Millers FT: Rotherham United 1, Rochdale 2

Kieran Agard fires a a shot past Ashley Eastham
Kieran Agard fires a a shot past Ashley Eastham
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A late strike from substitute Peter Vincenti saw Rotherham tumble out of the FA Cup, after a 2-1 defeat at home to Rochdale.

Of course, the unavailability of the three loan players, Nouha Dicko, James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic, lessened the numbers and left him with just 14 players, one of them from the youth team.

The formation saw top scorer Agard go down the middle instead of Tubbsm whilst the spot on the right flank went to Brindley. He moved up from right back with Bradley coming in there.

It had to give Rochdale, playing 3-4-3, a boost but after they started brightly, the Millers got just what they wanted with a goal after just five minutes.

Agard chased a ball down the left. When he turned back inside, he lost control and Eastham stretched to get there before him and knock the ball away. However, he only succeeded in knocking square across the face of the area and FRECKLINGTON saw the opportunity, moved onto it and calmly struck it past Lillis.

When Agard ran at Lancashire, the Dale skipper brought him down and was booked. Pringle whipped the free-kick just over.

Rotherham United v Rochdale - FA Cup Round 2 - 7th December 2013 - Lee Frecklington (right) wheels away in celebration after scoring against Rochdale with Kieran Agard in hot pursuit

Rotherham United v Rochdale - FA Cup Round 2 - 7th December 2013 - Lee Frecklington (right) wheels away in celebration after scoring against Rochdale with Kieran Agard in hot pursuit

Rochdale were passing it about nicely, finding their men with confidence, but they might have gone further behind when Frecklington sent Agard up the left. He beat Eastham, eased inside and his low shot was saved at full stretch by Lillis, who just hung on as Brindley closed in.

Despite the early blow, Rochdale had shown enough so far to show they could cause problems and that the Millers would need to be on the ball defensively, which they had been. However, the visitors were looking vulnerable at the back.

Then Rochdale escaped when Agard’s pace took him clear but he couldn’t turn the ball past the keeper. However, it ran away across the six yard line and Agard was in a chase with O’Connell and the defender managed to block Agard’s shot as they tangled or else it would have been a second.

When Agard was impeded in the area as he cut across O’Connell, he ended up going down but got no penalty. Anywhere else on the pitch and the ref would have blown for a foul.

An injury to a linesman saw fourth official Ryan Johnson take the flag, and he had a big call to make inside 45 seconds.

It was a hairline offside against Hogan but the flag stayed down and Collin came off his line to make an important save and prevent an equaliser.

Then the same linesman missed a clear offside against Hogan who ran on and poked his shot beyond the far post, with the Millers players and the crowd going barmy.

Rochdale were really having a go and sensing they could get something - and they did so on 55 minutes.

Morgan impeded Done and was booked. The free kick came to Rose on the left who whipped in a dangerous ball right into the heart of the area and amidst a group of players LUND netted in front of the Dale fans.

Two minutes later Tidser’s smart ball found Agard but his shot on the turn was turned behind by Lillis.

The League Two side really had their tails up and and Rose thrashed in a 20 yarder which Collin beat away.

Vincenti went in high and caught Tidser and was extremely fortunate to get away with only a talking to as the crowd’s frustration rose over the standard of refereeing.

O’Connell struck a powerful long shot which Collin held at the seocnd attempt.

Then Frecklington hit an angled shot but Lillis was behind it.

The last thing Rotherham needed was another injury and Agard went down and needed treatment to an ankle. Fortunately he was able to recover.

Rotherham’s afternoon took a turn for the worse when they were reduced to 10 men. Tidser got caught in possession, he ended up bringing down Lund and it was a second booking and off he went.

Then Frecklington, aggrieved by a number of decisions this afternoon, made one comment too many and was booked. A couple of handball pleas were ignored and then Bradley looked to be tumbled over the touchline, and ref Scott ignored that too.

From the throw-in, Rose got down the left and delivered a tremendous cross and VINCENTI - lucky to be still on the pitch after his challenge on Tidser - got in front of Skarz to knock home from close range, to give Rochdale a result they thoroughly deserved.