Late penalty drama at Roundwood...
Tony Thompson saved a last-minute penalty to salvage a point, as Rotherham United’s second string drew 1-1 with Grimsby Town.
Craig Morgan returned to action after three months out, playing 60 minutes in the game which saw the Millers pegged back in the second period after Alec Denton had made the breakthrough.
Millers past and present were in attendance in the form of the respective managers Steve Evans and Paul Hurst, and it was the former who almost saw his side take the lead within 10 minutes; Michael O’Connor, available again after suspension, picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and his driven effort had to be saved by Greg Fleming.
However, a quiet opening 20 minutes was soon brought alive with O’Connor turning provider for Denton to finish expertly with his head beyond the onrushing ‘keeper. It was the Millers striker who again had the only other real chance of the half when he was put through on goal 35 minutes in, but this time Fleming was equal to him.
The second period provided much more in front of goal, and it took just five minutes for the scores to be levelled as Jack Griffin fed Dayle Southwell whose shot at the near post beat Thompson.
The chances began to come as the game entered the final 20 minutes and Nicky Walker and Denton will both know they could have done better as they fired at the ‘keeper and headed over the bar within two minutes of each other. At the other end Lewis Smith could and should have done better when faced only with Thompson, rather than missing the target.
James Cadman was introduced to the action, and created the next opportunity with a lung-bursting run eventually setting up Denton whose first touch was excellent, before he shot at Fleming, whilst moments later he found captain Dale Tonge who stepped inside his man, but couldn’t get his left-footed shot on target. Between those two chances Dan Rowe had to be alert to clear Southwell’s header off the goalline.
It was as the clock ticked over into the 90th minute that Southwell was the felled in the area after taking a shot, but the referee pointed to the spot. The striker dusted himself off and stepped up to take the kick only to see Thompson dive low to his left and parry clear. In the dying seconds Denton had a chance following more positive running by Ben Pringle on the left, but again he was off target.
Millers: Thompson, Tonge, Cameron, Morgan (Hart 55), Rowe, Rose, Walker, O’Connor, Beedham (Cadman 64), Denton, Pringle.
Grimsby: Fleming, Kerr, Morral, Griffin, Humble, Cuff, Thanoj, Peers, Bryant, Southwell, Artus.
Subs: Falconer, Smith, Loughran, Robinson, Winfarrah.