Wes takes chance to im­press at Rother­ham

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Web­ster To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

WES Thomas’ first-half dou­ble put Swin­don to the sword and gave Rother­ham boss Steve Evans plenty to pon­der as the pro­mo­tion chas­ing Millers de­liv­ered a clear warn­ing to their play-off ri­vals.

Thomas caught Swin­don nap­ping af­ter just 52 sec­onds. The im­pres­sive Ben Pringle fed a quick ball into Thomas who found him­self un­marked rac­ing through on goal and fired past the sprawl­ing Wes Foder­ing­ham.

It was the same com­bi­na­tion who dou­bled United’s lead 22 min­utes later. A sloppy Jack Stephens mid­field pass was in­ter­cepted by Thomas, who again linked up with Pringle.

His 20-yard run down the left and cross gifted Thomas a thump­ing header past Foder­ing­ham.

Town had their chance to get back in it when Kari Ar­na­son tugged back Mas­simo Luongo in the box on the hour.

Michael Smith stepped up, stroking the ball past Adam Collin mak­ing it 21. But Rother­ham, who now face Pre­ston, held on to give boss Evans hope that Thomas and his side can pose a gen­uine play­off threat.

“We dom­i­nated the first half and were ter­rific,” he said.“With the chances we had, we should have been out of sight.Wes Thomas was hauled down and the ref­eree had a duty to give a penalty but didn’t.

“The play­ers stayed strong and our qual­ity showed through. It is an­other win on the road for us – and we know how hard that is to do in League One.

“Wes was ex­cel­lent for 45 min­utes and has given me some­thing to think about. It gave us an op­por­tu­nity to leave some of our big-game play­ers on the bench.”

Town rued their slow start but it was Smith who went clos­est to equal­is­ing with three head­ers each eas­ily saved by Collin.

The big Swin­don striker al­most redeemed his waste­ful­ness on 57 min­utes, tak­ing ad­van­tage of a rare Claude Davis slip to run into space and bear down on goal but was de­nied again by Collin.

And it was al­most a dream fin­ish to Jay McEve­ley’s Swin­don ca­reer, his con­tract hasn’t been ex­tended, when he cracked a 25-yard shot against the bar af­ter pick­ing up a short cor­ner.

And Swin­don boss Mark Cooper paid trib­ute to his side in­sist­ing they will be stronger next term.

“He said: “In the first half we didn’t turn up, hope­fully that has taught us a les­son.

“When you are com­pet­ing with teams like Rother­ham, you will get pun­ished. I am im­mensely proud of them and hope­fully they will come back next sea­son with the bit be­tween their teeth.”

STAR MAN BEN PRINGL

E Rotherh

am

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