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3-3
21 October 2017 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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	English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | U's v Millers

19 October 2017

U's v Millers preview...

The Millers face their second consecutive away game in a week as they visit the Kassam Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Millers will be hoping that they are able to pick up points on the road this time following their 3-1 at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night. The Millers remain in fourth position in League One, despite the defeat in midweek.

Last Time Out

The Millers

Rotherham are coming into this game off the back of a 3-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon in midweek, despite a great finish by Joe Newell that had brought them back on level terms.

Wimbledon opened the scoring in the 15th minute, as Lyle Taylor, who hadn’t scored this season latched onto a perfectly weighted Andy Barcham through ball before chipping over Richard O’Donnell.

Kieffer Moore also cleared an effort off the line before the break, as Wimbledon looked to double their lead.

In the second half O’Donnell was called into action when Harry Forrester tried to chip him from the edge of the box, but a smart save on the backtrack saw the Millers’ stopper tip the ball onto the crossbar.

The Millers then won a free-kick on the halfway line and Wimbledon couldn’t clear a ball which eventually fell kindly to Joe Newell, who hit a sweet, left footed volley into the bottom corner to get the equaliser.

Then, in the 86th minute, as The Millers went in search of a goal that would secure them a fourth consecutive win, they got dispossessed in midfield and Taylor ran with the ball to the edge of the box, cut onto his left foot and rocketed a shot beyond the ‘keeper.

Taylor then completed his hat-trick after a lapse in defence from Richard Wood which allowed him through on goal, where he was initially denied by O’Donnell before he turned home the rebound and put it into the bottom corner

Opposition

Oxford United, on the other hand, got a 1-1 draw at home to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night, with both goals coming in the first half.

Charlton took the lead, as in-form winger Tarique Fosu charged down two attempted clearances from Oxford, and he had one defender to beat on the line and he did it with ease.

The hosts then equalised in the 35th minute after they spread the ball wide but Charlton’s attempt at a clearnace fell to the left foot of Christian Ribeiro who finished it well into the bottom corner.

Both sides went close in the second half, however neither side could make it count and both had to settle for a point apiece.

Ones To Watch

Striker Wes Thomas has started nine of the games he has played in so far this season. Thomas joined the side from Championship outfit Birmingham City last summer. Thomas is also a former Millers player, having played for the club in 2014.

The striker’s best season was arguably the 2011-12 season, when he scored 18 times in 41 games for Cheltenham Town.

Thomas has scored five goals so far this season, with three on his right foot and two on his right foot. He has scored these goals within 651 minutes of football this season.

The striker has a 38% conversion rate, and averages a goal every 130.2 minutes this season so far.

Head to Head

The last meeting between the two sides was in the 2012/13 season.

The Millers hosted the first game that season on September 29th 2012, and won the game 3-1.

Oxford took the lead in that game thanks to Sean Rigg but it didn’t take long for the Millers to complete a turnaround, as Michael Raynes scored two goals to give his side the lead. Jason Taylor made sure of the win with The Millers’ third goal of the game.

The second game that season finished 4-0 to The Millers with all four goals coming in the first half of this one.

David Noble’s deflected strike gave The Millers the lead which was doubled thanks to Kari Arnason’s header. The third for Rotherham came via Johnny Mullins who was on loan at Oxford earlier that year. The scoring was completed after Ben Pringle converted Alex Revell’s cross.

The Millers got promoted to League One at the end of the season, finishing second on 79 points, where as Oxford finished 8th, respectively.

Injury News

Millers boss Paul Warne has hinted that he will make changes for the trip to Oxford United this weekend.

Warne said that “If you’re winning every games then it is difficult to pull people out,” but with two long trips firstly to Wimbledon on Tuesday night and Oxford on Saturday, he feels his side may need freshening.

Captain Lee Frecklington and Jon Taylor are both available for Saturday’s game, Millers boss Warne has confirmed. Frecklington and Taylor both still need some training according to Warne and will have their situations monitored in the build up to the trip to the Kassam Stadium.

Ben Purrington is still a few weeks away from a return.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Oxford 3 v 3 Rotherham

21 October 2017

Moore earns Millers first draw

KIEFFER Moore’s 11th goal of the season earned Rotherham United a hard-fought point following a six-goal thriller at the Kassam Stadium.

In a see-saw first half, Joe Newell's second goal in a week put Paul Warne’s men ahead but Jack Payne and Josh Ruffels turned the tide of the affair before Marek Rodak saved Ryan Ledson’s spot-kick.

Curtis Nelson added Oxford’s third but Ryan Williams gave Rotherham hope, just shy of the interval, before Moore struck late on to earn the Millers a deserved share of the spoils.

Following their midweek defeat at the hands of AFC Wimbledon in midweek, Millers chief Warne reshuffled his defensive pack for the visit to the Oxfordshire.

Slovakian stopper Rodak returned between the Millers sticks while Josh Emmanuel and Semi Ajayi were given an opportunity to impress in the visitors’ backline at the expense of Richard Wood and Shaun Cummings.

Newell was rewarded for his stunning strike at Kingsmeadow with a starting berth while former Millers Wes Thomas and Scott Shearer were named in the home squad.

The hosts were the quickest of the blocks and James Henry’s swinging free-kick was headed over his own bar by Michael Ihiekwe before the ex-Wolves midfielder threatened the home goal, in the next phase of play, with a tame effort from the edge of the box which was straight down the throat of Rodak.

In Rotherham’s first foray of note, Will Vaulks shrugged off the attentions of Ruffels to try his luck from distance but he dragged his effort harmlessly wide of the target before Anthony Forde worked a yard of space on Nelson to swing a centre which took a wicked deflection off a retreating defender to loop into the grateful hands of home ‘keeper Simon Eastwood.

