekend with a performance full of running and effort. Set up Williams' chance with a great dash and cross from the left. A threat going forward, he also got back every time his presence was required.

Michael Smith: 9

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Is there a dirtier, more crafty centre-half in the division than Daniel Ayala? Smith won his  battle with him. A textbook lone-frontman performance. Deft touch, relentless mobility, great attitude. Held up the ball and brought others into play. Almost scored. A goal is all his game is lacking.

Subs: Ben Wiles for Williams (61) 7, Anthony Forde for Vassell (82), Jamie Proctor for Michael Smith (90+4). Not used: Lewis Price, Richard Wood, Matt Palmer, Joe Newell.


Formation: 4-4-1-1

Darren Randolph 7; Paddy McNair 5,  Daniel Ayala 6,  Aden Flint 6,  George Friend 6;  Adam Clayton 6, Mo Besic 6, Jonny Howson 6, Stewart Downing 7; Martin Braithwaite 7; Britt Assombalonga 6.

Subs: Sam McQueen for McNair (72), Rudy Gestede for Martin Braithwaite (72), Jordan Hugill for Assombalonga (82). Not used: Dimi, Danny Batth, Dael Fry, George Saville.

Match verdict and Warne reaction: click here