ANALYSIS: Millers give it a right go but travel sickness continues

By David Beddows | 21/08/2017 0 comments

ANALYSIS: Millers give it a right go but travel sickness continues
Kieffer Moore celebrates his goal

HAVE they got it in them to be at the top this season or will they be among the also-rans?

While that question continues to puzzle some Rotherham United followers, one thing is certain. It's going to be fun finding out.

Rotherham's wretched away record is no secret. They've not won on the road in 27 attempts, a run going back through 16 equally wretched months in the Championship.

It won't last, in fact it can't last, because Paul Warne isn't the type to go away and play for draws.

He'll continue to ask his players to attack and entertain and it's a higher risk stratedgy that will bring victories and a few defeats.

Celebration time after Moore's equaliser

What Warne and their swelling army of travelling supporters can be rest assured is that the sort of match that played out at Peterborough on Saturday won't always go against them.

No amount of preparation can account for the individual error from Semi Ajayi that allowed Jack Marriott in for the match winner minutes from time.

By the same token, they won't come up against a striker as lively, threatening (or expensive) as Marriott every week.

The Posh's big summer buy from Luton was the best player on the park and a thorn in Rotherham's flesh, earning acknowledgement from Warne after the 2-1 defeat.

The Millers boss still knows his defence has to improve and although he has wanted to keep faith with the five of O'Donnell, Emmanuel, Mattock, Ajayi and Ihiekwe, changes are surely likely.

Speaking in the dressing room after the game, Warne asked his players: "Do you think Peterborough are six points better than you?"

He didn't think they are and neither did the 1,000 travelling Millers who lent their team such great support at London Road.

It was a terrific game and a fine advert for League One.

Some of the 1,068 Millers fans at Peterborough

Among the blizzard of incidents in both penalty areas, a handful were pivotal.

Video replays appeared to show that Marriott's early shot against the underside of the bar bounced down behind the goalline. It was let-off for Rotherham but the Peterborough goal also led a charmed life in an almighty scramble that saw Ryan Williams, Jamie Proctor, and Lee Frecklington foiled and Kieffer Moore then hit the inside of the post.

For all his talent, Marriott will hit stronger shots than the one which broke the deadlock early in the second half, beating the dive of O'Donnell and dribbling in off the far post.

The forward power in Rotherham's ranks these days was again typified by Moore. His meaty header from Frecklington's centre was reward for the Millers' excellent response to going behind and if an offside flag hadn't ruled out a header from Proctor, few would have begrudged them the lead.

Moore's fourth goal in two games and all the good work were undone by Ajayi's blip, misjudging a crude punt forward and with the exposed O'Donnell darting from his line, Marriott needed all the encouragement he needed to lob in for 2-1.

As has been reported everywhere, Warne was "incandescent with rage" about the goal and Ajayi apologised.

With Premier League new boys Huddersfield waiting around the corner in the cup on Wednesday and Charlton to come on Saturday, there's no time to stew.

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