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27 April 2024 Venue Ashton Gate Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Reports


27 April 2024

Millers suffer more away day blues.....

Rotherham United suffered more away day misery in the Sky Bet Championship as Bristol City ran out comfortable victors in their penultimate game of the campaign.

The Millers – who will be playing their trade in England’s third tier next term – squandered their last opportunity to break their away day hoodoo – in Steve Evans’ first away game in charge.

Goals either side of the interval by Tommy Conway from the spot – albeit in controversial circumstances – and Scott Twine with an expertly taken free-kick put pay to the Millers chances.   

The Millers fans travelled to the South West in good numbers and with many in fancy dress for their last taste of Championship action on the road.

Evans – in the pre-match briefings - had stated his intent to assess the entirety of his group between now and the end of the campaign.

The colourful Scot was true to his word at Ashton Gate.

Dillon Phillips was handed his first league start for the Millers between the sticks following just two EFL Cup appearances.

Last week’s replacements, Cohen Bramall, Arvin Appiah and Tom Eaves were given an opportunity to impress from the start.

There was a place among the substitutes once again for Ben Hatton, who made his senior debut at The Hawthorns recently, while young ‘keeper Nat Ford was also named on the visiting bench.  

The Robins made the early running and they had the first sight of goal when a fine flowing move involving Tommy Conway, Scott Twine and Joe Williams ended when Anis Mehmeti’s cross was diverted to safety by Bramall before Twine volleyed harmlessly wide in the next phase of play.

Phillips – in his first real action of note – showed good agility to stay within the confines of his own box to snuff out Cam Pring’s clipped ball forward before the ex-Cardiff stopper was tested for the first time when Conway took advantage of Bramall backtracking towards his own goal before firing a fierce, low effort which was straight down the throat of the Rotherham ‘keeper, who gathered at the second attempt.  

Phillips showed bravery by diving at the feet of Conway following good build up work by Twine and Mehmeti before Ollie Rathbone led from the front by marshalling Pring out of play.

The Millers had their best spell of the half when Hakeem Odoffin, against all the odds, did well to dig out a ball into the path of Eaves, who advanced with menace to the Robins box, before declining the opportunity to square the ball, by stinging the palms of Max O’Leary with a fierce drive.

From the resultant corner, Rathbone delivered a centre which saw Odoffin rise highest to plant a header which O’Leary was forced to tip over the bar.

The home side weathered the mini-Millers rally, and Mehmeti raced towards the visitors’ goal but a combination of Bramall and eventually Phillips snuffed out the danger.

Phillips was in the thick of the action and he produced a Johansson-esque save when Conway and Matty James combined superbly, and Conway looked odds-on to slot home, but the Rotherham stopper blocked his shot at close quarters.

However, Phillips and Rotherham were undone just after the half hour mark.  

A through ball from the left flank put Conway in a footrace with Cameron Humphreys and the Robins forward shrugged off his attentions before deciding to round Phillips.

The home forward – who at first sight appeared to have halted by the Rotherham stopper with the faintest of touches – took a tumble on the Ashton Gate turf, and the referee opted to point to the spot, although TV replays suggested there was no contact.  

Salt was rubbed into Rotherham wounds when firstly Phillips was cautioned for his part in the penalty incident before Conway dusted himself down to wrong foot the Rotherham ‘keeper from 12 yards with the resultant spot-kick and put the Robins ahead.  

In the last acts of the half, Phillips exacted a little bit of revenge in his personal duel with Conway when he stood up tall at his near post to block his snap shot before Twine fired a free-kick narrowly over the Rotherham bar.

Half-time: Bristol City 1 Rotherham United 0

Evans made a half-time substitution when Grant Hall – who has been plagued by a series of injuries this term – was introduced at the expense of Appiah, who was largely anonymous in the first 45.

Both teams traded chances when Bramall swung over a cross and Seb Revan almost sneaked unnoticed at the far post before firing wide while Phillips’ clearance at the other end was charged down by Conway, but luckily for the Millers, it flew harmlessly wide of goal.

The Millers had another scare when James looked set to make it two but Odoffin came out of nowhere with a superb goal saving block.

However, Rotherham’s relief was only temporary when City doubled their lead just before the hour mark.

There looked little danger for the visitors until Andy Rinomhota was penalised for a free-kick in an inviting position, centrally, and Twine exacted retribution from the resultant set-piece when he curled a lovely effort which sailed over the Rotherham wall, and beat the outstretched hand of Phillips, before nestling in the bottom corner of the Millers net.

Rotherham frustration boiled over when Eaves was needlessly booked for a foul on Ross McCrorie.

Evans reshuffled his pack with just over 20 minutes to go when Femi Seriki and Sam Nombe were introduced into the fray, but the pattern of the game was set.

There was little to report in the latter stages of the game until Joe Williams was deservedly cautioned for a pull-back on Rinomhota before Eaves nodded wide from Bramall's barnstorming run and cross. 

The result – which was a foregone conclusion in the end - failed to dampen the spirits of the Millers travelling contingent – who were determined to enjoy their day whatever the circumstances.

Full-time- Bristol City 2 Rotherham United 0

Bristol City 2

Rotherham United 0

Teams: Bristol City- O’Leary, Tanner, Dickie, Roberts, McCrorie, James (Knight 63), Williams, Pring (Morrison 86), Mehmeti (Sykes 63), Twine (King 81), Conway (Wells 63). Unused- Bajic, Gardner-Hickman, Mebude, Cornick.  

Rotherham- Phillips, Bramall, Eaves, Hugill (Nombe 68), Rinomhota, Rathbone (Hatton 88), Peltier, Odoffin, Humphreys, Revan (Seriki 68), Appiah (Hall 46). Unused- Johansson, Ford.

Referee- C Breakspear.




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