Brighton 1 v 1 Rotherham - Report
Rotherham United made it five games unbeaten after a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Alex Revell netted his third of the campaign in the second half to cancel out Joe Bennett’s first half opener after a tight affair where both sides had good opportunities to win the game.
The point means the Millers have been unbeaten throughout the month of October after three draws and a victory over Leeds United.
Manager Steve Evans made one change from the side that drew 3-3 with Fulham at New York Stadium in midweek. Out came Jonson Clarke-Harris to be replaced by Jordan Bowery who started on the right, with Paul Taylor pushing forward to play just off Alex Revell who started against his former club.
The Millers started positively against a side that were looking for their first league win since August. A ball up to Revell found its way to Taylor whose shot from just inside the area was comfortably held by Seagulls ‘keeper and former Millers loanee David Stockdale.
The home side quickly found their feet and could have been in front on four minutes. A low cross from the right from Adrian Colunga was swept towards goal by ex-Miller Chris O’Grady but his low strike was turned just wide of Adam Collin’s near post.
Brighton began to exert more pressure on the Millers but Evans’ side looked solid, comfortably negotiating the opening 10 minutes.
Sami Hypia’s side started to grow in confidence as the Millers penalty area started to come under threat. On 13 minutes Sam Baldock fired towards goal but his low strike thundered into a ruck of Millers defenders as Adam Collin remained untested. Evans’ side were given another scare moments later when Jake Forster-Caskey’s centre was turned over the bar by Gary Gardner when well placed to do better.
As the game started to settle Joe Skarz was the first to see yellow on 15 minutes when he clattered into the back of Baldock with a challenge just inside his own half.
On 18 minutes Evans made a tactical re-shuffle with Bowery asked to join Revell in attack allowing Taylor to be deployed on the right of midfield.
Brighton continued to look the more threatening and they finally tested Collin when Calderon’s cross from the right was headed towards goal by Joe Bennett, but the former Carlisle custodian dived to his left to palm the ball to safety.
After taking what the home side had to throw at them the Millers missed a golden opportunity to take the lead with their first clear-cut opening on 25 minutes. Ben Pringle delivered a pin-point cross with his left foot which found the head of Bowery, but his glancing header flashed just beyond Stockdale’s far post.
Just before the half hour mark the Millers went close again. A deep cross to the back post was nodded down by Revell, the resulting clearance went straight to Paul Green and his low shot was pushed away by a sprawling Stockdale who was alert to the danger.
With 10 minutes to go before the interval Brighton served a quick reminder of their attacking prowess when Baldock’s low centre was fired wide by an advancing Colunga from eight yards out.
Despite the home side shading the possession stats it was the Millers who were creating the better opportunities. With four minutes of the half remaining Frazer Richardson galloped forward into an advanced position before delivering an inviting cross that Revell powered straight at Stockdale. Soon after it was Pringle’s turn to deliver, this time firing in a low cross which zipped right through the six-yard area when only a touch would have brought the opening goal.
As the game edged towards the break the Millers were delivered a sucker punch as the Seagulls took the lead. A cross to the far post picked out Bennett who was unmarked, after initially miss-controlling he regained possession of the ball after a miscued clearance by Richardson before hitting a low shot from a tight angle which beat Collin and nestled into the bottom corner.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 v 0 Rotherham United
Rotherham made a blistering start to the second half and quickly found themselves on level terms. Great work down the left from Pringle resulted in a low cross into the feet of an unmarked Revell, who coolly slid the ball beyond Stockdale from eight yards out to bag his third goal in as many games against his former employers.
Now looking much more purposeful in attack, the Millers took the game to the home side. Rotherham almost found themselves in front on 53 minutes from an unlikely source when Captain Craig Morgan was invited forward before unleashing a low shot which was tipped away at full stretch by Stockdale. The natives were starting to get restless when a minute later a poor clearance almost let Revell in again but this time he skied his effort from just outside the area.
On 55 minutes Evans shuffled his attacking options with recent goal hero Clarke-Harris replacing Bowery alongside Revell up front.
Morgan joined Skarz in the book after a trip on Colunga just before the hour mark with Green comfortably heading clear the resulting free-kick. The Republic of Ireland international was involved again on 65 minutes when his shot arrowed narrowly wide of the far post from 20 yards out as the Millers continued to carry the greater threat going forward.
On 70 minutes it was Lee Frecklington’s turn to take aim after a purposeful break towards the edge of the area, but his low shot was deflected wide with the home side clearing the following corner.
Brighton sub Paddy McCourt was next in the book after a crude challenge on Taylor who broke clear down the right side.
The home side could have gone back in front with 12 minutes remaining when a routine corner picked out Lewis Dunk but he planted his header straight into the hands of Collin. The Millers found themselves under pressure again on 80 minutes but Kari Arnason made a brilliant last ditch challenge to snuff out the Albion advance. Three minutes later and McCourt played a clever one-two on the edge of the area but his low cross eluded everyone in the area and was cleared.
In injury time Clarke-Harris almost won it for the Millers but a fizzing low free-kick was tipped away by Stockdale at full stretch, whilst Gordon Greer was the luckiest man in the ground when his sliced clearance from a Richie Smallwood cross was again frantically palmed away by a diving Stockdale.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 v 1 Rotherham United
Brighton: Stockdale; Gardner (McCourt 68), Greer, Dunk, Bennett, Forster-Caskey (Teixeira 80), Ince, Calderon, Colunga, O’Grady, Baldock.
Subs not used: Ankergren, Hughes, Chicksen, Holla, Fenelon.
Rotherham: Collin; Richardson, Arnason, Morgan, Skarz, Bowery (Clarke-Harris 55), Green, Frecklington, Pringle, Taylor (Smallwood 83), Revell.
Subs not used: Loach, Broadfoot, Hall, Swift, Derbyshire.
Attendance: 24, 370 (619)