MATCH REPORT: Millers hit Rovers with late double whammy

By David Beddows | 24/02/2018

MATCH REPORT: Millers hit Rovers with late double whammy
Celebrations after the winning goal at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. Pictures: KERRIE BEDDOWS

ROTHERHAM United scored twice in stoppage time to sink Doncaster Rovers in a dramatic finale at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Trailing to a John Marquis goal from late in the first half, the Millers looked to be heading to their first defeat in 14 games as the match ticked into 12 minutes of injury time.

But Michael Smith flashed in a header from Joe Newells’ centre to equalise and when Rovers goalkeeper Marko Marosi then brought the scorer down, Joe Newell tucked away the resulting penalty off virtually the last kick amidst crazy scenes. It was timed at 103 minutes.

Rotherham’s seventh straight win brought three sides of a packed NYS to their feet and stunned the travelling fans in a crowd of more than 11,700.

Doncaster more than matched Rotherham at their own game in the first half. They harried, pressed and chased and didn’t allow Paul Warne’s men to impose themselves like they so often do.

David Ball put a volley over on the turn and couldn’t direct a close-range header. The returning Joe Mattock also had a drive charged down.

There was still an uncustomary sloppiness to the Millers’ play and it was punished on 38 minutes. Semi Ajayi dallied and lost the ball. Alex Kiwomya found Marquis with a clever back heel and the striker worked himself space to thrash home off his weaker left foot.

A long delay at the start of the second half for treatment to Rovers’ Tom Anderson saw him worryingly stretchered off in a neck brace. When the action resumed, it took a brave block by Richie Towell to prevent Tommy Rowe adding to Rovers’ lead.

The Millers drove back. Richard Wood’s header was blocked in the goalmouth and sub Joe Wright stuck out a vital leg to deflect Towell’s goal-bound drive narrowly  over the bar.

The stretcher was needed again when a second Rovers player, Alfie Beestin, had to retired injured.

The visitors continued to defend in numbers and were left clinging on at the end and were left reeling by the late double whammy.

The 2-1 win consolidates the rampant Millers in fourth place in League One.

Millers: Rodak, Emmanuel, Mattock, Wood (Palmer 90), Ajayi, Forde (Williams 78), Vaulks, Towell, Newell, Ball (Lavery 82), Smith

Rovers: Marosi, Alcock, Anderson (Wright 56), Boyle, Mason, Whiteman, Rowe, Beestin, Coppinger, Marquis, Kiwomya

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 11,725 (2,624 visitors)

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