Wes takes chance to impress at Rotherham
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