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Match Reports


23 October 2019

Crooks double ends Town's unbeaten home record

Town suffered a first home defeat of the campaign after a brace from Matt Crooks gave Rotherham the three points.

Emyr Huws was denied inside the first five minutes before Crooks rifled in the opener and the Millers took command early in the second-half with a clinical finish from the frontman.

Rotherham were denied a third when Tomas Holy saved superbly from Michael Smith and while Town pressed for a way back into the game, the visitors held firm without too many major alarms.   

James Wilson returned to the side after suspension as one of five changes from the team that went down to a first league defeat of the season at Accrington at the weekend. Flynn Downes and James Norwood started on the bench after recovering from injury, while fit-again Kane Vincent-Young was included in the X1.

Town started on the front foot, Kayden Jackson’s pace down the left causing Millers immediate problems, then ‘keeper Daniel Iversen was forced into a flurry of action, first saving from Huws, then holding on to Will Keane’s follow up header.

Luke Garbutt went down in the box but referee John Busby waved away penalty appeals as Blues continued at a frenetic pace, Jackson trying to work his way to goal but thwarted by Richard Wood, the Rotherham skipper then hurried into a clearance six yards out.

The visitors began to get a foothold in the game after being forced back for the opening exchanges, Holy getting just enough on Joe Mattock’s cross to stop Smith getting in but on 11 minutes Paul Warne’s side were ahead, Crooks firing into the net from just inside the box.

It could have been worse for Town a minute later, Matthew Olosunde sending a half-volley over the bar from a great position, then Trevor Clarke whipped in a dangerous cross that Smith was inches away from getting on the end of as the Millers threatened on the break.

Clarke was booked for a foul on Vincent-Young as he burst down the flank, the Town defender then in the right place seconds later to quell a Rotherham break when an opening looked on.

With the last action of the first-half, Mattock swung over a deep cross and Smith headed over from close range as Millers threatened to double their lead before the break.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to do just that in the second-half, Crooks again the scorer - converting expertly after Ben Wiles set him up three minutes in.

It needed an excellent save from Holy at full stretch to keep out Smith’s header as a third looked on the cards, Billy Jones then off radar with a left footer from the resultant corner.

Anthony Georgiou replaced Huws in Town’s first change, the Tottenham loanee immediately making an impact, dancing around two defenders before seeing Wood hack his cross away from danger as Keane looked to get in.

Town made a double change with Norwood and Gwion Edwards on for Keane and Danny Rowe midway through the half, Rotherham also making a swap with Clarke making way for Chiedozie Ogbene.

Garbutt was denied by Iversen after waltzing into the box past a melee of Millers as Blues looked for a lifeline, while at the other end Ogbene diverted the ball over at full stretch.
Michael Ihiekwe headed against the post from a corner late on and while Town kept pressing, Crooks’ double proved enough.

Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Chambers, Wilson, Garbutt, Huws (Georgiou 59), Skuse, Nolan, Rowe (Edwards 66), Jackson, Keane (Norwood 66). Subs not used: Norris, Woolfenden, Judge, Downes. Booked: Edwards.

Rotherham: Iversen, Jones, Mattock, Wood, Wiles, Lindsay, Crooks (Barlaser 78), Clarke (Ogbene 67), Ihiekwe, Olosunde (Morris 83), Smith. Subs not used: Price, Ladapo, Hastie, Lamy. Booked: Clarke, Wiles, Mattock.

Att: 20,550

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