Millers bow out of Emirates FA Cup…
It was a day to forget for Matt Taylor’s men at Portman Road as goals from Ipswich Town’s Cameron Humphreys and Freddie Ladapo, added with two penalties from Conor Chaplin and Wes Burns cancelled out Conor Washington’s early second half equaliser and were enough to book the Tractor Boys’ spot in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round.
Here’s how the action unfolded…
Having won all four of the recent meetings between the two and without conceding a goal in any, recent history tells us that the Millers go into today’s Emirates FA Cup tie as favourites. However as we know, football is never that simple.
Ipswich Town, having only lost once in the league since October of last year, sit third place in League One and will come into the clash today in high spirits.
Rotherham United have struggled for results recently, but as touched upon by the boss Matt Taylor, the arrival of the cup presents a unique opportunity to shrug off any potential weight that comes with league fixtures and allows his side to express themselves.
As is commonplace in the FA Cup, the stage is set for a brilliant spectacle this afternoon.
The tone of the game was set early on as fierce and physical battled raged on all areas of the pitch. It would Matt Taylor’s men who would have the more encouraging signs early on, as Jamie Lindsay broke through the Ipswich Town defence as he looked to slide a ball into the path of Conor Washington, but the Tractor Boys’ George Edmundson was alert enough to make the block.
To say the early signs looked good for the Millers wasn’t to say the home side weren’t without their share of the chances as well. Ipswich ’10 Conor Chaplin found room to work with in the Rotherham half, opting to sent a curving ball towards Johansson’s far post. Sneaking in at the back post was Kayden Jackson, who couldn’t quite get his effort on target.
Ipswich began to find their rhythm as the tie progressed, finding joy down either flank and assaulting the Rotherham United box with cross after cross. However, resolute defending from the Millers rearguard kept Kieran McKenna’s men at bay.
As both sides appeared the calm, the game opened up, and within the first ten minutes, the Millers already had the ball in the back of the Ipswich Town goal. Shane Ferguson found space and managed to fashion a low driven cross from the right squared perfectly for Conor Washington. The forward dispatched into an empty goal from close range, but the assistant referee already had his flag raised.
It was Sone Aluko who would be granted a golden chance to break the deadlock as he found space at close range for a shot at goal, opting for power, the fierce strike failed to trouble trouble Johansson as it flew high and wide.
Trademark Viktor Johansson heroics were in order again as a Leif Davis corner was floated in towards a familiar face in Freddie Ladapo. The skipper Richard Wood denied Ladapo, but only as far as Chaplin. The Ipswich attacker hit an impressive improvised volley towards goal from close range, but brilliant reactions from the Millers’ Swede between the sticks ensured the scoresheet was kept blank.
A miscommunication in the Millers backline allowed Kayden Jackson to intercept a loose ball before sliding it towards Ladapo. The former Miller held off his man before laying off Conor Chaplin for a strike at goal. Chaplin’s effort took a deflection, leading to a heart-in-mouth moment for the travelling Rotherham United contingent, but Johansson still managed to gather safely.
Eventually, the Ipswich Town pressure wasn’t uncontainable. At the stroke of half time, Kayden Jackson pulled a ball back towards the Tractor Boys’ ’30 Cameron Humphreys. Humphreys made no mistake in his finish as he struck it hard and low towards the bottom left to break the deadlock.
HALF TIME: IPSWICH TOWN 1 – 0 ROTHERHAM UNITED
A matter of seconds into the second ’45, Conor Washington robbed an Ipswich defender to find himself through on goal, before a misplaced slide tackle brought the Millers forward down inside the box. Washington won it, Washington took it, Washington scored it – and just like that, Rotherham drew level.
The end-to-end nature of the tie was not lost over the half time break as Conor Washington once again found himself running at the Ipswich box, shifting from left to right before fashioning a strike at goal. His effort was blocked and out for a Millers corner. However, straight up the other end, a long floated ball found its way to Conor Chaplin to caught it well on the volley first time, but his blasting effort flew over the bar.
An onslaught of Ipswich Town corners were defended bravely by the Millers. Ipswich were knocking but Matt Taylor’s men were not opening up.
It was the aforementioned familiar face Freddie Ladapo who would play a huge role in Ipswich’s regaining of the lead. He was adjudged to have been manhandled in the box, winning the Tractor Boys a penalty of their own. It would be Conor Chaplin who would step up to take it, and after having been a thorn in the Millers side all afternoon, made no error in his finish as he dispatched into the bottom corner to stick Kieran McKenna’s men back in front.
Mere minutes after regaining the lead, Ipswich doubled it. Freddie Ladapo found himself in a favourable position bearing down on the Millers box. The former-Miller rounded Johansson before slotting it past the last defender on the line.
Ipswich showed little sign of letting up and looked to compile the Millers’ misery when Harness was brought down inside the box, resulting in a second penalty for the home side. Substitute Wes Burns was cool from the spot, slotting it down the middle and adding a fourth to his side’s tally.
FULL TIME: IPSWICH TOWN 4 – 1 ROTHERHAM UNITED
Ipswich Town – Hladky, Keogh, Davis (Edwards 77’), Edmundson, Evans ©, Ladapo (Ahadme 83’), Chaplin (Leigh 77’), Jackson (Burns 77’), Aluko (Harness 67’), Vincent-Young, Humphreys.
Unused – Coleman, Morsy, Burgess, Luongo.
Rotherham United – Johansson, Harding, Bramall, Wood ©, Washington, Lindsay (McCart 75’), Ferguson (Barlaser 69’), Rathbone, Odoffin, Humphreys, Kioso (Ogbene 69’).
Unused – Hemfrey, Bola, Warne, Douglas.
Referee – Sebastian Stockbridge