Bluebirds resume flight…
Matt Taylor’s Millers return home from South Wales empty-handed, despite a valiant defensive display.
There were just two changes to the side that earned a point at the CBS Arena in midweek, in the form of Richard Wood replacing the suspended Grant Hall, and Ollie Rathbone returning from injury to replace Hakeem Odoffin.
Halloween isn’t for another two days, but this fixture began with an early scare for the Millers as clever inter-play between Mark Harris and Callum O’Dowda opened up the Rotherham defence, allowing O’Dowda to fashion a strike towards Johansson’s near-post. The Swede could only parry the effort, which fell to a lurking Sheyi Ojo. Ojo turned it into an empty Millers net, but the offside flag was raised.
Both sides felt each other out in the opening minutes, but it was the Bluebirds’ spell of pressure that nearly proved the more productive as skipper Joe Ralls found the run of O’Dowda. However, the darting attacker could only fire his effort into the upper side netting of Johansson’s goal.
The Rotherham rear-guard was called into action again as Mark Harris found space for a cross on the Millers left side, but the skipper Richard Wood was alert to the danger, intervening with a diving header.
It was all hands on deck at the back for Rotherham again, as Cardiff swung in a flurry of corners, but a stern clearance from a well-positioned Richard Wood presented Conor Washington with a chance to lead the Millers’ counter up the pitch. The forward found himself caught in two minds as he bore down on the Bluebirds’ box and thanks to efficient defending, the danger was cleared.
Conor Washington found himself heading up another Millers’ attack as he cleverly swiped the ball past Ralls, and aimed a low ball for the feet of Ben Wiles. Kipré was alert to the danger however, and ensured the scores were kept level.
Rotherham maintained their late spell of pressure in the first ’45 with Wes Harding, who cut inside to lay a ball off for Ben Wiles. The defence closed the gap however, forcing Wiles onto his other foot and crowding out the Millers’ number 8.
HALF TIME: CARDIFF 0 – 0 ROTHERHAM
Joe Ralls worked his way into the Millers’ box, playing a tight one-two with Harris, but as the Bluebirds’ 29 made the return ball, Ben Wiles carried out some defensive duties as he blocked the skippers effort at goal.
No sooner had Wiles shown a first display of defensive heroics, had the Rotherham vice-captain shown yet more defensive awareness. A dangerous ball was swung into the Millers box, but Wiles was there with a cushioned header to avert the danger.
The Millers defence stood tall under immense pressure, but the deadlock was eventually broken when Jaden Philogene found space in the box, and bent a curling effort past an outstretched Johansson.
Rotherham went in search of an immediate response through Ben Wiles as he intercepted a misplaced pass and made a dash into the Cardiff half. The midfielder then showed great vision to spot the run of Washington, but the curling ball was anticipated by Allsop who came out to claim it.
Cardiff were presented with a golden opportunity to double their lead, but the chance was squandered as O’Dowda couldn’t sort his feet out in time to get on the end of a low driven ball that just needed a finishing touch.
The Millers earnt two successive corner thanks to Tom Eaves, with the latter of the two being laid back for Norton-Cuffy, but his bending effort was curled the wrong side of the post.
Cardiff seemed sure to double their lead following a good spell of pressure from Rotherham as Harris led a counter attack towards the Millers box. The striker approached Johansson’s near post, but cut it back for Ojo, however defensive heroics from Jamie Lindsay snatched the ball from the feet of Ojo before he could strike. The loose ball fell Wintle, but he effort was over the bar.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF 1 - 0 ROTHERHAM
Cardiff – Allsop, Wintle, Ralls ©, Ojo (Whyte ’88), O’Dowda, Sang (Romeo ’45), Kipré, Harris (Etete ‘90+2), Rinomhota (Sawyers ‘62), Nkounkou (Philogene ‘45), Ng; Unused – Alnwick, Simpson.
Rotherham – Johansson, Harding, Bramall, Barlaser, Wood © (McCart ’77), Wiles, Kelly (Eaves ’70), Washington (High ’77), Rathbone (Lindsay ’70), Peltier, Humphreys (Norton-Cuffy ’59); Unused – Vickers, Odoffin.
Referee – O. Langford
Attendance – 17,395