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Match Reports


7 November 2023

Match Reports


7 November 2023

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Rotherham United turned in a 'proper' Millers performance to earn a share of the spoils in an all-action 2-2 draw against high-flyers Ipswich Town.

Sam Nombe had set the hosts on their way early on before Sam Morsy levelled the scores in the first half. The travelling Ipswich Town supporters thought that their side would be returning to Suffolk with maximum points when the ball ricocheted into the Millers net moments from the end of the 90, but a classy stoppage time leveller from Christ Tiehi made it all square providing a fitting reward for a collosal effort from the hosts.

Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor reshuffled his pack from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers by making two changes as his side welcomed one of the division's early pace setters on Tuesday night. The pair of changes marked two full home debuts for Sam Nombe and Daniel Ayala, who came in at the expense of Jordan Hugill and Sean Morrison, who both took up places on the bench.

There was positive news amidst the seemingly season-long injury problems so far, as combative midfielder Jamie Lindsay returned among the Millers substitutes for the first team in the 2023/24 campaign.

Any early nerves around AESSEAL New York Stadium were immediately lifted with just four minutes on the clock when Taylor's decision to hand his former Exeter City striker a starting berth paid dividends. Some wing wizardry from Fred Onyedinman was capped by a delightful low ball into the six yard box, where Nombe slid in to apply the killer blow and make it 1-0.

Despite Ipswich's excellent away record - which has been complemented by them flexing their attacking muscles - the Millers continued to dominate proceedings up to and past the 10 minute-mark. 

The home side were showing all the hallmarks of the qualities Taylor had been looking for in recent weeks, with an industrious work ethic coupled with some passing that was more than easy on the eye.

That same approach almost yielded a second when Sam Clucas found himself a yard of space in the penalty area where he tried to cut it back for Onyedinma, only to see it taken off his teammates toe by a desperate lunge from an Ipswich defender that turned it behind for a corner.

From the resultant set piece, the Millers threatened again. This time a kind bounce allowed Christ Tiehi the space to line up a piledriver from 25 yards which whistled just over the top corner with Vaclac Hladky looking well-beaten on 14 minutes.

Out of nowhere, the visitors were back in it as they executed a perfect set piece routine to remind the division why they have been so fruitful in front of goal. A free kick near the byline was pulled back to the edge of the box for skipper Sam Morsy, who picked his spot and bent the ball into the top corner leaving Viktor Johansson with no chance as parity was restored in South Yorkshire.

After a high-octane start, the game did settle as it approached the half-hour with both sides starting to cancel each other out. Real opportunities of note had been at a premium following the Tractor Boys' leveller as the Sky Sports cameras watched on.

Onyedinma continued to look lively in the final third and some more intense pressing high up the pitch almost paved the way for Cafu to get a shot away, only to be thwarted as the Portuguese looked to pull the trigger.

The Millers had a momentary scare on 34 minutes when one-time loanee George Hirst took the ball under his spell in the penalty area before ending up on the deck, but after a long look, referee Graham Scott adjudged Hakeem Odoffin's challenge to have been well-timed, despite the visitors' protests.

Clucas was again positioned high up the pitch for the hosts to try and craft a crossing opportunity and did so as he worked his way out of a tight spot in the corner, to swing in a left-footed delivery which was met by the flying figure of Hladky, who was quickly off his line to punch away the danger.

Five minutes before the break, Leif Davis delivered a dangerous cross from an Ipswich corner which was met by the head of Harry Clarke amidst a busy penalty box, but he couldn't direct his effort at the target.

The Millers had carried a threat down the right-hand side all evening with Onyedinma causing frequent problems, but on 43 minutes it was right back Dexter Lembikisa who twisted a defender before delivering a low cross towards Nombe, who would have had a second had it not been for the last ditch intervention of a Tractor Boys' defender to extinguish the chance for a corner.

Odoffin had rightly earned the plaudits for his performance in defence at the weekend and would have welcomed further credit as he threw himself in front of Hirst in the box to ensure the Ipswich forward couldn't convert Davis' cross from the left flank.

