Match Report: Rotherham United 3 Fulham 3

Rotherham United left midfielder Ben Pringle hits the shot that caused an own goal by Fulham to make it 3-2 to the Millers, however Steve Evans' team couldn't hang on to their lead Picture by Kurt Fairhurst/AHPIX.com.
Rotherham United left midfielder Ben Pringle hits the shot that caused an own goal by Fulham to make it 3-2 to the Millers, however Steve Evans' team couldn't hang on to their lead Picture by Kurt Fairhurst/AHPIX.com.
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Four years ago Rotherham United were playing out of town at Don Valley Stadium, stuck in League Two and waiting for the Steve Evans/Tony Stewart rescue act.

Fulham were in the Premier League, managed by the future boss of England, Roy Hodgson, and on their way to the Europa League Final against Atletico Madrid.

Last night, there was nothing to separate them.

Three times the Millers led. Three times they couldn’t hold on to their lead for more than a matter of minutes. If anything, they edged the game and will be disappointed not to have held on for victory after being in front 3-2 in the 85th minute.

Big Dan Burn headed in a 90th-minute equaliser to end a game of ebb and flow, but let’s not forget Rotherham are now unbeaten in their last four Championship matches.

The Millers lost nothing in comparison to the visitors early on in an opening spell where neither side created clear-cut opportunities.

Fulham were neat and nimble, but the home side’s pressing was having an effect and they took the lead in the 28th minute.

Paul Taylor took a pass from Lee Frecklington, skipped inside and directed a shot into the bottom left corner past Marcus Bettinelli. Fulham appealed for offside, claiming Alex Revell had got the last touch, but the goal - Taylor’s first for the club since joining them on loan from Ipswich - stood.

Little George Williams, showing up as brightly as his day-glo orange shorts, saw a shot well held by Collin but the same player enjoyed better fortune in the 33rd minute. He was too sharp for Frazer Richardson, latching on to a ball the Millers right-back looked favourite to reach, then drew a trip from Lee Frecklington inside the penalty area.

The dive was exaggerated but it looked like contact was made and Ross McCormack duly dispatched the spot-kick in emphatic £11 million style.

Rotherham came fighting back and Revell volleyed over after Jonson Clarke-Harris, rewarded for his derby winner against Leeds with a start, had beaten the towering Burn in the air. Frecklington almost atoned for the penalty, his header from a searching Pringle cross bringing a good save from Bettinelli and Paul Green couldn’t quite get on the end of a another delivery from danger man Pringle from the right.

Clarke-Harris had made his mark in the second half against Leeds and he did it again here, in the 55th minute. Pringle, again, drilled in a cross from Kari Arnason’s assist and the 20-year-old striker used his pace to get in front of his marker to steer the ball home.

However, for the second time in the match the Millers couldn’t hold their lead for any length of time, and Cauley Woodrow bent in the equaliser with the help of the bar just three minutes later.

Both teams were threatening to score again, and Millers substitute Matt Derbyshire somehow put his header wide from almost on the goalline. But, with the New York crowd raising he volume levels, the home side responded.

An own goal looked to have won them game after a lightning break from Paul Taylor. He raced away and passed to Paul Green who had made a lung-bursting support run. His cross found Pringle whose effort was turned into his own net by Nikolay Bodurov.

After wins over Blackburn and Leeds in the last two home matches, another of those famous New York nights looked on the cards. Until Burn turned the dimmer switch.

Rotherham United: Collin, Richardson, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz, Taylor (Smallwood 88), Frecklington, Green, Pringle, Revell, Clarke-Harris (Derbyshire 78). Subs not used: Loach, Broadfoot, Bowery, Swift, Wordsworth.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Stafylidis, Bodurov, Eisfeld (Dembele 64), Zverotic, Woodrow (Smith 82), Christensen, Williams, Hyndmanv (Parker 73), Burn, McCormack. Subs not used: Kiraly, Hutchinson, Roberts, Kavanagh.

referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)

attendance: 8,981 (632)