Match analysis: Rotherham United 2 Leeds United 1

Jonson-Clarke Harris lashes home the winner for Rotherham against Leeds. Picture: Richard Parkes
Jonson-Clarke Harris lashes home the winner for Rotherham against Leeds. Picture: Richard Parkes
0
Have your say

Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup. Preston in the League One play-off semi-final second leg ... Rotherham United know how to do nights under the lights at New York Stadium.

This time it was the turn of Leeds United. Mighty Leeds. Former champions of England, one-time European Cup finalists and Champions League semi-finalists. In the words of Millers manager Steve Evans – the one true giant of Yorkshire football.

The scoreboard doesn't lie -Pic by: Richard Parkes

The scoreboard doesn't lie -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Evans called it to the biggest league match of his career, and how his side of never-say-die heroes responded as David sent Goliath packing. And all without their injured striker, former Leeds hitman Luciano Becchio.

They just never give up.

Goals from Alex Revell – his first since his famous Wembley double – and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris just two minutes after coming on swung this derby the Millers’ way.

What a night. Another truly great occasion, with a full house and two sets of passionate supporters creating a hot-house atmosphere for the Sky TV cameras.

Rotherham Utd vs Leeds Utd  Skybet Championship .17/10/014'Pic Steve Parkin 'Rotherham's Alex Revell scores

Rotherham Utd vs Leeds Utd Skybet Championship .17/10/014'Pic Steve Parkin 'Rotherham's Alex Revell scores

It started in typical derby fashion, with both teams harrying the other to distraction and clear-cut sights of goal were hard to come by.

Mirko Antenucci poked wide for the visitors after clever work down the left from Alex Mowatt after eight minutes, then Leeds old boy Ryan Hall, receiving fearful stick from the travelling fans, fired over in the 14th minute from a long-range free-kick after Matt Derbyshire had been scythed down.

Derbyshire wasted the best chance of the match so far in the 21st minute, shooting straight at Marco Silvestri after being played through by Alex Revell. Silvestri is rated as an excellent shot-stopper but this wasn’t a good shot.

The atmosphere was better than the match at this point and the roars from the home support were deafening as the Millers won a corner in the 28th minute. Craig Morgan won the header but the ball wouldn’t fall for Derbyshire and then Revell.

Rotherham Utd vs Leeds Utd  Skybet Championship .17/10/014'Pic Steve Parkin 'Rotherham's Boss STEVE EVANS

Rotherham Utd vs Leeds Utd Skybet Championship .17/10/014'Pic Steve Parkin 'Rotherham's Boss STEVE EVANS

Leeds and their delirious fans were Marching On Together on the half-hour mark when danger man Antenucci beat the offside trap to latch on to Souleymane Doukara’s ball and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

Leeds were passing the ball well, but Rotherham fought back and, after a tame Lee Frecklington shot, were so close to an equaliser.

Derbyshire burst forward in the 38th minute and fed Ben Pringle on the left who fired a trademark first-time curling cross into the danger zone. Revell met it perfectly but Silvestri flung himself to his right to paw the ball away.

The decision to start Hall against his former club hadn’t paid off and Paul Taylor emerged in his place for the second half to make an immediate impact.

Jonson Clarke-Harris celebrates putting Rotherham ahead -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Jonson Clarke-Harris celebrates putting Rotherham ahead -Pic by: Richard Parkes

The decibel levels went up even higher as the New York crowd desperately urged on their side and Rotherham were now the better team.

Then things really erupted.

Revell hooked home in front of the ecstatic kop in the 58th minute after Silvestri had saved from Frecklington and Clarke-Harris thumped home a shot from 20-plus yards.

It was all Rotherham now as Clarke-Harris and Taylor had efforts saved and Leeds looked ragged, but, to their credit, the visitors came again with sub Adryan a box of tricks and Antenucci seeing his low shot pushed on to a post by Adam Collin.

Yet the game ended with the Millers in control and Revell might twice have added to his earlier goal.

Leeds fans went marching off sadly together as their side’s final corner was repelled and only one chant rang round New York at the end of a superb second half: “We’re the red and white army.”

There were joyful scenes at the end, and why not? After Owls Tuesday and North End Thursday last season, what a spectacle this was.

Savour it, remember it. Another of those nights under the lights. Leeds Friday.

Rotherham United: Collin, Richardson, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz, Hall (Taylor H-T), Frecklington, Green, Pringle (Smallwood 80), Revell, Derbyshire (Clarke-Harris 63). Subs not used: Loach, Broadfoot, Bowery, Swift.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Warnock, Austin, Bellusci, Pearce, Berardi, Bianchi (Morrison 88), Cook (Adryan 63), Mowatt, Doukara (Sharp 76), Antenucci. Subs not used: Taylor, Byram, Cooper, Sloth.

Referee: Keith Stroud (Dorset).

Attendance: 11,350.