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Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 0 v 2 Coventry

18 February 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 0 v 2 Coventry

18 February 2023

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Millers slip to back-to-back defeats....

Rotherham United will be anxiously looking over their shoulders at the lower end of the Sky Bet Championship table as second-half strikes from Jamie Allen and Viktor Gyokeres for Coventry City condemned them to back-to-back defeats.

The Millers arguably shaded a poor first half and January recruit Jordan Hugill had an early goal ruled out before the same player should have done better when he headed straight at Ben Wilson.

However, Taylor’s side were undone for the second game in succession when Allen and Gyokeres pounced in the second 45 for the Sky Blues.  

Taylor made three changes to his Millers starting line-up, following their heart breaking midweek defeat at the hands of Reading, for the visit of the Sky Blues.

Experienced centre-half Grant Hall was recalled while Shane Ferguson was also handed a starting berth. Millers flyer Chiedozie Ogbene made up the trio of changes.

Bailey Wright, Tariqe Fosu and Conor Washington, who were all starters in Berkshire, had to settle for substitute berths. Norwegian full-back Leo Hjelde was able to join them after shrugging off an ankle complaint.

There were a few familiar faces in the visitors ranks. Former Millers striker and manager, Mark Robins took his place in the dugout while Arsenal loanee Brooke Norton-Cuffy returned to South Yorkshire, after spending the first half of the campaign at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The Millers made the early running and they came close to silencing the noisy travelling contingent on four minutes.

The home side won a corner and Ferguson delivered a lovely in-swinging centre to the far post and Hugill sneaked around the back before heading home from close range, but any joy was cut short immediately as the referee had already penalised another Rotherham player for a shirt pull in the box.

The Millers continued to press and Ogbene delivered a cross which Norton-Cuffy only half-cleared into the path of home skipper, Ollie Rathbone, who got the ball under his spell before drilling a low shot narrowly wide of the target.

Just before the quarter hour, Gustavo Hamer had Coventry’s first shot in anger with a low shot from distance which Viktor Johansson comfortably smothered.

Norton-Cuffy was then forced to walk a disciplinary tightrope for much of the game, as he was yellow carded for a pull-back on Bramall.

The Millers had a scare when Hamer’s ball in the channel put Gyokeres in the clear, and the in-form Swedish striker made light work of Cameron Humphreys and Hall before striking a fierce effort from a tight angle which brought a fine, reflex save from Johansson.

There was a lull in the action until Cohen Bramall swung over a hopeful cross which Jake Bidwell could only divert into the path of Rathbone – who despite being on his weaker left-foot – hit a sweet strike which flew narrowly over the Coventry bar.

Moments later, Lee Peltier launched a long throw which was only half-cleared but neither Bramall or Ogbene could get their shots away before Humphreys was carded for preventing Gyokeres from launching a visitors' counter-attack.

At the other end, Rathbone showed nerves of steel to clear from near his own goal under pressure from several Coventry runners before Johansson kept his nerve to pluck the ball out of the Rotherham sky, following a dangerous set-piece.

The Millers had the best chance of the half when Rathbone weighed up his options before clipping a lovely cross which bisected the Coventry centre halves, and Hugill found himself in acres of space but he could only direct his header into the grateful hands of Wilson, who had correctly guessed his intentions.

The home side finished the half strongly and Callum Doyle was cautioned for halting Ogbene in full flow before a free-kick award released the pressure on the visitors from Ferguson’s resultant free-kick.  

Half-time: Rotherham United 0 Coventry City 0  

The Millers made the worst possible start to the second half when Coventry – now attacking their travelling fans -  broke the deadlock in the early minutes.  

The game swung end to end before Coventry broke clear down the left flank and Bidwell showed good awareness to pick out an unmarked Allen in the box, who appeared to take a heavy first touch, but he reacted smartly to still nip in front of Humphreys, and with his second and decisive involvement, he toe-poked past a helpless Johansson.

Taylor’s side were visibly rocked by the setback and Kasey Palmer’s quick free-kick paved the way for Norton-Cuffy to drill a low effort which was straight down the throat of Johansson before Conor Coventry was stripped of possession, at the breakdown of a home corner, and Hamer led a cavalry charge which ended when Gyokeres was in a foot race with Johansson, and the Rotherham ‘keeper showed great bravery by diving at the feet of his countryman, to prevent him getting a clean shot away.  

Fosu and Washington were introduced within minutes of each other, in an attempt to breathe life into the Millers, and it almost paid dividends when Ogbene’s hooked cross caused havoc in the Coventry rearguard and although Hugill was denied, Fosu threaded a low shot from the edge of the box which whistled just wide.

Coventry came close to doubling their lead when Gyokeres latched onto a long punt up field, and he cut inside with menace past two home defenders, but thankfully for the Millers, he dragged his shot wide.

Taylor – in a last throw of the dice – made a further triple change but Rotherham’s disappointing afternoon was summed up when Ogbene blasted a long range effort into the home fans behind the goal.

There was a flashpoint when Ogbene and Gyokeres clashed, and the referee brandished a yellow card to both players.

In stoppage time, Coventry finally put pay to Rotherham’s chances when they launched a quick counter and after the Millers squandered an opportunity or two to clear the danger, the lively Hamer found Gyokeres and the highly-rated forward made no mistake to drill a low effort into the far corner of the net giving Johansson no chance.   

Full-time: Rotherham United 0 Coventry City 2

Rotherham United 0

Coventry City 2

Teams: Rotherham- Johansson, Bramall, Coventry, Hugill (G Kelly 78), Ogbene, Ferguson (Washington 60), Rathbone, Hall (Wright 78), Peltier (Eaves 78), Odoffin (Fosu 54), Humphreys. Unused- Vickers, Hjelde.

Coventry- Wilson, Doyle, McFadzean, Norton-Cuffy, Allen, McNally, Gyokeres, Bidwell, Eccles (L Kelly 89), Hamer, Palmer (Godden 72). Unused- Moore, Rose, Wilson-Esbrand, Walker, Burroughs.

Referee- K Stroud

Attendance- 10865 (2179)





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