On-loan star Nouha Dicko’s fourth goal in his last four games helped Rotherham United to victory at Bristol City.
This time, they were pondering a new beginning before this game because it represented the first league game in charge of Steve Cotterill - once on the Millers shortlist a couple of years ago and was even interviewed.
Anyway, Rotherham ensured Cotterill’s first home game got off to the worst possible start by taking the lead in the second minute.
Tavernier broke forward, found Agard on the right and he sent in a really fierce shot from around 25 yards. Parish, startled by the pace, could only parry the ball out. DICKO pounced and his effort from close range got a deflection off Flint on its way in.
It was his fourth goal in five appearances and means that, after being sub in his first appearance, he has scored in his last four games, all of them starts.
City, in the bottom four, were stunned but they forced a corner which ended with Baldock heading narrowly wide.
However, Rotherham were soon testing Parish again and it was a rocket of a 25 yarder from Tavernier which the ‘keeper turned over for a corner.
Pringle took it, there was a loose ball which Davis touched aside for Frecklington and his shot was deflected inches wide.
Collin claimed a free-kick well under pressure before the nippy Baldock went past two defenders, but Bradley had spotted the danger to make an important covering challenge.
The Millers had made a confident start and they further backed it up with a second goal on 26 minutes, a classic breakaway from the edge of their own area.
Pringle nipped in to make the initial interception, enabling Frecklington to break away. He raced to the City area, seemed to then be shut out but he turned, slipped, recovered, touched a pass inside to PRINGLE who struck a left footer from just inside the area beyond Parish’s left hand.
Pringle had been particularly prominent so far and Rotherham were dominating the midfield battle with Arnason and Frecklington on song.
However, the Millers had a let off when Collin came for a ball that bounced high and he mishandled it. It bounced away but Wagstaff was shut out on the edge of the area.
City’s best moment yet came when Baldock turned well in the area and was in space. He drove the ball across low but Arnason somehow got a clearance to safety inside the six yard area.
Rotherham then had a spot of pressure to sort out and Morgan produced a strong header from a dangerous free-kick by Emmanuel-Thomas.
Rotherham were now playing against the very stiff wind in this half and City would obviously be looking to push forward and take advantage of it.
Dicko was shut out very well by Williams and then Agard, running towards the area having robbed Cunningham, had Arnason in space and asking for the ball. However, Agard attempted a cross and put it behind much to Arnason’s dismay.
The wind meant judgement wasn’t easy but it was a low ball from sub Shorey that threatened trouble and Tavernier just got in ahead of Baldock who would have been clear.
A good Millers move ended with a Bradley cross beyond the far post, Frecklington nodded across the six yard area but Dicko was just beaten to it.
Steve Evans had been extremely quiet this afternoon and hadn’t so far been on the touchline and only risen from his seat on a couple of occasions.
Revell had a great chance to seal matters. Frecklington’s header sent him clear, the big striker had loads of time but blazed his shot on the run well wide.
Collin went full length to turn behind a 22 yarder from Elliott and, with the rain now sweeping down, Davis stopped Emmanuel-Thomas as he moved forward.
Gillett drove wide from outside the area then Pringle got back well to divert Wagstaff’s centre behind after a great pass from Emmanuel-Thomas.
With eight minutes left sub REID pulled one back, his cross curling past everyone and inside the far post.
After being well in control in the first half, the Millers ended up having to protect their lead playing into the wind and rain.