JONSON’S DOUBLE LIFTS THE MILLERS
Redfearn hails his backline in victory
AJUBILANT Neil Redfearn says he is more pleased with his side’s dogged clean sheet than a rare flurry of goals as Rotherham United chalked up only their second home win of the campaign.
Two goals from a superb Jonson Clarke-Harris and a fine second half finish from captain Lee Frecklington guided the hosts to a deserved second straight victory against a disappointing Bristol City outfit.
It was the first time this season the Millers scored three goals but it was the resolute performance at the back that pleased Redfearn most.
He said: “I am more pleased with keeping a clean sheet if I am honest.
“To nil Bristol City, who had got some decent results recently, is no mean feat. I thought we looked really solid.
“That is a couple of wins now but I am not going to get carried away because I know how tough this league is.The signs are good.
“We pressed and played. We had a good shape. It was good.
“Staying in this division will still be a tough task but we want to get into that middle bit if we can.”
Lee Camp had to be alert early on when he tipped over a firsttime strike from Jonathan Kodjia following a bright run from wingback Derrick Williams.
The hosts needed a spark to get going and they got just that on 10 minutes. There seemed little danger when Clarke-Harris picked the ball up wide on the right but after skipping inside he unleashed a beautiful, curling effort into the far corner.
City had an immediate chance to respond but Camp saved from a clean-through Kieran Agard.
The Millers were looking a handful on the break and Frankie Fielding had to be at full stretch to deny an audacious long-range strike by Clarke-Harris again.
But the hosts did not have long to wait before their advantage was doubled. Kirk Broadfoot, up for a set-piece, was hauled down in the box by Kodjia - and Clarke-Harris’ spot-kick was as emphatic as they come on 27 minutes.
The Robins spurned a glorious opportunity to get one back when Agard headed inches wide after 29 minutes.
Fielding made a superb save to deny Clarke-Harris a late first half hat-trick. Lee Frecklington did well to deliver a deep cross and the striker’s fierce volley was thwarted by the City custodian.
The Robins were brighter after the break and centre-back Aden Flint should have done better with a free-header after 52 minutes instead it drifted harmlessly wide.
The game descended into a scrappy affair as Rotherham were content to sit back and soak up City’s pressure - and they did so in comfortable fashion.
Flint wasted another good opportunity on 71 minutes. Marlon Pack floated in an inviting free-kick but the unmarked centre-back could only direct his volley well wide of goal.
The points were sealed in the 75th minute when another quick break resulted in Frecklington expertly converting a Danny Ward cut-back from just inside the box.
Steve Cotterill’s charges huffed and puffed late to little effect but the boss remains confident his side will avoid the drop.
“We will be okay this season but we have to learn from this and cut out silly mistakes,” he said
“Once we went two goals down, we thought we had to score with every attack. It was tempo, tempo, tempo. But there was no patience.
“We must do better if we go a goal down - it has disappointed me.We had an embarrassment of space in the first half and we utilised it well. There were chances but we didn’t take them.”
THREAT: Rotherham United midfielder Grant Ward fires an effort at goal
GIVE ME A HUG: Rotherham striker Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington celebrate