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Match Reports

REPORT | Derby County 0 v 1 Rotherham

16 January 2021

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Rotherham United earned a valuable victory in their fight for Sky Bet Championship survival by triumphing over relegation rivals Derby County, thanks to Jamie Lindsay’s late winner.

Rotherham United earned a valuable victory in their fight for Sky Bet Championship survival by triumphing over relegation rivals Derby County, thanks to Jamie Lindsay’s late winner.

In their first league game of 2021, Paul Warne’s side ended a run of seven successive league defeats on the road, by grabbing a huge win, which was nothing less than what they deserved following a dominant display.

The Millers were unfortunate not to be leading at the break after skipper Richard Wood had a goal ruled out for offside, but they were not to be deterred and after Krystian Bielik rode his luck to escape a red-card, Lindsay made amends for an earlier miss, by tapping home, in the decisive moment of the game.

For the short hop to Pride Park, Warne named the same starting eleven that took Premier League, Everton, all the way to extra-time, before bowing out of the FA Cup, last weekend. 
There was welcome news on the Rotherham bench, as Shaun MacDonald and Clark Robertson returned after long injury lay-offs while Freddie Ladapo was available, following a groin problem. Centre-half Curtis Tilt was also among the eight visiting substitutes, after being recalled from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic.

Following a scrappy start to the game by both sides, Derby had the first shot in anger when Nathan Byrne raced down the right flank to deliver a centre which narrowly evaded the attentions of Kamil Jozwiak but fell invitingly into the advancing run of Graeme Shinnie, who fired a first-time shot with his favoured left-foot, from the edge of the box, but Jamal Blackman stood up tall to smartly parry his effort to safety.

In Rotherham’s first forays of note, Matt Crooks showed clever footwork to clip a ball into the path of a marauding Wes Harding, who burst into the Derby box, before planting a low cross which Michael Smith attempted to turn home at the near post, but the Millers frontman could not sort his feet out, as he flashed a point-blank effort wide before Ben Wiles headed over from Matt Olosunde’s centre, just seconds later.

The Millers were having a positive spell and Harding was again the creator with an incisive run and cross which was met by the head of Smith, at the far post, but he nodded wide from close range - although he was penalised for towering over Lee Buchanan in his aerial duel.  

Warne’s side were showing good organisational skills and Derby appeared to be getting frustrated in their efforts to get the ball forward until Jozwiak injected pace into a home move and Bryne swung over a cross which fell kindly for Buchanan, who struck a sweet effort, which brought a fine, reflex save from Blackman, at his near post.

Derby’s frustration boiled over when Buchanan was deservedly yellow carded for a rash tackle on Lindsay and Dan Barlaser delivered back-to-back set pieces, from inviting positions which the home side successfully negotiated.

The hosts were being guilty of giving away free kicks in and around their box, and Rotherham almost punished them when Angus MacDonald got on the end of another Barlaser delivery, but with Crooks in close proximity, the visiting centre-half could only screw his header wide.

The Millers were having the better of the proceedings and they had the ball in the net when Lindsay – with his back to goal – hooked the ball forward and Ihiekwe, who was up for a corner, attempted to deftly flick the ball into the path of his centre-half partner, Wood, who was also up field, and the visiting skipper showed the prowess of a seasoned attacker, by calmly stroking the ball past former Millers loanee Kelle Roos – with his weaker right-foot, but Rotherham’s joy was soon curtailed when a flag was raised.

It appeared that the goal was chalked off, due to an offside award, after it was deemed Ihiekwe had got a slight touch to Lindsay’s through ball – although TV replays appeared inconclusive, for both the touch and whether either Ihiekwe or Wood were offside.

Minutes later, Jozwiak fired over from a promising position before Krystian Bielik and Wiles were cautioned, in the half’s last acts.

Half-time- Derby County 0 Rotherham United 0

On a tricky playing surface, the Millers continued to frustrate their hosts, in the early stages of the second period, until Jason Knight’s volley was bravely blocked by MacDonald, on the edge of the box.  

At the other end, Wiles and Crooks failed to make the most of counter-attack opportunities before there was a moment of controversy when Crooks attempted to stride clear in another Rotherham breakaway, before being cynically brought down by Bielik, who was walking a tightrope following an earlier caution, but the referee decided to take no further action, to the consternation of the Millers players and coaching staff.

Bielik was immediately withdrawn from the proceedings, which only added to the Millers sense of injustice.

Derby almost rubbed salt into the Rotherham wounds – with twenty minutes to go, when Jozwiak shrugged off his marker to give Martyn Waghorn, a glimpse of goal, but he failed to hit the target from close range.

The home side were having their best spell of the game and Knight’s direct run and pass presented Shinnie with the chance to strike but Blackman got his body behind his goalbound shot.

With the game on a knife-edge, Harding’s fine tackle paved the way for Crooks to show Shinnie a clean pair of heels, as he carried the ball forward, but the Millers midfielder fluffed his lines with a tame cross which was intercepted by Roos.

Moments later, Waghorn’s looping header from Knight’s cross was comfortably plucked out of the sky by Blackman before Rotherham missed a great chance to break the deadlock.

There looked little danger until Wiles looped a ball into the danger area and Ihiekwe nodded down into the path of Lindsay, who looked a certain scorer, but the Scotsman lacked conviction with his finish – and his weak effort evaded Roos but struck Andre Wisdom, before falling to safety.

However, Warne’s side were not to be denied – and they claimed the decisive winner – with four minutes remaining, when Barlaser weighed up his options with a free kick, in a central position.

The mercurial midfielder showed his class, with a superb Beckham-esque strike, which had Roos flying across goal, as it struck the inside of the post, before running across the Derby goalmouth but the hosts’ relief was only temporary as Ihiekwe kept the ball alive to clip the ball back into the danger area and Wood, in his typical battering ram style, caused chaos in the six-yard box and the ball fell for Lindsay, who atoned for his earlier miss, by tapping home from close range.  

Full-time- Derby County 0 Rotherham United 1

Derby County 0

Rotherham United 1

Teams: Derby- Roos, Wisdom, Shinnie (Sibley 83), Bielik (Bird 66), Jozwiak, Waghorn, Byrne, Kazim-Richards, Clarke, Buchanan, Knight. Unused- Foster, Forsyth, Whittaker, Evans, K McDonald, Gordon, Mitchell-Lawson

Rotherham- Blackman, Wood, Wiles, Lindsay, Harding (Robertson 90), Ihiekwe, A MacDonald, Olosunde, Smith (Ladapo 80), Crooks, Barlaser. Unused- Johansson, Jones, S MacDonald, Hirst, Clarke, Tilt.  

Referee- J Linington

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