Half-time | Rotherham 1 v 1 Ipswich Town

Both sides re-emerged for the second half looking as they did in the first both in terms of personnel and intent. 

Ipswich almost found a way in down the Millers' left flank when Kayden Jackson ran in behind before being challenged by Odoffin as he delivered the cross, but the hosts were quickly back to defend their box astutely and ensure that the attack came to nothing.

The opening 10 minutes of the second period had been enjoyed more by the visitors, who continued to use their wealth of forward options to probe the home defence. With that said, Taylor's men kept their discipline impeccably to weather a series of early attacks and limit the Tractor Boys' clear sights of goal to very few.

The visitors continued to try and find a way through the Millers' defensive resolve but continued to be restricted to long-range efforts and half chances as Hirst's long-ranger indicated on the hour-mark.

Conor Chaplin had been by his high standards - by and large - kept quiet by the home side but he showed a glimpse of his quality after an expert first touch allowed him the space to fire a shot at goal from distance, which once again went well-over the crossbar with Odoffin applying the pressure.

Taylor had refreshed the legs on the pitch with a trio of second half substitutes and two of them combined to near-devastating effect on 67 minutes. Jordan Hugill attacked the ball in the box well before Sean Morrison powered a header at the target which went just wide of the near post.

Ipswich made a trio of changes of their own and they sparked the visitors into life immediately. Omari Hutchinson's silky footwork down the left saw him deliver a deep cross to Davis at the far post, who combined well with Chaplin, with the latter firing an effort into the away fans behind Viktor Johansson's goal.

Morrison showed his aerial qualities in his own box later in the half when he rose on the edge of the six yard box to make contact with another Davis free kick and ensure that none of the eager white shirts in the area could make contact with the cross. There were huge cries for a handball in the area from the travelling supporters from the resultant corner, but again, the referee had watched it closely and disagreed.

Hutchinson was once again released to the byline as the 80 minute-mark arrived, this time delivering a ball in for Chaplin to attack, who again found Odoffin at his feet in the way.

It wasn't all Ipswich though. Cohen Bramall's pace has caused defences issues all season and it did again as his interchange with Seb Revan down the left allowed him an electric break up the wing, which came to an end as his cross was repelled in the area with plenty of red shirts forward.

Moments later substitute Georgie Kelly almost conjured another trick in the box when he popped up following some penalty box pinball, only to see Hladky throw himself in the way of his strike from close range at the near post.

Taylor's men were dealt an immensely cruel blow minutes from the end as Ipswich found a second in the most unorthodox of fashions. Davis' low drive ball into the box was a good one, but hadn't initially been met by a teammate at the near post, before somehow ending up cannoning into the back of the net with nobody overly sure who got the decisive touch to make it 2-1.

With Millers fans understandably left licking their wounds, the players on the pitch didn't and bounced back seconds after the six additional minutes had been indicated.

Kelly had made a nuisance of himself getting a shot away on the edge of the area which was blocked, falling into the path of Christ Tiehi, who unleashed a thunderbolt of an effort which found it's way into the top corner of the goal to make it 2-2 - which was no less than the home side's efforts deserved.


Full-time | Rotherham 2 v 2 Ipswich Town


Rotherham United | Johansson, Lembikisa, Ayala (Morrison 58), Odoffin, Bramall; Clucas (Revan 63), Tiehi; Onyedinma (Hugill 63), Rathbone, Cafu; Nombe (Kelly 68).

Unused | Phillips, Eaves, Lindsay, Appiah.


Ipswich Town | Hladky, Clarke, Davis, Morsy, Chaplin (Scarlett 82), Harness (Ball 90), Burgess, Jackson (Hutchinson 69), Luongo (Taylor 69), Hirst (Ladapo 69), Tuanzebe.

Unused | Walton, Woolfenden, Williams, Humphreys.


Referee: G. Scott

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