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Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 2 v 4 Brentford

19 January 2019

Millers slip to home defeat.....

ROTHERHAM United fought back twice but came out on the wrong end of a six-goal affair with Brentford.

The Londoners made a fast start thanks to Kamohelo Mokotjo’s strike but Jon Taylor soon levelled matters for Paul Warne’s side.

Said Benrahma put the Bees ahead for a second time before Clark Robertson, with the aid of a slight deflection, gave the Millers hope of claiming a share of the spoils. However, Mokotjo’s second of the afternoon, almost immediately, and Neal Maupay’s strike saw Thomas Frank’s side extend their unbeaten run to seven games, at the expense of the Millers.

Following their narrow defeat at the hands of Ipswich Town last weekend, Millers chief Warne made a solitary change to his starting line-up with Irish midfielder Richie Towell returning to the fold in the home engine room following a three-match suspension, at the expense of Sean Raggett, who was named amongst the substitutes.

New signing Matt Crooks joined him on the bench alongside Kyle Vassell and Billy Jones, who shrugged off injury to take their place in the squad.

The Londoners were quick out of the blocks and they broke the deadlock after two minutes when Rico Henry injected pace into a visitors move and Benrahma worked a yard of space on his marker to deliver a tantalising pull-back into the path of on-rushing Mokotjo, who kept his nerve to slide the ball into the bottom corner of the net, giving Marek Rodak no chance.

Moments later, Ollie Watkins embarked on a purposeful run which ended when Bentahma delivered a first-time centre which was snuffed out by Rodak, who was quick off his line before Maupay almost pounced onto a home error to advance on goal, but a retreating defender halted his progress.

In Rotherham’s first foray of note, Anthony Forde’s run and cross narrowly evaded the attentions of Michael Smith, at the far post before skipper Will Vaulks struck an instinctive effort from distance which was straight down the throat of visiting ‘keeper Daniel Bentley.

Just past the quarter hour, Brentford turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye following a tame Forde corner but Ben Wiles showed his defensive instincts to deny Maupay – with a timely interception.

However, Rotherham got themselves back on level terms on 20 minutes when Brentford failed to deal with a Forde corner and the ball fell kindly for Taylor, on the edge of the box, who cleverly worked a shooting position to lash a rasping right-footed effort which whistled past the outstretched hand of Bentley to nestle into the far corner of the goal.

The hosts were visibly lifted by the equaliser and Zak Vyner hung up a cross which was met by head of Smith, but his looping header narrowly cleared the Bees crossbar before Maupay’s snap shot was bravely blocked by Robertson, at the other end, before Watkins’ foul on Semi Ajayi released the pressure on the home side.

Just before the half-hour mark, Brentford had faint appeals for a spot kick when a fortuitous bounce gave Maupay, a glimpse of goal, before the French striker tumbled under the challenge of Robertson in the box, but the referee waved away visiting protests.  

The Millers were a coat of paint from taking the lead when Vyner skipped down the touchline to deliver an inviting centre which was aimed at Smith, who tussled with his marker, but the ball landed kindly for Taylor behind him, who instinctively bundled the ball towards goal, but it flew just inches wide of the upright.

Minutes later, the home fans were left scratching their heads over how their side were not ahead when Vaulks turned on his left-foot to clip a cross which was inch-perfect for Robertson, who forced a superb reflex save from Bentley but the ball dropped for Ajayi, who looked a certain scorer from just yards out, but he dragged his shot wide despite having the goal at his mercy.

Just before the break, Vaulks launched a long throw into the box and Robertson emerged from the masse of bodies to nod goalwards, but his effort failed to trouble Bentley in the away goal before Rodak was called into action to smother Benrahma’s long range shot, at the other end.

Half-time- Rotherham United 1 Brentford 1

The Millers had a lucky escape at the start of the second half when Yoann Barbet’s clipped ball over the top caught the Millers defence square and Maupay, got the ball under his spell, before ushering the ball towards goal, but fortunately for the Millers, his effort dribbled narrowly wide.

Following a fast start to the second half, Brentford went ahead for the second time on 53 minutes when a fine flowing move on the edge of the box split open the Rotherham defence and Romaine Sawyers’ showed good awareness to slide the ball into the path of Benrahma, who picked his spot from the edge of the box - with a well-struck effort to find the bottom corner of the net.

The home side responded well to the setback and Wiles’ snap effort was deflected behind by Bardet before Forde swung over the resultant corner into the path of Robertson, who headed goalwards, but Bentley plucked his effort out of the sky.

Crooks was thrown into the fray for his Millers debut and the former Northampton midfielder made an instant impact to control Joe Mattock’s chip before almost putting Taylor away – with a reverse pass, but the ball was diverted to safety.

Minutes later, Henry dragged a left-footed effort across the Rotherham goalmouth before Rotherham levelled matters for a second time when Towell dug out a cross which was met by the head of Robertson, who nodded goalwards and the ball appeared to skim off a body in the box, before finding the heart of the Bees goal.

However, Rotherham joy proved short-lived when Brentford regained the lead, just two minutes later when Henry was allowed sneak around the back before playing a tantalising ball across the box and Mokotjo was the grateful recipient, as he drilled a low effort past Rodak, for his second goal of the afternoon.   

The Millers were starting down the barrel of defeat and Maupay twice came close to sealing the deal when he latched onto a quick counter to chip an effort over the advancing Rodak, which whistled inches wide before the Slovakian stopper bravely stood up tall to smother the in-form striker’s fiercely struck effort, from point-blank range.

With the game on a knife-edge, sub Jerry Yates delivered a fine centre which Ajayi was unable to direct goalwards before Rodak was called into action, once again, to deny Canos, with a smart save.

However, Brentford killed off Rotherham hopes with a fourth goal with five minutes remaining when Canos waltzed into the Millers box with ease before finding Maupay, who showed his class by evading the tackle of Robertson before firing into the heart of the home goal.  

Full-time- Rotherham United 2 Brentford 4

Rotherham United 2

Brentford 4

Teams:- Rotherham- Rodak, Vyner (Yates 78), Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Forde (Vassell 86), Taylor, Towell, Robertson, Smith, Wiles (Crooks 59). Unused- Price, Wood, Raggett, Jones.

Brentford- Bentley, Henry, Maupay, Watkins (Ogbene 88), Mokotjo (Dasilva 88), Sawyers, Benrahma (Canos 76), Dalsgaard, Jeanvier, Konsa, Barbet. Unused- Daniels, Odubajo, McEachran, Dasilva, Ogbene, Sorensen.

Referee- T Harrington

Attendance- 8319 (606)


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