Forde was in the thick of the action and he cut inside to deliver a tantalising cross which was met by the head of Richie Towell but the Brighton loanee could not control his header as it ballooned over the bar before the Millers were indebted to Ihiekwe for a timely sliding tackle, at the other end, as it halted the menacing run of Henry, who looked poised to strike on goal.

However, the Millers stunned the home faithful by breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes when Vaulks’ floated ball to the channel saw Emmanuel win a battle of wills near the touchline to swing a left-footed centre which was only half-cleared by an Oxford defender into the path of Newell, on the edge of the box, and the ex-Peterborough midfielder kept his nerve to control a volley which beat the outstretched hand of Eastwood to nestle in the home net.

However, Rotherham’s joy proved short lived as Oxford equalised, just a minute later, when the visitors failed to clear their lines and Payne controlled smartly to advance menacingly to the edge of the box before stroking a fine left-footed effort which arrowed into the bottom corner of the Millers net evading the attentions of Rodak.

The home side were sprung into action and Thomas fired a rasping effort which blazed over the Millers bar before Ricardinho got the better of Williams to plant a delicious cross which flew across the visitors’ six-yard box.

The Millers failed to heed the warning as Oxford took the initiative when Ryan Ledson’s punt upfield held in the wind and Henry won a tussle with Mattock to play the ball into the path of Ruffels, who fired what seemed a tame effort towards the heart of the visitors goal but Rodak was deceived, possibly by a small deflection, as it flew into the Millers net.

The Millers keeper went from villain to hero, in a matter of minutes, as Ricardinho sneaked around the back, before looking to float the ball into the danger area and Vaulks, in attempting to charge down his centre, raised his arm and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. However, from the resultant penalty, Rodak correctly guessed Ledson’s intentions, to dive smartly to his left to smother the danger.

The visitors had a penalty appeal of their own when Williams’ snap shot seemed to strike the hand of a retreating home defender, but it fell on deaf ears before Payne capitalised on a Millers error to sting the palms of Rodak with an effort from the edge of the box.

However, Oxford took a firm grip on the game, with half time approaching, when Payne, aided by the wind, curled a vicious corner which led to a goalmouth scramble in the Millers box and with no visiting defender taking charge, home skipper Nelson capitalised on the hesitation to poke home from close range.

However, Rotherham reduced the arrears on the stroke of half time when Vaulks’ long throw was flicked on into the path of Williams, who got the ball from under his feet, before calmly stroking home. In the aftermath of the goal, Canice Carroll saw yellow for preventing the Millers retrieving the ball for a quick restart.

Half-time- Oxford United 3 Rotherham United 2

The Millers had the first sight of goal in the second half when Emmanuel got on the wrong side of his marker to release Williams, who showed great poise to pull the ball back to the edge of the box into the path of Mattock, who weighed up his options to strike a rising effort which forced Eastwood into a superb, acrobatic save to preserve his side’s slender lead.

Moments later, Moore put a tricky ball under his spell to present Towell with a shooting opportunity but the Irishman could not keep his shot down as it ended up in the car park behind the goal.

In a rare Oxford attack, Payne exchanged passes with Alex Mowatt to fire an instinctive effort towards goal but Rodak was well-placed to snuff out the danger before Henry’s volley from the edge of the box was bravely blocked by Newell, moments later.

Just past the hour mark, Ledson became the latest to see yellow for hauling down Williams before Henry took advantage of good work by Thomas to strike goalwards but Rodak got his body behind his shot.

The Millers came within a coat of paint of an equaliser when a long punt forward was misjudged by John Mousinho in the swirling wind and with Eastwood in no man’s land, Moore lobbed the ball over the home ‘keeper but to Rotherham’s anguish, the ball struck the crossbar before going over the home goal.

Minutes later, Moore and Williams were both denied in the box before Newell’s piledriver was blocked en-route to goal. At the other end, Carroll headed Payne’s corner back across goal with no-one able to make the decisive touch before the duo combined, in a carbon copy move, as another Carroll header fizzed narrowly wide of target.

With 12 minutes remaining, Rotherham deservedly got back on level terms when Newell’s arrowed pass split open the Oxford defence and Williams kept his nerve to play a slide-rule pass across the box which was inch-perfect for the run of Moore, who showed great composure to slot the ball past the advancing Eastwood.

The Millers almost turned the game on its head, moments later, when a free-kick was planted in the box and Ihiekwe headed on into the path of Moore, who nodded home from close range but any joy was curtailed with the ex-Tranmere defender adjudged to have illegally climbed over his marker in the build-up.

In the dying minutes, sub Joe Rothwell ghosted through a non-existent Millers defence to fire a rasping effort which brought the best out of Rodak before Mattock incurred the wrath of the referee by kicking the ball away, in the last noteworthy action of a pulsating encounter.

Full-time- Oxford United 3 Rotherham United 3

Oxford United 3
Rotherham United 3

Teams:- Oxford- Eastwood, Nelson, Ledson, Thomas (Obika 79), Payne, Ruffels, Henry, Ricardinho, Mowatt (Rothwell 63), Mousinho, Carroll. Unused- Shearer, Tiendalli, Williamson, Martin, Fernandez.

Rotherham- Rodak, Emmanuel, Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Forde, Towell (Taylor 68), Ihiekwe, Newell, Williams, Moore. Unused- O’Donnell, David Ball, Clarke-Harris, Yates, Cummings, Wood.

Referee- S Stockbridge

Attendance- 7471 (608)

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