FT Millers: Rotherham United 0 Preston 0

Rotherham match report

Rotherham match report

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There was certainly an extra bounce in the step of the Millers followers as they turned up in numbers for the opening home game in League One and they were still very much basking in the win and the performance.

Would that bounce extend once again to the players after the huge effort they poured in on Tuesday? Certainly it meant nothing come 3pm today.

Millers' Mark Bradley looks for a pass

Millers' Mark Bradley looks for a pass

Likewise, Preston were coming off the back of a big cup win against neighbours Blackpool and the draining effects of such games can have a detrimental effect both physically and mentally.

Preston certainly arrived as one of the strongly fancied sides for promotion - Steve Evans has them in his top two - so the Millers knew the big challenge that lay ahead at a buzzing New York Stadium.

Skipper Morgan, who joined Rotherham a year ago after Preston let him go, won the first aerial duel with Davies.

Then Mr Kettle, not unknown to controversy as any Millers fan at Oakwell a few years ago will never forget, somehow managed not to give a free-kick when Tubbs was scythed down. Boss Evans was liking a raging madman on the touchline particularly as the subsequent Preston move led to a corner. Revell headed it away.

Shearer had to dive to save a 20 yarder from Holmes who, drifting between midfield and Davies, then had a mazy run and went onto his favoured left foot but the former Derby County man was crowded out.

Huntington was booked for pulling back Revell and, from O’Connor’s free-kick, Arnason headed into the side netting. But it had been a rather sluggish start from the Millers in terms of going forward.

Preston had shown their quality and Arnason made a good clearance before Keane’s 25 yarder was pushed out by Shearer and Bradley was first to the loose ball.

Rotherham were striving to get a foothold in proceedings and a wicked free-kick from O’Connor was inches from a connection by Morgan.

Arnason then picked up a booking for bringing down Holmes.

Then came the first proper chance and it fell to Tubbs.

Wright messed up his clearance attempt, Tubbs was in behind him but at an angle. He struck his shot well from 16 yards but it flashed beyond the far post.

Rotherham then had some anxiety at a corner with a couple of Preston headers bouncing about the six yard area before Arnason got a touch and then Morgan sorted things out.

A push on Revell indicated Preston’s anxiety in dealing with the big fella. From the free-kick nearly 30 yards out Pringle curled his effort not far off target with Rudd struggling.

Shearer was then in action, going full stretch to turn behind a 25 yard volley from Welsh.

Rotherham were now much more in the game but Preston’s neat passing was a test of their midfield doggedness and defensive concentration and capabilities. But the visitors also had to be on their mettle at the back as Rotherham began to probe.

The crowd’s anticipation rose when a header dropped towards Frecklington just outside the area - from where he has scored all his three goals so far. However, this time he didn’t quite connect properly with his volley and Rudd saved easily.

Good recovery work by Skarz and then Bradley checked two Preston attacks as they went towards their fans this half.

It required excellent reading of a danger situation by Frecklington to rescue matters when Clarke’s deflected cross diverted towards Holmes eight yards out.

From the resulting corner, Wright’s near post header came back off the bar.

Rotherham replaced Tubbs with Worrall. Agard moved inside alongside Revell.

Another corner ended with Holmes running a clearance back into the area. Rotherham managed to clear eventually and they broke away through Agard. He spotted Worrall going clear into the area only for Clarke to make a most vital interception.

O’Connor was booked for a foul and Rotherham’s defensive attributes were being tested by Preston passing and movement.

But another Rotherham break threatened. Worrall’s cross was just too far ahead of Agard. Pringle got the ball back across but Revell couldn’t get his header on target.

Worrall struck an 18 yarder inches wide with the keeper beaten.

O’Connor volleyed great chance over from long throw but it was destined to be New York Stadium’s first 0-0 draw.

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