ROTHERHAM United had a sobering return to the Championship as they suffered a heavy beating at Brentford.
Paul Warne’s League One play-off final winners were second best for the vast majority of the contest at a sweltering Griffin Park, going down 5-1. A late reply from Will Vaulks’ was the only consolation.
Although it is still early days, it made for difficult viewing and underlined the scale of the challenge in the second tier.
The Millers side contained nine of the 11 players who started at Wembley, with Zak Vyner the only debutant. The Bristol City loanee slotted in at right-back and along with the rest of the back line he was hard pressed to keep the nimble and quick home team in check.
It took only four minutes for them to find a way through. A cross from the left caused problems and although Marek Rodak got a hand to Lewis Macleod’s initial shot, Neal Maupay mopped up.
Rotherham had Rodak to thank for keeping them in the game as Brentford hunted more goals. He pulled off good saves from Chris Mepham and Ollie Watkins and appeared to get an important touch when Romaine Sawyers’ drive cannoned against the bar.
It took the Millers more than half-an-hour to have a punt a goal and when they did, they nearly equalised. Matt Palmer centered and Joe Newell’s volley demanded a flying save from Daniel Bentley.
It was only a fleeting threat and the home side doubled their lead just before half time. After surviving a bout of pinball in their own penalty area, the resulting corner dropped for Sergi Canos to rifle in.
Paul Warne resisted the temptation to make changes at half time but saw his side slip 3-0 down within minutes of the restart as dangerman Ollie Wakins took aim and fired in off the underside of the bar.
After a brief Millers rally that saw half-chances for Richard Wood, Vaulks and Michael Smith, Brentford regained control and increased their lead, Maupay again on the spot to tuck away the loose ball after Rodak was forced to block.
Kyle Vassell came on for his debut and although his piledriver forced a rather unconvincing save, the match was over as a meaningful contest.
Macleod added the hosts’ fifth before Vaulks fired in from the edge of the box to provide some belated cheer on an otherwise bad day in London.
Brentford: Bentley, Dalsgaard, Konsa, Mepham, Barbet, Watkins, McEachran, Mcleod, Sawyers, Canos, Maupay
Millers: Rodak; Vyner, Ajayi, Wood, Mattock; Taylor, Vaulks, Palmer, Newell (Williams 70); Smith (Wiles 67), Ball (Vassell 57)
Referee: Oliver Langford
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