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22 April 2023 Venue Ashton Gate Attendance

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Match Reports

REPORT | Bristol City 2 v 1 Rotherham

22 April 2023

Millers suffer heart breaking defeat...

Rotherham United suffered a cruel last-gasp defeat at the hands of Bristol City as sub Andi Weimann broke Millers hearts with a late winner.

The Millers looked set to earn a crucial point in their fight for Sky Bet Championship safety when Jordan Hugill’s fifth goal in Millers colours from the spot, after he was fouled by former loanee Zak Vyner, cancelled out Tommy Conway’s early opener for the hosts.  

The Millers had chances to win the game in a lively finish but they had to return north empty-handed as Weimann struck from close range.  

Following their hard-working point against champions-elect Burnley in midweek. Millers boss Matt Taylor made three changes to his starting line-up for the trip to the South West.

Taylor faced a goalkeeping conundrum. Josh Vickers, who started against the Clarets was forced off with a groin complaint. Rookie ‘keeper Robbie Hemfrey was handed his first ever competitive action in the second half against Vincent Kompany’s side.

Viktor Johansson – who is still being troubled by a shoulder injury – was thrust back into action ahead of schedule while Hemfrey was named on the bench.

Tyler Blackett was also recalled to the heart of the Rotherham defence following a hamstring injury while Brentford loanee Tariqe Fosu was part of the visiting front three alongside Chiedozie Ogbene and Hugill.

The Millers, and Johansson, were called into action earlier than they would have liked when a long punt forward from the kick-off caught the visitors napping and Sam Bell cut inside Cameron Humphreys before striking a fierce effort from just inside the box which the Swedish stopper did well to palm to safety.

At the other end, Hugill almost latched onto Fosu’s corner but he failed to make a telling connection at the front post before the Millers frontman had another glimpse of goal following Ogbene’s clip over the top but Vyner snuffed out the danger with a timely tackle.

The Millers got themselves in a muddle defensively after failing to clear a home corner and Bell drilled a low effort which Humphreys deflected over his own bar, although a goal kick was bizarrely given.

Taylor’s men failed to heed the warning though when the Robins took the lead in their next attack on the quarter hour.  

There looked little danger for the Millers when City switched play to the left flank and Cameron Pring delivered a delicious cross into the danger area and Conway sneaked in between the static Rotherham centre-halves to power a header into the roof of the net giving a flying Johansson no chance.

The Millers responded positively to the setback and Fosu emerged from a cul-de-sac to float a centre which landed on the top of the Robins net before Conor Coventry had a snap shot deflected behind.

Just before the half hour mark, Rotherham almost had a mountain to climb when Bell made light work of Lee Peltier to advance into the away box before drilling a low centre which took Johansson out of the game, but a combination of Alex Scott and Harry Cornick made a hash of slotting the ball home from close range with Scott scooping his effort over.

Minutes later, City arrowed a long ball forward which Peltier cut out but Pring pounced on the loose ball before upended by Humphreys on the edge of the box. The Rotherham defender was cautioned but no further damage was done when Kal Naismith harmlessly curled the resultant free-kick over.

Humphreys could have found himself in hot water – in City’s next attack - when the lively Conway got on the wrong side on him to ghost inside the Millers box before tumbling under his challenge, but the referee waved away home appeals for a spot kick.

Half-time: Bristol City 1 Rotherham United 0   

Taylor made a change at the break with Richard Wood introduced at the expense of Blackett with the experienced defender taking on the skipper’s armband.

The Millers – who were now attacking their loyal, vocal travelling contingent – started the second 45 in a more positive vein and Wood was in the thick of the early action when he met Coventry’s volleyed cross but his header lacked power and O’Leary was able to gather with ease.

Hugill found himself in the book following a hefty aerial challenge on Pring before Bramall soon joined him for felling Conway.

Taylor reshuffled his pack once again with Ollie Rathbone and Wes Harding entering the fray.

The Robins came close to a second goal when Conway exchanged passes with Bell on the edge of the box before taking advantage of some tame Rotherham tackling to fire a fierce effort which Johansson did well to divert away from goal.

Despite struggling to find their best form, the Millers were given a lifeline with 23 minutes to go, and it was one they gratefully took.

The Millers launched a counter attack with Ogbene leading the cavalry charge, and after riding one or two challenges, the Republic of Ireland international dug out a cross which the Robins failed to deal with and Hugill – despite having his back to goal – looked to pounce, and in an attempt to getting onto the loose ball, Vyner, in a haste, bundled him over and the referee pointed to the spot.

Hugill dusted himself down and took on the responsibility from 12 yards, and he calmly sent O’Leary the wrong way with a measured spot-kick to send the Millers fans into ecstasy behind the goal.

Scott was booked for dissent in the lead up to the penalty while it proved to be Hugill’s last involvement with midweek hero Georgie Kelly brought on.

The Millers were now sensing a victory could be on the cards and Wood nodded wide from Harding’s long throw before Kelly met Ogbene’s cross, but his downward header failed to trouble the target.  

With minutes to go, Rotherham came within a coat of paint to taking the lead when sub Shane Ferguson – the last of five replacements – took aim from distance with his trustee left-foot, and he caressed a lovely effort from distance which smashed against the post and in the ensuing melee, Kelly was brought down by Pring in the box, but the referee waved away Rotherham appeals for a penalty this time.

Moments later, Ogbene, who had come alive in the latter stages, did well to plant a cross which looked inch-perfect for Kelly, but the Irish striker failed to make a clean connection, and the chance was lost.

Taylor’s side were going for the jugular and Kelly was the grateful recipient of calamitous home defending, and the fans favourite – almost wrote a new chapter in his personal story – when he curled a right-footed effort which O’Leary kept out with a strong hand.

Nevertheless, the game had one final cruel twist for the Millers when City attacked and Wood, who had made a superb headed clearance, was a bystander, as the ball struck him before falling invitingly for a City attacker, who forced Johansson into a smart, reflex save but unluckily for him and the Millers, the ball ricocheted to Weimann, who tapped home from point-blank range.

Full-time: Bristol City 2 Rotherham United 1

Bristol City 2

Rotherham United 1

Teams: Bristol City- O’Leary, Tanner, Vyner, Naismith, Pring, James, King (Williams 79), Scott (Weimann 73), Cornick (Sykes 73), Conway (Wells 84), Bell. Unused- Wiles-Richards, Dasilva, Mehmeti.  

Rotherham- Johansson, Bramall, Coventry (Rathbone 55), Fosu, Hugill (Kelly 68), Ogbene, Lindsay, Peltier (Harding 55), Humphreys, Quina (Ferguson 80), Blackett (Wood 46). Unused- Hemfrey, Hjelde.

Referee- J Smith

Attendance- 19350 (739)


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