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Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 0 v 2 Luton

15 April 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 0 v 2 Luton

15 April 2023

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Millers lose out to in-form Luton.....

Rotherham United’s three-match unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship came to an end when two goals in a matter of minutes either side of the interval saw in-form Luton Town run out victors at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Two-time Millers loanee Carlton Morris came back to haunt his former employers with the opener before Cauley Woodrow fired home a rebound after Josh Vickers had saved his initial spot-kick.  

After picking up four points out of six during the Easter period, Millers boss Matt Taylor made two changes to his starting line-up following their last outing at Carrow Road.

Experienced campaigner Lee Peltier returned to the heart of the Rotherham rearguard while Norwegian youngster Leo Hjelde was brought back into the home eleven.  

Conor Bramall and Ollie Rathbone, who were starters in Norfolk, were named on the home bench.

Taylor reverted from a 4-3-3 formation to a 3-5-2 with Hjelde and Harding on the flanks while Chiedozie Ogbene joined skipper Jordan Hugill as a striking pair.

The stakes were high for both teams and there was an early flashpoint when Cameron Humphreys and Morris clashed but the referee decided to take no further action.

Minutes later, Harding got the better of Amari’I Bell to work a crossing position but his centre was straight down the throat of Ethan Horvath while Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu had a snap shot blocked en-route to goal following Morris’ knockdown.

There was very little to report early on until Tariqe Fosu slid in Hugill, but the Millers striker’s low cross was smothered by Horvath before Ogbene showed fleet of foot to evade two Luton defenders but his clipped centre evaded home runners.  

The visitors had the first spell of sustained pressure, just shy of the half-hour mark, but Tom Lockyer failed to make it count when he blazed a long-range effort into the home fans behind the goal.

Minutes later, Hjelde became the first to see yellow for a mis-timed challenge on Cody Drameh and Reece Burke soon joined him in the book for bundling over Ogbene in an off-the-ball incident.

In the next phase of play, Morris missed out from a Luton corner before Woodrow latched on the pieces to deliver a lovely centre which was met by the former Millers and Barnsley striker, but he headed over the home bar.

The game sprang to life when Drameh got around the back to drill a cross which Vickers did well to usher away from goal, but the ball fell tantalisingly for Bell, who looked set to drill home into the unguarded net, and although he duly obliged to fire goalwards, Vickers pulled off a miraculous save, on his own goal line to keep the Hatters at bay.

However, Rotherham’s relief was only temporary and Luton – who had marginally shaded a low key first-half – went into the interval ahead when an arrowed ball was played across goal, and Morris got the ball under his spell to cut inside his marker before keeping his nerve to fire into the roof of the home net giving Vickers no chance for his 18th goal of the season.  

Half-time: Rotherham United 0 Luton Town 1     

Attacking their large travelling continent, Luton had the opportunity to take a firm grip on the game, just seconds into the second 45.

There looked little danger for the hosts until Drameh swung over a cross and Wes Harding, in an attempt to clear the danger, got in a muddle with his body position and the ball appeared to strike his upper arm in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot.

Woodrow was entrusted with the responsibility from 12 yards but despite Vickers correctly guessing his intentions with a fine save from his initial effort, the ball rolled tantalisingly back into Luton striker’s path, and he made no mistake second time around, to confidently slot home.  

The Millers immediately made a double substitution with Rathbone and Domingos Quina introduced but it was Luton, who came close to a third when Rotherham failed to clear a corner and Hatters skipper Sonny Bradley planted the ball into the danger area and Morris fired into the side netting from close range.

Taylor’s side were looking for a much-needed spark and it nearly came when Quina curled a free-kick over the Luton wall but it sailed narrowly wide of the target.

Minutes later, Allan Campbell was deservedly carded for cynically tripping Rathbone as he looked to break clear.

There was a moment of controversy when Quina failed to work a shooting position in the box before Hugill’s lay-off presented Jamie Lindsay with the chance to strike, and Campbell – possibly with the use of an arm – blocked his shot at close quarters, but this time, no spot-kick was awarded to the frustration of the home faithful.

The Hatters’ fans were in full voice and they were almost off their seats again when Mpanzu fizzed a lovely effort from just outside the box which shaved the home crossbar.

Taylor used up his full complement of substitutions with Georgie Kelly and Richard Wood – in his first competitive action since mid-January – brought on and the AESSEAL New York Stadium faithful were visibly lifted by the pair’s introduction.

Wood took on the skipper’s armband and the fans favourite was in thick of the action with a brilliant block in front of goal – which kept Rotherham hopes alive – when sub Luke Berry looked odds-on to notch the Hatters’ third goal after good work from Mpanzu in the build-up.

The sting was taken out of Rotherham’s rally and Drameh was cautioned for a hefty challenge on Bramall near the touchline before Bradley stung the palms of Vickers with a low shot.

Rotherham frustration boiled over when Quina was yellow-carded for a late challenge. Mpanzu was also yellow-carded for sending Kelly tumbling on the edge of the box.

From the resultant free-kick, Quina drilled an effort which Hugill failed to divert goalwards in the game's last act. 

Full-time: Rotherham United 0 Luton Town 2

Rotherham United 0

Luton Town 2

Teams: Rotherham- Vickers, Harding, Coventry (Rathbone 52), Fosu (Kelly 68), Hugill, Ogbene, Lindsay, Peltier (Bramall 58), Humphreys, Hjelde (Quina 52), Blackett (Wood 68). Unused- Hemfrey, Odoffin.

Luton- Horvath, Drameh, Lockyer, Bradley, Morris (Taylor 66), Woodrow (Berry 70), Nakamba, Burke (Freeman 86), Mpanzu, Campbell, Bell. Unused- Shea, Lansbury, Watson, Thorpe.

Referee- L Doughty

Attendance- 11009 (2125)





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