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Match Reports


29 March 2024

Match Reports


29 March 2024

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Millers suffer more away day misery......

It was anything but a Good Friday for the Millers as Preston North End coasted to a comfortable Roses victory.

The damage at Deepdale was done in the first half when Duane Holmes opened the scoring before a quickfire brace from Emil Riis gave the hosts an unassailable lead.

The Millers gave a better account of themselves in the second period, albeit in a losing cause, and with the game as good as over.

Head Coach Leam Richardson made several changes to his starting line-up since their last outing prior to the March international break. Experienced operator Lee Peltier - following a spell on the sidelines - and Hakeem Odoffin – in his makeshift centre-half position - returned to the starting fold.

Jamie Lindsay was named in the Millers midfield while Academy youngster Ben Hatton was involved in the visitors’ squad for the first time.

The Millers, ironically, made a bright start but it was Preston, who threatened first, when Andrew Hughes’ clipped ball over the top saw Riis get the better of Odoffin to burst into the box, but the Rotherham player, belatedly, halted his progress with a timely tackle.

Both sets of players then, bizarrely, had to contend with a heavy hailstorm for a couple of minutes which covered parts of the Deepdale playing surface before the elements finally relented.  

Minutes later, Mads Frokjaer spread the play to great effect and Holmes worked a yard of space on Seb Revan before drilling a cross which Cameron Humphreys was forced to turn behind.

There was a flurry of home action – in what was generally a slow start to the game - when Will Keane failed to get a ball under his spell in the box before Peltier put his body on the line to block Hughes’ fierce effort.

Nevertheless, Preston broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute of the game.

The home side probed the Millers with a spell of pressure and a home cross was only half-cleared into the path of a Preston midfielder, whose shot was blocked by Sam Clucas on the edge of the box, but the ball ricocheted into the path of Robbie Brady, who drilled a low effort which was not troubling the target but unfortunately for the Millers, it took Viktor Johansson out of the game and Holmes had the simple task of slotting home from close range.  

The Millers were temporarily unnerved and Brady nodded wide before Odoffin had to be on-hand to deny Keane.

In a rare Rotherham foray, Charlie Wyke’s lay off presented Cafu with the chance to take aim from just outside the box but his shot was straight down the throat of Freddie Woodman.  

However – it proved something of a false dawn – when Preston doubled their lead eight minutes before the break.  

The home side attacked with purpose and it was a Danish one-two when Frokjaer expertly picked out Riis, who let the ball run across his body, before drilling a low shot which skimmed off the slick Deepdale surface to beat the outstretched hand of Johansson and find the far corner of the Millers net.

With heavy defeats at Coventry and Norwich fresh in the memory, the Millers travelling contingent – who were vocal throughout – could be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu when Preston notched a third goal with just 42 minutes on the clock.

There looked little danger for the Millers until Holmes dug out a cross and Keane took advantage of some Millers defensive hesitation to find Riis, who did not get the ball under control initially, but he still had the time, at the second attempt, to fire into the heart of the goal with a sweet left-footed effort.

Rotherham frustration boiled over when Rathbone was yellow carded for a hefty challenge on Browne before Johansson prevented further Millers woe in first half stoppage time when he denied Ali McCann with a fingertip save.  

Half-time: Preston North End 3 Rotherham United 0

Richardson made an interval change when Cohen Bramall was introduced at the expense of Cafu.

The Millers had a couple of half chances when firstly Wyke rose highest to meet Revan’s centre but Woodman stood up tall to pluck his headed effort out of the Lancashire sky, although a flag had already been raised.

Minutes later, Rathbone planted a ball into the Preston box and Odoffin - with his back to goal - attempted to turn the ball goalwards, but he failed to make a telling connection from close range and the chance was lost.

At the other end, Keane was inches away from meeting Riis centre before Holmes’ bobbling effort from just outside the box grazed the Millers upright.

Hughes saw yellow for a clumsy tackle on Rathbone near the touchline – in what proved to the Rotherham captain’s last involvement before Liam Lindsay soon joined him in the book for a needless foul on Sam Nombe.

Sub Tom Eaves almost made an instant impact from the bench with an audacious effort which flew narrowly wide.

The game meandered to a tame conclusion with the result never in doubt as the Millers returned back over the Pennines empty-handed.

Full-time: Preston North End 3 Rotherham United 0  

Preston North End 3

Rotherham United 0

Teams: Preston- Woodman, L Lindsay, Keane (Stewart 77), Browne, Frokjaer, Brady (Best 61), McCann (Mawene 77), Storey (Whatmough 61), Hughes, Riis, Holmes (Seary 84). Unused- Cornell, Cunningham, Woodburn, Osmajic.

Rotherham- Johansson, Cafu (Bramall 46), Clucas, Wyke (Eaves 68), J Lindsay, Rathbone (Rinomhota 68), Peltier (Ferguson 79), Odoffin, Humphreys, Revan (Seriki 84), Nombe. Unused- Phillips, Appiah, Hatton.

Referee- S Martin




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