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Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 3 v 1 QPR

4 March 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rotherham 3 v 1 QPR

4 March 2023

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Millers grab vital win....

Jordan Hugill notched his first goals in Millers colours with a timely brace as Rotherham United grabbed a vital victory in their Sky Bet Championship survival fight following a 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

At a lively AESSEAL New York Stadium, Hugill scored either side of the break – with his second coming from the spot – and despite Jamal Lowe giving Rangers hope late on, Hakeem Odoffin extinguished any hopes of a fightback with a telling third goal.  

The victory gave the Millers back-to-back home wins and helped them leapfrog their visitors in the process.

Boss Matt Taylor was dealt a blow prior to kick-off as he was forced to make two enforced changes to his starting line-up following their hard-fought draw with Swansea City in their last outing.

Experienced operator, Lee Peltier and skipper Ollie Rathbone – who have been arguably the club’s two standout performers – in recent weeks, were absent from the home squad, because of hamstring and groin injuries, respectively.

Wes Harding and Odoffin were drafted into the home line-up while Tom Eaves and Peter Kioso were named on the bench.

Both sides had early sniffs of goal when Albert Odomah shot harmlessly wide for Rangers before Leo Hjelde had an ambitious strike charged down while Chiedozie Ogbene – a scorer in South Wales – miscued his effort from a tight angle.

The Millers produced a fine move when Tariqe Fosu and Odoffin combined smartly to release Hjelde but the Norwegian’s cross was put behind and very little came from Conor Coventry’s resultant corner.

At the other end, Stefan Johansen’s planted a short corner into the six-yard box and the home side managed to scramble the ball clear from the ensuing melee.

On the quarter hour, Rotherham broke the deadlock when Hugill notched his first goal since his January arrival against his former club.

Fosu started the move by picking up the loose ball on halfway before playing a lovely ball around the back on the QPR rearguard, and Ogbene showed his jet-heeled speed, by leaving the full-back in his wake, and despite not getting the ball under his spell at the first time of asking, the Republic of Ireland international played a centre, which took a number of QPR defenders out of the game and the Millers frontman, cleverly peeled off the back of them, and kept his nerve to slide the ball into the bottom corner of the visitors net giving Seny Dieng no chance.   

The West Londoners responded positively to the setback and Chris Martin was inches away from meeting Osman Kakay’s wicked cross.

Not for the first time this season, the Millers were indebted to their Swedish ‘keeper Viktor Johansson for preserving their slender lead when Adomah made light work of Cameron Humphreys before clipping a lovely cross to the far stick which was met sweetly on the volley by QPR skipper, Johansen, but Rotherham’s own, Johansson, produced a brilliant save to tip his fierce effort over the bar, against all the odds.

Both sides traded chances when Fosu tried his luck from distance but Dieng saved at the second attempt before Jamal Lowe ghosted past Bailey Wright but Humphreys produced a superbly timed challenge in the home box to halt his progress.

The visitors squandered an opportunity when Lowe dug out a cross and Tim Iroegbunam declined the opportunity to shoot first time, before volleying over from close range under pressure from home defenders.

On the half hour, Ogbene slipped in Odoffin, who stung the palms of Dieng, with a snap shot before Shane Ferguson was denied on the follow-up.

There was a moment of controversy when Hugill became the first to see yellow following an aerial duel with Jimmy Dunne.

A lovely, mazy run from Fosu split open the Rangers rearguard but he was unable to get his shot away.

The Millers turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye in a lightning counter-attack and Hugill clipped a delicate ball into the path of a rampaging Ferguson, who took aim with his first touch, before firing goalwards but Dieng was his equal with a fine save.

Fosu was proving a thorn in QPR’s side and after Iroegbunam was cautioned for bringing him down in full flow, the Millers winger presented Ogbene with the chance to hang a cross which Hugill headed straight into the grateful hands of Dieng.

The Brentford loanee then unleashed a dipping effort, from just outside the box, which narrowly evaded the attentions of Odoffin but Dieng snuffed out the danger before Adomah threatened twice, at the other end, by firing over via a deflection, and then shooting wide, in the first half’s last act.  

Half-time: Rotherham United 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

There was a lively opening to the second 45 with Rotherham attacking the KCM Waste Management Stand, and the home fans were off their seats, when Dieng flapped at Ferguson’s inswinging corner and the Senegalese ‘keeper, in an attempt to atone for his error, appeared to clumsily nudge over Harding in the box but the referee waved away vehement home protests for a spot kick.

Sam Field was then cautioned for the visitors before the same player hooked a volley over in the aftermath of back-to-back visiting corners.

The Millers had a let off when Aaron Drewe’s cross was brought under control by Dunne, who held off his marker in the box before firing an arching shot, which fizzed narrowly wide of the home goal.

The moment proved crucial when Rotherham were presented with the chance to double their advantage with 20 minutes to go.

Ogbene showed fleet of foot to work a yard of space on his marker to deliver a lovely centre and Hugill got on the wrong side of Rob Dickie, in the box, and the QPR defender hauled the Rotherham frontman to the floor. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot before brandishing a yellow-card to Dickie in the process.

Hugill dusted himself down to take the responsibility himself from 12 yards and the former West Ham and Norwich City striker exacted retribution from the spot, by sending Dieng, the wrong way, to find the heart of the visitors goal.

Hugill was the new darling of the Red and White Army and he came agonisingly close to claiming the match ball when he attempted to latch onto a teasing Ogbene centre but he could not make a telling connection despite being just yards out.  

The game took a further twist, and it was far from over when QPR halved the deficit with seven minutes to go.

There looked little danger for the Millers until sub Sinclair Armstrong looked to skip away near the touchline, and despite the ball being dangerously close to being out of play, he tumbled under the challenge of Harding and the referee gave a second spot-kick while cautioning the Rotherham full-back.

Lowe gave QPR hope of salvaging a share of the spoils when he fired into the top corner of the net from the spot.

Rotherham’s fears were heightened when Rangers penned the Millers deep, and Dickie met Kakay’s cross to hook narrowly over the crossbar.

However, Rotherham grabbed an all-important third goal with 90 minutes on the clock when Conor Washington and Georgie Kelly – just introduced by Taylor seconds earlier – combined as the Irishman had a shot blocked en-route to goal before Odoffin made no mistake at the second time of asking, when he drilled a lovely effort into the bottom corner of the visitors net.

Full-time: Rotherham United 3 Queens Park Rangers 1

Rotherham United 3

Queens Park Rangers 1

Teams: Rotherham- Johansson, Harding, Coventry, Fosu (Washington 89), Hugill (Kelly 89), Ogbene (Kioso 90), Ferguson (Lindsay 75), Odoffin, Humphreys, Wright, Hjelde. Unused- Vickers, Bramall, Eaves.

QPR- Dieng, Kakay, Dunne, Dickie, Johansen, Martin, Field, Lowe, Drewe, Adomah (Richards 65), Iroegbunam (Armstrong 65) Unused- Archer, Dozzell, Dixon-Bonner, Gubbins, Aoraha.

Referee- D Bond

Attendance- 10563 (1162)


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