AR­NA­SON A MAN FOR ALL SEA­SONS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ricky Charlesworth

ROTHER­HAM chief Steve Evans hailed the adapt­abil­ity of Kari Ar­na­son af­ter the Ice­lander pulled the strings in this win at Hud­der­s­field.

Strikes from Ar­na­son and Conor Sammon se­cured three points for Evans’ men, who put in an ef­fi­cient per­for­mance against their York­shire ri­vals.

The victory moves the Millers a healthy nine points clear of the Cham­pi­onship rel­e­ga­tion zone and to within two points of Town.

And Evans said the im­pact of Ar­na­son, who was play­ing out of po­si­tion in a mid­field role, was a driv­ing force be­hind the suc­cess at the John Smith’s Sta­dium.

“I think it was a thor­oughly de­served win.” said Evans. “Kari was very ef­fec­tive here. “He ob­vi­ously scored the first goal and he had a ma­jor say in the sec­ond goal. I thought he dom­i­nated the mid­dle of the park for large spells, with his strength and his power.

“He was able to win chal­lenges and it was a pleas­ing per­for­mance from him, and a good re­turn to form for a good player. “We got it right here. “We lost two play­ers with a knock in the week so we came here miss­ing a few first-team­ers, but I thought the lads were out­stand­ing.

“A cou­ple of lads had to come in to make their de­buts and they had to ad­just, but they car­ried out the good work.”

As for Town boss Chris Pow­ell, the de­feat com­pletes a mis­er­able week for his side who have shipped nine goals in the last three games.

And he ad­mits his side must per­form much bet­ter to avoid be­ing dragged into a rel­e­ga­tion fight.

“It’s an end to a poor week for us but we were just lack­ing a per­for­mance in ev­ery­thing,” said Pow­ell.

“We’ve had three poor de­feats, but here we just weren’t there from minute one.

“Rother­ham de­served the win be­cause of their ap­proach and drive.

“We just didn’t per­form and it wasn’t great from us.

“But, we have to put it be­hind us be­cause we’ve got ten games to go and we need to dig deep now.

“It was only in our last game that we were very good against a top-half side in Read­ing.

“I have to lead from the front now as the manager and we’ve got to per­form much bet­ter than that from now on.”

Ar­na­son struck the opener just be­fore half-time, but the Millers were well worth their lead af­ter pep­per­ing the Town goal through­out the first 45 min­utes.

Sammon shot straight at Alex Smithies in United’s first attack be­fore Town re­sponded when James Vaughan planted a header just wide af­ter a teas­ing cen­tre by Ja­cob But­ter­field.

Both sides were mak­ing a habit of giv­ing away pos­ses­sion cheap- ly, with the Town back­line the most guilty.

And just be­fore the break United broke the dead­lock af­ter con­stant pres­sure fi­nally paid off.

Jack Hunt, who came through the ranks at Town, picked up the ball on half­way and gal­loped for­ward be­fore whip­ping in a de­light­ful ball, which Ar­na­son prod­ded home af­ter Smithies had blocked his ini­tial shot. Hud­der­s­field started the sec­ond half much brighter but by the hour mark that con­fi­dence had plum­meted when Rother­ham dou­bled their ad­van­tage.

Ar­na­son started the move that ended with Sammon fin­ish­ing coolly to send the trav­el­ling United sup­port­ers into rap­tures. The sec­ond goal com­pletely killed the con­fi­dence of the Town de­fence, who looked edgy and un­com­fort­able in pos­ses­sion.

Rother­ham were re­duced to ten men late on when Lee Freck­ling­ton saw a sec­ond yel­low for leav­ing his foot in af­ter a tackle.

De­spite the dis­missal, Town couldn’t cap­i­talise on the ad­van­tage as the Millers held firm and saw out victory.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

SLOT­TED: Kari Ar­na­son scores the Millers’ first goal. Inset: Con­nor Sammon notches Rother­ham’s sec­ond goal

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