Manning's spot kick gives Millers win.....
ROTHERHAM United earned their third home league win of the season as Ryan Manning’s spot kick helped Paul Warne’s side claim the heavyweight scalp of Derby County.
With Derby reduced to ten men after one-time Millers loanee Tom Lawrence was shown a red card for a rash tackle, Manning stepped up from 12 yards after Kyle Vassell was brought down by Fikayo Tomori.
It was an afternoon to forget for former England midfielder Frank Lampard, who saw his side slip to defeat, while being banished to the AESSEAL New York Stadium stands following strong protests.
The Millers returned to Championship action with the hosting of the in-form Rams, who came into the clash on the back of four successive victories in all competitions.
Semi Ajayi, who starred for Nigeria during the international break, reverted to his familiar centre-half role, in the absence of Sean Raggett while Irishman Richie Towell was handed his first league start, since making his loan return from Brighton.
Vassell was also given an opportunity to impress in Millers colours, as the likes of Jon Taylor and Jamie Proctor had to settle for substitute berths.
The visitors had the first sight of goal in the early seconds when England Under 21 international Mason Mount showed fleet of foot to work a yard of space on Will Vaulks before planting a speculative cross-cum-shot which was straight down the throat of Marek Rodak.
In Rotherham’s first attack of note, Vaulks’ clip over the top was pounced upon by Towell, who knocked the ball forward into the path of Vassell but Jayden Bogle was around on the cover to nudge the ball back into the grateful hands of England ‘keeper Scott Carson.
Minutes later, Derby failed to deal with a long punt forward and Smith’s flick-on almost put Ryan Williams in the clear and although the Australian was unable to get his shot away, he pulled the ball back into the path of Manning, whose fierce effort was bravely blocked by a retreating defender before Michael Smith latched onto the pieces to drill a low effort which had Carson nervously scurrying across goal, as it shaved the visitors’ upright.
The Millers were looking the most likely and Manning’s centre was only half-cleared into the path of Vaulks, who fired a snap shot from just outside the box, but it was deflected behind by the outstretched leg of a visitors’ defender before Manning squandered two opportunities to put the Derby defence under pressure, from set-piece situations – with both crosses over-hit.
In the Millers’ next attack, Towell showed great tenacity to get the better of Florian Jozefzoon before drilling a low effort from just inside the box but Carson smothered his effort, at the near post.
At the other end, Jozefzoon’s cross was snuffed out before Mount tried his luck from distance but Rodak kept his swerving effort at bay, despite a juggling act on own goal line before Mount showed clever footwork to evade the attentions of Vaulks to present Tom Huddlestone with the chance to strike and the ex-Spurs midfielder unleashed a rasping effort which was arrowing into the top corner of the goal until Rodak’s superb acrobatic intervention.
In a lively sixty seconds, Mount made something out of nothing to toe-poke narrowly wide of the target before Rotherham stole possession on halfway and Towell’s slide-rule pass gave Smith the opportunity to sting the palms of Carson with a fierce drive before Richard Wood headed wide from Vaulks’ long throw, in the resultant play.
Moments later, Derby were indebted to Craig Forsyth for a timely clearance with Towell poised to strike, as he latched onto Wood’s headed flick on before Vaulks’ sneaked around the back to meet Manning’s corner, but his tame header failed to trouble the visitors’ goal.
Minutes later, Richard Keogh was at full stretch to divert Zak Vyner’s whipped centre to safety before a training ground move saw Manning fire a deep corner to Towell, who peeled away around the back and the Irishman had the time and space to execute a dipping effort which brought the best out of Carson, who kept the ball out.
With half-time approaching, a long punt from the left flank paved the way for Williams to pick out Smith, who looked to find the tightest of gaps at Carson’s near post, but his effort flashed just wide before Rodak was called into action to parry one-time Millers loanee Tom Lawrence’s left-footed effort to safety.
Half-time- Rotherham United 0 Derby County 0
The visitors were quick out of the traps at the beginning of the second half and Forsyth floated a cross-cum-shot which had Rodak nervously looking over his shoulder as it narrowly cleared the home crossbar before Wood became the first to see yellow, as he struggled in a footrace with Jozefzoon, before hauling down the Derby winger.
Moments later, the Millers skipper escaped further sanction following a tussle with Martyn Waghorn before Vyner’s superb cross was cushioned by Mattock into the path of Vassell, who unleashed a fierce left-footed effort which was arrowing into the bottom corner before Carson superbly parried the ball to safety before an unmarked Ajayi headed wide from Manning’s resultant corner.
There was a moment of controversy when Lawrence tumbled under the challenge of Vaulks, just outside the home box, although the Welsh international appeared to trip under his own feet but justice was done when Lawrence fired straight into the home wall before the ball was scrambled to safety.
The blue touch paper was lit, just moments later, when Lawrence launched into a rash tackle on Towell, near the touchline, and in a melee involving both sets of players, Lawrence was shown the red card while Vassell was booked for his reaction, in the aftermath of the incident.
Minutes later, Derby’s frustration boiled over when Mount was shown a yellow card for dissent before Rotherham were gifted a chance to take the lead when a hopeful punt in the box saw Vassell felled under the challenge of Tomori, at the back post, and although the referee waved away home protests, the spot-kick was awarded following consultation with the assistant referee – with Keogh becoming the latest to see yellow, in the aftermath, for his lengthy protests.
Manning kept his nerve from the resultant penalty when he stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net giving Carson no chance.
With the game at boiling point, Joe Mattock earned a needless yellow-card for a hefty challenge on sub Mason Bennett near the touchline before home hearts skipped a beat when Bogle’s dangerous cross whizzed across the Rotherham goalmouth.
Minutes later, Derby had faint appeals for a spot kick of their own when Bogle’s cross appeared to strike the arm of sub Taylor, but the referee waved away visiting protests before Derby boss Lampard became the next to see red, as he was sent to the stands following his vehement appeals to the assistant referee.
With the game in the balance, Manning struck a rasping effort from distance which had Carson at his acrobatic best to keep the ball out before sub Jack Marriott almost came to haunt the Millers once again when he hooked over from an inviting position, following good work by Bogle in the build-up.
In the dying minutes, Ajayi brought the home fans to their feet when he showed his defensive instincts to shackle Marriott, despite looking second best at one stage, before the Rotherham centre-half put his body on the line to block Mount’s effort, after the Chelsea loanee had jinked into the Rotherham box.
In stoppage time, Millers’ nerves were on the edge after a retreating Taylor tripped Bogle on the edge of the box to earn a yellow card but Mount failed to exact retribution from the resultant free-kick when his curling effort flashed over the Rotherham crossbar before Rodak plucked Marriott’s centre out of sky, as the referee brought the game to an end to the acclaim of the home faithful.
Full-time- Rotherham United 1 Derby County 0
Rotherham United 1
Derby County 0
Teams:- Rotherham- Rodak, Vyner, Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Wood, Towell (Palmer 86), Manning, Vassell (Taylor 71), Williams, Smith (Proctor 78). Unused- Price, Forde, Wiles, Jones.
Derby- Carson, Forsyth, Tomori, Keogh, Mount, Waghorn (Marriott 64), Lawrence, Jozefzoon (Bennett 64), Johnson, Bogle, Huddlestone (Holmes 73). Unused- Roos, Wisdom, Ledley, Malone
Referee- P Bankes
Attendance- 10707 (2603)