Taylor turnaround brings Millers back from dead ... the incredible story of Hull City 2 Rotherham United 2

LET'S talk character, let's talk comebacks, let's talk crazy, let's talk cliches.
Match action. Picture by Steve MettamMatch action. Picture by Steve Mettam
Match action. Picture by Steve Mettam

If ever there was a game of two halves, this was it.

Rotherham United were out of this contest at half-time: dead, buried, 2-0 down and looking every inch Championship relegation candidates.

Then something happened. Someone happened.

Manager Paul Warne brought on Jon Taylor and 10 minutes later the score was 2-2.

Taylor set up the Millers' first goal and scored the second. He was a hero, but then so were all the other Rotherham players who had looked so abject before the break at the KCOM Stadium.

So complete was the transformation that they can consider themselves unlucky that they didn't take all three points.

"It's fair to say we were a lot better in the second half," Warne grinned. "Collectively, the team were amazing after the break.

"We had a right go. There were 11 or 12 giants out there. That point could be crucial at the end of the season.

"That second-half performance gives us a lot of hope. We cut Hull open many times."

The draw left the Millers one place above the drop zone and waiting for the following evening's Reading v Blackburn Rovers showdown to see if they remained out of the bottom three.

Warne had joked before the game that some of his players wouldn't even know where Hull was.

They'd just be happy to be getting off the coach sooner than they expected, he said.

Sadly, City were out of the blocks faster than the Millers travelled down the M18.

The opening Tigers goal came with barely more than a minute gone and a second after 22 minutes meant any hope of a positive result for the visitors seemed far off in the distance.

The Millers defence may as well still have been on the team bus for all the ease with which City cut through them after just 75 seconds, Evandro delivering the ball to Jarrod Bowen and the prolific winger shooting crisply past Marek Rodak into the far corner.

When the home side scored again, Fraizer Campbell guiding home Kamil Grosicki's low cross, the contest looked to be over.

Richie Towell and Will Vaulks fired in shots which required decent saves from David Marshall but the first half belonged to Hull.

Rotherham were pushed back and the 3-5-2 formation which had made them so hard to break down at Millwall ten days earlier quickly became 5-3-2, allowing the home team to boss the game with their superior numbers in midfield.

Warne didn't need telling the set-up wasn't right and he sacrified striker Jerry Yates for extra midfield support from Anthony Forde with seven minutes of the opening period remaining.

Then he went 4-1-4-1 at the break and brought on Taylor.

The Tigers had won their previous five home games but the Scouser and the Millers ran them ragged

"3-5-2 didn't work for us this time," Warne said. "Conceding so early knocked the stuffing out of the lads. In the first half, Hull caused us a lot of problems.

"We had to be brave and bring on the subs. The influence of Tayls and Fordey was massive. They allowed us to pin Hull back."

Within three minutes of his introduction, Taylor crossed from the right and Forde poked the ball home from close range. 

Seven minutes later, the little winger, with the help of a big deflection, had an even greater effect as his shot amazingly brought the visitors level.

The game had turned on its head. Grosicki stung the palms of Marek Rodak but Rotherham were now in the ascendancy and twice Clark Robertson came close to a third goal with headers.

Jackson Irvine headed wide in the 89th minute but a Hull winner then would have been cruel on Warne's warriors.

At the end, the players went to the Millers supporters who were loudly having a party in a corner of the KCOM.

They could barely believe what they'd seen.

Let's talk character, let's talk comebacks, let's talk crazy.

Hull (4-1-4-1): David Marshall; Eric Lichaj, Liam Ridgewell, Robbie McKenzie, Stephen Kingsley; Marcus Henriksen; Jarrod Bowen, Jackson Irvine, Evandro, Kamil Grosicki; Fraizer Campbell. Not used: George Long, Reece Burke, Kevin Stewart, Todd Kane.

Subs: Marc Pugh (for Grosicki, 71), David Milinkovic (for Evandro, 79), Chris Martin (for Campbell, 82).

Rotherham (3-5-2): Marek Rodak; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Clark Robertson; Zak Vyner, Richie Towell, Semi Ajayi, Will Vaulks, Joe Mattock; Michael Smith, Jerry Yates. Not used: Lewis Price, Billy Jones, Matt Crooks, Joe Newell, Ryan Williams.

Subs: Anthony Forde (for Yates, 38), Taylor (for Wood, H-T), Matt Crooks (for Towell, 71).

Goals: Bowen 2, Campbell 22 (Hull); Forde 48, Taylor 55 (Rotherham).

Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland).

Attendance: 10,785 (600 approximately).