Millers make Everton work hard for cup win at Goodison Park

By Michael Upton | 29/08/2018

Millers make Everton work hard for cup win at Goodison Park

THERE was to be no cup magic on the Premier League stage for Rotherham United as they slipped to defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.

Paul Warne’s side by no means disgraced themselves in front of a crowd of more than 31,000 but the Toffees’ class showed in the end as they came through to win 3-1.

A strike from Gylfi Sigurdsson and a second-half brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured their place in the Carabao Cup third round, although a late reply from Will Vaulks at 2-0 had the Millers briefly threatening a comeback.

Both sides made eight changes from their weekend games and there was a pre-match blow for Paul Warne's men as they lost Joe Mattock to a knock, with Semi Ajayi coming in.

Rotherham also had the better of the early exchanges when Jamie Proctor shot wide after finding space and Joe Newell's dangerous cross failing to find anyone waiting at the back post.

Everton's first chance fell to Oumar Niasse but his shot from 10 yards was well blocked.

Marco Silva’s side first tested Lewis Price after 20 minutes when Gylfi Sigurdsson's far post shot was palmed away by the Millers stopper.

And the home side led seven minutes later, the Icelandic international turning in a cross-cum-shot from Sandro Ramirez.

Sandro was involved again soon after, testing Price from range with a stinger the keeper failed to hold. The Millers escaped and grew into the game, with David Ball's shot deflected wide before Sean Raggett should have levelled. The lively Joe Newell put in an inviting low cross but the centre-half sliced wide when unmarked.

Tom Davies and Calvert-Lewin both had shots well stopped by Price but the best chance fell to striker Oumar Niasse who skied Jonjoe Kenny's cross right on the interval.

Will Vaulks replaced Ben Wiles at half time as Rotherham set out in search of an equaliser, spurred on by a noisy rendition of "Paul Warne's red and white army" from the away section.

Toffees left back Digne was first into the book for a meaty challenge on Anthony Forde, before a half-chance for Ball was snuffed out.

As the home supporters in a good-sized crowd started to show their frustration, their team finally doubled their advantage on the hour mark, Dominic Calvert-Lewin heading home Digne's cross from close range after a free kick was half-cleared.

Openings were few and far between for the Millers but they had the odd glimpse of goal, with Ajayi failing to direct a header goalwards from 12 yards on 72 minutes, before an attempted Will Vaulks Special was charged down a minute later.

There was momentary hope for the Millers with five to go as Vaulks nodded Anthony Forde's near-post corner into the bottom corner. But Calvert-Lewin restored the two-goal advantage two minutes later with a smart right-footed finish into the top corner after a driving run and perfectly-weighted pass from Davies.

Despite the defeat, Rotherham did well to remain in the contest until the dying minutes and can return to Championship action against Wigan this weekend with their heads held high.

Everton: Stekelenburg; Digne, Zouma, Holgate, Kenny; Davies, Sigurdsson (Walcott 65), Dowell, Ramirez (Schneiderlin 86); Niasse (Tosun 74), Calvert-Lewin

Millers: Price; Vyner, Ajayi, Raggett, Robertson; Forde, Palmer, Wiles (Vaulks HT), Newell (Taylor 72); Ball (Vassell 60); Proctor.


Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 31,972

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