RESURGENT Rotherham United put Bradford City to the sword to move back into the League One play-off places.
A first goal in Millers colours for Michael Smith and a second-half strike from Joe Newell crowned a 2-0 win at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
There were similarities to Saturday’s win over Portsmouth in the way Paul Warne’s men swarmed all over their visitors in the second half.
They’re now unbeaten in nine matches and move to within a point of Bradford, for whom this was a fourth successive defeat in all competitions.
Smith, making his full debut, should have opened his account as early as the seventh minute only to nod a great chance straight at goalkeeper Rouven Sattelmaier from no more than six yards.
The 6ft 4in front man made no mistake on 22 minutes, meeting Anthony Forde’s free-kick with a glancing header.
Michael Smith nods in the Millers' opener. Pictures: STEVE METTAM
Bradford had two Rotherham old boys in their ranks in Nicky Law and Paul Taylor and both kept Marek Rodak on their toes in the first period with shots from distance. Timothee Dieng also curled just wide, emphasising that the Millers couldn’t rest on their laurels.
The visitors were quick out of the traps at the start of the second half and Taylor forced Rodak to save none too convincingly.
As against Portsmouth on Saturday, Rotherham responded by pushing the Bantams back and peppering their goalmouth with dangerous crosses.
The tactic paid off on 57 minutes. Richie Towell swung the ball in and although Sattelmaier did well to keep out Smith’s header, the ball fell for Newell to drive home.
Rotherham didn’t settle for 2-0 either. Only the legs of the keeper denied Newell a second goal and the Bantams were so busy kept trying to hold on, they couldn’t really entertain hopes of a comeback. Will Vaulks and sub Jonson Clarke-Harris went close to adding to the tally.
Now up to sixth in the table, Warne and his players now take a break before their next match against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday week.
Millers: Rodak, Emmanuel, Mattock, Ajayi, Wood, Forde, Vaulks, Towell, Forde, Newell (Taylor 84), Smith (Clarke-Harris 78), Ball (Yates 66)
Bradford City: Sattelmaier, Guy, Kilgallon, Knight-Percival, Robinson, Vincelot (Gilliead 61), Dieng, Reeves (McCartan HT), Law, Taylor (Poleon 71), Wyke
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincs)
Attendance: 8,904 (1,586 visitors)
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