New-look Millers a sight to be­hold

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Brind­ley

ROTHERHMAM man­ager Steve Evans gave an em­phatic thumbs up to his side’s new pass­ing style as they went within a whisker of claim­ing a no­table Cham­pi­onship scalp.

Em­manuel Ledesma rat­tled the For­est bar and an ini­tially wrong­footed Karl Dar­low kicked away a goal­bound ef­fort from Reece James in ei­ther half whilst the vis­i­tors failed to put a sin­gle ef­fort on tar­get.

A de­lighted Evans purred: “Our per­for­mance was ab­so­lutely su­per. We got the ball down and played and we will keep do­ing that and get­ting bet­ter.

“It’s ex­tremely tough to get points in this league but we to­tally dom­i­nated last week at Cardiff and we’ve done the same here.

“Goalscor­ers can cost 20 to £25,000 a week which we can’t match but we will keep try­ing to find them.

“We were by far the bet­ter side and they needed some of the tenac­ity of a Stu­art Pearce side to throw their bod­ies in the way.

“We al­ways look up and are just three or four points away from be­ing in mid-ta­ble.The goals will come if we keep play­ing like that.”

The For­est mys­tery is not why they have slid down the ta­ble, but how they led it in the early stages of the sea­son. They failed to put a sin­gle ef­fort on tar­get against mod­est op­po­nents and were the more grate­ful of the two sides to get a point.

They started shak­ily as a com­bi­na­tion of a poor back pass from Kelvin Wilson and com­edy goal­keep­ing by Dar­low nearly pre­sented Alex Rev­ell with an open goal in just the sec­ond minute.

The limit of For­est’s guile was Danny Fox’s long hope­ful di­ag­o­nals in the di­rec­tion of Britt As­som­ba­longa and Dex­ter Blackstock whilst Michail An­to­nio carved out a cou­ple of half chances with his speed.

A dis­ap­point­ing half seemed to be head­ing for stale­mate un­til Rother­ham lit up the match with two near misses within 90 seconds.

Ledesma, whose trick­ery pro­vided Millers with their chief threat, smashed a 30-yarder against the For­est bar with Dar­low beaten, be­fore Tom Lawrence side-footed waste­fully wide from 12 yards after good work by the im­pres­sive James.

For­est started the sec­ond half bet­ter with Henri Lans­bury ar­riv­ing in the box late to send a header over from An­to­nio’s cross be­fore Blackstock saw his header rulled out for a foul after 57 min­utes.

Pringle mis­cued from a cross from the prom­i­nent Lawrence be­fore both Lawrence and Ledesma went close from 20 yards or more.

Dar­low’s key, slightly for­tu­nate save, came in the 71st minute. He took one step to his left as James struck his shot but still man­aged to kick the ball away at his near post.

At the other end As­som­ba­longa was inches away from an 80thminute win­ner for For­est as he stretched in vain at the far post after An­to­nio headed on Jamie Pater­son’s cross.

For­est as­sis­tant man­ager Steve Wigley in­sisted:“I’m dis­ap­pointed we had a per­fectly good goal ruled out.

“On 80 per cent of oc­ca­sions the ref­eree wouldn’t have given a foul.

“It was also some­thing new to see an of­fi­cial end the game after award­ing us a cor­ner kick.

“Hav­ing said that, we must do bet­ter with our at­tack­ing pace.

“We were sound de­fen­sively against Rother­ham and I don’t think they trou­bled us too much. Most of their ef­forts at goal were from long range.

“This is a tough place to get a re­sult but there are al­ways go­ing to be big ex­pec­ta­tions at For­est.

“I don’t look at the ta­ble but still be­lieve we have enough to chal­lenge for pro­mo­tion.”

MY BALL: For­est’s Dex­ter Blackstock heads in but the goal was dis­al­lowed

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

UN­DER PRES­SURE: Rother­ham’s Adam Collin tries to punch the ball in heavy traf­fic



MA Rotherh


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