MATCH REPORT: The Millers' taming of the Shrews

MATCH REPORT: The Millers' taming of the Shrews

By David Beddows | 17/02/2018

MATCH REPORT: The Millers' taming of the Shrews
Richard Wood turns in the only goal of the game. Pics: TREVOR PRICE

ROTHERHAM United added league leaders Shrewsbury to their list of scalps on a fantastic day in Shropshire.

A goal from Richard Wood just before half time was enough to bag Paul Warne’s men a sixth straight win and send another message to the division’s leading pack.

It was reward for a commanding, aggressive and confidence performance which knocked the home side out of their stride.

If they weren’t before, the division’s leading pack will be more aware then ever or Rotherham’s threat and fans will now be asking, how far can their resurgence take them?

Michael Ihiekwe was preferred at left back for the injured Joe Mattock, even though a specialist for the position, Ben Purrington, was fit and available.

In common with recent matches, the first half was a breathless affair with chances at both ends.

The Millers lobbed high ball after high ball into the home penalty area when they could and forced the leaders into countless headed clearances.

Joe Newell forced Dean Henderson to parry after one such sequence but the best two chances of the opening period fell to Semi Ajayi. First he scuffed from close range after Henderson could only claw away David Ball’s effort and also headed wide from a Newell corner when he should have at least hit the target.

Shrewsbury forced a couple of scrambles of their own , most notably when Shaun Whalley raced clear. Marek Rodak foiled him, rushing out to save at feet, but they were hard pressed for long spells.

Just when it looked like the half would ended even, the breakthrough came in the 44th minute. Newell flung in a corner, Ihiekwe got his head to it and the ball fell for Wood to tap into an unguarded goal.

Shrewsbury at last strung some passes together and got some momentum in the second half but Rodak was equal to a drive from Abu Ogogo and did even better to stand tall and deny Sheffield United loanee Nathan Thomas.

Chances were  at a premium as the match wore on. The hosts were denied the chance to mount any lasting pressure as Rotherham continued to press and harry and get the ball forward at every opportunity.

It stayed that way until the latter stages and the final whistle was greeted by a huge roar from the 1,100 travelling supporters.

It is Rotherham’s best winning run since 2008.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Godfrey, Beckles, Sadler, Nsiala; Godfrey; Whalley, Ogogo, Nolan, Thomas; Morris

Millers: Rodak; Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood, Ihiekwe; Forde (Williams 63), Vaulks, Towell, Newell (Palmer 90); Ball (Lavery 74), Smith

Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire)

Attendance: 7,007 (1,136 visitors)