ROTHERHAM’s Johnny Mullins was the hero as his two goals helped the Millers to a 3-2 win at Edgar Street against Hereford.
At first glance this seemed the perfect opportunity for a rare clean sheet.
They haven’t had many (three) and none away from home since last March and the 6-0 win at Lincoln. Hereford had scored only eight at home and just 16 in all, the division’s lowest. But there was a slightly different slant when looking at recent results.
In the last eight league games they have scored 12 goals - in the same spell Rotherham have 13.
It suggested the Bulls were starting to improve.
Last season the Millers won here 1-0 with a goal from Paul Warne, then 37, and it made him the oldest Millers scorer since club legend Gladstone Guest back in 1955.
Something similar today would be perfect but they might have conceded twice in the opening five minutes.
Firstly Arquin headed a good chance over the top from 10 yards and then Leslie found space inside the area but his finish was weak and straight at Logan.
Rotherham followed this up with a fine volley on the angle by Grabban from Harley’s long cross and it required a tremendous save by Bartlett high at his near post. Grabban might well have scored with his next touch when he closed in on a centre from Schofield and only a fine block by Leslie denied him.
It brought a corner from which Rotherham took the lead in the 13th minute.
Wood, from the right, took the corner. Revell, running towards it, got a glancing header across the goal area and MULLINS ghosted in at the far post to side foot home.
Then Williams made a fine break down the right and his fierce centre was cleared behind by Townsend and close to an own goal.
After their good start Rotherham then added to it with a second goal on 22 minutes. It was virtually out of nothing. The ball came to REVELL just outside the area and he took a touch before swivelling and striking a low, first shot, right footed, from the left and the pace of it seemed to surprise keeper Bartlett who got hands to the ball but it swept on into the far corner of the net.
The home side had a ragged spell after this as Rotherham took control but it still needed a splendid save by Logan who flew high to his left to turn behind a powerful 20 yarder from Arquin.
Wood might have been on the scoresheet himself when he moved in at the far post to meet a Grabban centre but he sent his header across goal.
Rotherham’s hopes of a clean sheet lasted until the 34th minute but there was a touch of misfortune for them over Hereford’s goal.
The tall ARQUIN came in from the left, shot for goal as Tonge challenged and the deflection off the fullback’s foot sent the shot curling up and beyond Logan’s despairing dive. Naturally, this boosted the home side who went hunting an equaliser. It came on 42 minutes and was another defensive horror moment for the Millers.
Arquin headed on but Facey seemed to have lost control and either Taylor or Logan seemed ready to deal with matters only for FACEY to hook a leg around Taylor and poke the ball past Logan to send it rolling into the empty net and leave inquiring looks all round amongst the ranks of red and white.
Mullins was hurt by a rash challenge from Arquin who was booked.
Half-time: Hereford 2 Millers 2
Andy Scott made two substitutions at half time. Raynes replaced Taylor and Foster went on for Harley who had taken a knock during the first half. Wood went to left back with Schofield moving wide left and Foster in central midfield.
Rotherham should have been in front within three minutes.
Schofield cut in, was challenged by Green who sent the ball straight to Williams in front of goal and he had a great chance only for Bartlett to deny him.
Schofield produced a dangerous curling free kick which Facey headed away.
Promising young midfielder Pell went down on the edge of the area and Leslie hit the free kick a whisker over the top with Logan struggling.
Harrison brought a sharp save from Bartlett with a 20 yarder as both sides fought fiercely for the crucial next goal.
It was the Millers who got the important breakthrough on 66 minutes and, incredibly, it was another goal for central defender MULLINS.
Grabban did well to win a corner on the right. Wood took it, Raynes challenged and the ball looped up in the air and as it dropped Mullins hooked a right foot volley inside the keeper’s left hand post.
Minutes later Foster did well outside the Hereford area and in the attempt to win a corner was pulled over but somehow was denied what seemed an obvious free kick. When Raynes got into trouble, Tonge made an intervention and the hardworking Williams got back to help out.
When play was stopped the referee booked Schofield for an earlier infringement when Hereford were breaking away.
Arquin smartly spotted Logan off his line and attempted a first time lob from 35 yards. The Millers keeper just got back in time to hold on close to the line.
It was combative and pretty physical too and the Millers were standing up to that side of it boosted by the third goal which had just taken a little sting from the home side who had come out lifted themselves after half time after their first half comeback.
With 12 minutes to go Williams went off to be replaced by Holroyd.
The Millers sub was almost through straight away but Green just held him off. Then after skilful work by Schofield he combined with Revell for a centre which saw Mullins head goalwards only for Grabban to stray offside.
Goal hero Mullins made a tremendous block eight yards out as Pell shot.
For a full report, see the Green’Un