INJURY hit Rotherham United collected a point from a lively goalless draw against Bristol City.
Paul Warne’s threadbare side controlled much of the contest and carved out the best chances but had scares in the second half when City subs Marley Watkins and Jamie Paterson hit the woodwork.
Despite not taking three points, it was a decent way to back up Saturday’s draw with Stoke and continues the Millers’ solid home form. They have lost only one of their opening six Championship games at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Already missing the injured Richie Towell and with others playing with pulls and knocks, there was another blow for the home side only minutes before kick-off with skipper Richard Wood had to pull out with the groin problem that forced him off in the previous game. Will Vaulks took his place in the back four, with Jon Taylor coming in off the bench.
Injuries or not, the first 45 minutes was Rotherham’s most dominant half in the Championship for a long time.
They bossed the entire half, their only scare when Vaulks had to produce a last-ditch tackle to deny Famara Diedhiou a clear run to goal.
The best move of the half, a sweet passing move belying the team’s reputation for direct football, ended with a sweet volley from Joe Newell that was blocked for a corner.
Newell then turned provider as the one-way traffic continued up until the break. He swung a corner in deep and Vaulks’ diving header at the far post demanded a decent save.
Matching up the visitors in a 4-4-2, the Millers continued their good work into the second half and should have taken the lead just after the restart. Newell swung in another delicious centre and Smith slapped his header just over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.
A double substitution finally perked up the visitors and Marek Rodak was forced into his first serious save on the hour mark, diving low to beat out Watkins’ shot.
Watkins should have broken the deadlock soon after through. Sprung in behind the home defence, he had three stabs at scoring, hitting the post with the last one before Matt Palmer scrambled the ball clear.
A great chance for the in-form Ryan Williams, partnering Smith in attack, fell to his wrong foot.
There was a scare when Paterson’s rising shot came back off the crossbar but Rotherham broke immediately and Smith’s shot forced Niki Maenpaa to parry.
Both sides threatened in a frantic finish but had to settle for a point apiece.
Millers: Rodak; Jones, Ajayi, Vaulks, Mattock; Taylor, Williams, Vaulks, Palmer (Wiles 76), Manning, Newell (Forde 69); Smith.
Bristol City: Maenpaa; Hunt, Webster, Baker, Kelly, O'Dowda (Taylor 61), Brownhill, Pack, Eliasson (Watkins 61), Weimann (Paterson 80), Diedhiou.
Referee: Gavin Ward
Attendance: 8,187 (293 visitors)
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