ROTHERHAM United finally found their home form as they comfortably saw off Northampton Town at the New York Stadium.
In contrast to last week’s early stages when it was difficult to work out the team’s shape, it was clear today with a straightforward 4-4-2.
O’Connor was on the right and Nardiello on the left, with Noble and Pringle central.
Rotherham’s performance was clearly better than last week and there was an intelligent run from Nardiello who, a week ago, was taken off at half time with his manager saying that he hadn’t worked hard enough.
This time he had come over from the left to make a run behind the defence on the right. He forced the ball away from Langmead, struck the ball quickly from close to the byline and it hit the outside of the near post and rebounded away.
Rotherham had a let off when wide man Robinson struck a fine effort from 25 yards which swung away and hit the far post.
Hackett got free on the right, delivered to the far post where Bradley, under severe pressure from two players, produced an excellent and very important header to glance the ball to safety.
It’s always a physical battle against an Aidy Boothroyd side and there were two or three players staying down before Bradley took a blow to the head.
When O’Connor switched play to the left, Ridehalgh got in an instant cross. It was overhit but turned into a dangerous one because it landed on the bar with the keeper beaten.
Five minutes from half time Rotherham’s spell of pressure was rewarded with a penalty.
Slew crossed from the left, Langmead’s header away was pounced on by Bradley just inside the area and he went down when Harding mistimed his challenge.
NARDIELLO stepped forward to send the keeper the wrong way slotting the ball to the left of Nicholls.
Half-time: Millers 1 Northampton 0
Town made a change at half time, O’Donovan for Oyeleke.
There was an early opening for Slew and he struck his shot on target, only for Langmead to block it superbly.
Then Nardiello went through the middle but fired straight at the keeper.
He was to go so close minutes later. Pringle swung in a corner, Nardiello jumped in front of the keeper and his header somehow went back across goal and inches wide.
Excellent covering by Bradley rescued matters following a long kick by the keeper which Mullins and Arnason couldn’t deal with.
Northampton were stepping it up and they sent on big striker Platt for Robinson.
The Millers went close when Pringle beat Carlisle and Tozer. His centre was laid aside by Odejayi and Ridehalgh struck the chance just over the bar.
The crowd were making some noise as they got behind their team. And the place was rocking when the Millers booked the points with two goals in three minutes.
A ball forward from Ridehalgh was diverted towards PRINGLE going through the middle. He moved the ball on to his left foot before striking a low shot beyond the keeper’s left hand with 15 minutes to go.
Three minutes later it was 3-0. Noble put Nardiello up the left. He came inside Tozer and shot, Nicholls parried it and it was cleared towards NOBLE on the edge of the area and he moved forward calmly drifted wide of a challenge before picking his spot.
CARLISLE headed consolation with last touch of game.