The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ricky Charlesworth

ROTHER­HAM boss Steve Evans says he feels like Jose Mour­inho af­ter fi­nally se­cur­ing a maiden three points of the sea­son against Cardiff.

The Millers sealed vic­tory in stop­page time af­ter Matthew Con­nolly put through his own net.

Ear­lier, both sides had net­ted from the penalty spot while Cardiff stop­per David Mar­shall saw red in a bizarre al­ter­ca­tion with Matt Der­byshire.

Evans beamed: “I can re­peat the words of Jose Mour­inho: It’s a win­ning feel­ing!

“I think any­thing other than a win would have been a trav­esty. We’ve been the best side by a mil­lion miles.

“We played on the front foot and played some su­perb stuff.

“The ref­eree has got both big de­ci­sions right. I never saw the send­ing-off but I watched it at half-time.

“David has been a bit foolish and I think the ref­eree has called that right.

“I think the ref­eree also got their penalty de­ci­sion right, so I’ve no com­plaints about that.

“But the least we de­served was three points and we got them.”

Rus­sell Slade was far from happy at the de­ci­sion by Keith Hill to send his goal­keeper off though.

“I’ve seen the video and it’s clearly a free-kick to our­selves be­cause David has been pulled,” said Slade.

“David has then lashed out and it is a send­ing off but it’s not a penalty. It should be a free-kick to us. David is a good pro­fes­sional by and large but oc­ca­sion­ally play­ers see the red mist.

“I thought we re­duced them re­ally to very lit­tle. I thought they had run out of ideas but we need to bounce back now next week.”

Both Evans and Slade made two al­ter­ations fol­low­ing mid­week losses, and it was a feisty start with both look­ing to get for­ward as they aimed to get that decisive first goal.

There were a few chances on goal with City’s Joe Ralls hit­ting a spec­u­la­tive ef­fort wide be­fore Rother­ham skip­per Danny Collins saw a header from a cor­ner cleared away.

The clear­est chance of the first half saw Der­byshire rob pos­ses­sion from Con­nolly and play in Jon­son Clarke-Harris, who failed to get the vi­tal touch just a few yards out.

All the drama then ar­rived in a fran­tic last five min­utes of the first half.

First, Mar­shall petu­lantly kicked out at Der­byshire whilst hold­ing the ball in his hands af­ter an in­nocu­ous al­ter­ca­tion. Ref­eree Hill had no hes­i­ta­tion and ran straight over to bran­dish a red card to the goal­keeper and award a penalty to Rother­ham.

Vadis Od­jidja-Ofoe then stepped up and, af­ter a long wait, tucked the ball be­yond sub goal­keeper Si­mon Moore.

Amaz­ingly, Cardiff were then handed their own chance to draw level from the spot when Fabio bombed for­wards and was brought down off the ball.

Peter Whit­ting­ham coolly slot­ted home the spot-kick to bring to an end a pul­sat­ing first half.

Un­der­stand­ably, given the fact Cardiff were re­duced to ten, the sec­ond half was dom­i­nated by the hosts.

Clarke-Harris pro­vided the first at­tempt when his volley just in­side the area drew a smart stop from Moore be­fore then head­ing just over on two oc­ca­sions.

Cardiff stood firm dur­ing the on­slaught and thought they were set for a share of the spoils when Joe Newell’s volley came back off a post.

How­ever, it was to be the Millers’ day as they stole vic­tory at the very death.

Chris Maguire dug out a cross from the right which Con­nolly turned ag­o­nis­ingly into his own net to cue scenes of ju­bi­la­tion among the home faith­ful and se­cure three points for Evans’ men.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

ON THE UP: Rother­ham’s Em­manuel Ledesma cel­e­brates af­ter Matthew Con­nolly’s own goal win­ner. Inset: Cardiff keeper David Mar­shall is given his march­ing or­ders

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