ROTHERHAM United stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches after scrapping their way to a point at lowly Oldham Athletic.
Ryan Williams’ early goal, his fourth of the season, raised hopes but Craig Davies levelled just past the half-hour mark. Neither team did enough in attack to deserve the three points, with the 1-1 draw just about fair.
In the week skipper Lee Frecklington departed for Lincoln, Richard Wood took the armband in an unchanged line-up from the team which drew with Blackburn on New Year’s Day.
There was a familiar face in the opposition ranks in the shape of former Rotherham promotion winner Ben Pringle, making his debut on loan from Preston. The set-piece specialist started well, robbing Richie Towell and setting in motion a move which ended with Richard Wood having to head off the line from Ben Davies.
The Millers saw off that scare to score from their first serious attack on seven minutes. David Ball did well to keep the ball alive in the opposition box. Anthony Forde’s cross was only half-cleared and Williams lashed in the loose ball.
Both sides struggled with the bobbly pitch before Oldham levelled on 31 minutes. They won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Dan Gardner teed up Davies up to fire in hard and low, the ball appearing to take a deflection.
The goal lifted the home side and they were the better side up to half time and for a period after it.
Although Will Vaulks forced goalkeeper Johny Placide to tip over soon after the restart, the Millers continued to struggle to stitch together much in attack.
It was no surprise when new signing Michael Smith, fresh in from Bury, was introduced for Jerry Yates midway through the half. He struggled to make real headway like a few others and the match degenerated into a scrappy affair. Although there was the odd scare in both goalmouths, defences remained on top.
It was still a decent day’s work, with Paul Warne also avoiding the Manager of the Month curse. The Millers sit eighth in the table, two points outside the play-off frame.
Oldham: Placide, Dummigan (Nupomuceno 84), Wilson, Gerrard, Edmundson, Gardner (McLaughlan 70), Fane, Obadeyi, Benyu (Amadi-Holloway 74), Pringle, Davies
Millers: Rodak; Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood, Mattock; Forde, Vaulks, Towell, Williams (Newell (82); Ball (Clarke-Harris 86), Yates (Smith 65)
Referee: Robert Lewis (Shropshire)
Attendance: 4,775 (1,172 visitors)ol
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