Match Report: Swansea City 1 Rotherham United 0

Rotherham's Lee Frecklington gets the better of Tom Carroll. Pic: Paul Wickson.
Rotherham's Lee Frecklington gets the better of Tom Carroll. Pic: Paul Wickson.
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In Swansea’s line-up, debutant Federico Fernandez, the South Wales club’s new £8.8 million buy from Napoli.

In Swansea’s line-up, debutant Federico Fernandez, the South Wales club’s new £8.8 million buy from Napoli.

Rotherham's Mat Sadler fires the ball past Nathan Dyer

Rotherham's Mat Sadler fires the ball past Nathan Dyer

Representing Rotherham, Jordan Bowery, the Millers’ record signing from Aston Villa, undisclosed fee thought to be around £250,000.

You can see how the odds were stacked against Steve Evans’ Championship side as they faced the Premier League Swans in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

The entire starting X1 for Rotherham at the Liberty Stadium - showing several changes from the side that won at Millwall last Saturday - cost fees totalling less than £500,000.

Kick-off was delayed for 10 minutes due to issues with the ticketing system for home fans, but the Millers were quickly into their stride, matching their top-flight opposition early on, and Michael Tidser was wide with the first opportunity of the game, an eighth-minute volley.

Rotherham were playing a 4-5-1 formation with Ben Pringle deployed on the right, Bowery on the left and Kari Arnason given a central-midfield role.

The Swans’ quality was becoming more and apparent, with £4.4m Ecuadorian Jefferson Montero making darting runs down the Millers’ right.

After Nathan Dyer had seen a fierce effort blocked by Craig Morgan, they took the lead in the 22nd minute when the ball fell to Bafetimbi Gomis and he cleverly steered his shot past Scott Loach’s left hand.

But Alex Revell, up against the £8.8m man, headed over from a Pringle corner six minutes later and Lee Frecklington fizzed a clear chance over the bar moments later as Rotherham enjoyed almost as much territory as the Swans.

Arnason, with his touch and vision, showed up well in midfield all through the game. All over the pitch, the visitors were resolute and made Swansea work for everything.

The home side kept the ball well and were fast and dangerous down both flanks, but Rotherham certainly weren’t letting them take Liberties.

After the break, Rotherham were the first to show and it took a superb last-ditch tackle from Kyle Bartley to deny Revell as the big man raced clear and prepared to pull the trigger.

Soon after, Frecklington’s shot was inadvertently blocked by Kirk Broadfoot and then Bowery failed to get enough power on a curling effort.

Richard Wood headed over from a Pringle corner, Swansea countered with a Jonjo Shelvey stinger saved well by Loach, and suddenly the home side were pulling all 11 players back into their box as the Millers attacked through Arnason’s long throws.

By the 74th minute Swansea had brought on their three subs: Jonjo Shelvey, Gylfi Sigursson and Wilfried Bony. Enough said about the quality running through their squad.

Their influence told as the home side dominated in the late stages and could have added a second, but Rotherham kept going and Conor Newton blazed over a golden chance with four minutes to go after Bowery’s pull-back.

Millers manager Steve Evans had joked before the match you can get to Benidorm quicker than you can travel to Swansea, and when the road signs are in a foreign language you know you’re a long, long way from home.

The much-changed Millers gave a good account of themselves, and, importantly, kept some of their powder dry for more important league games ahead, In the end, the money that pays for World Cup class like Montero told.

But, as they hit the road back to Rotherham in the dead of the Welsh night, the Millers were returning with something you can’t buy: pride.

Swansea City: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Fernandez, Bartley, Richards, Dyer, Fulton (Shelvey H-T), Carroll, Montero, Sheehan (Sigursson 59), Gomis (Bony 74). Subs: Fabianski, Taylor, Amat, Su-Yeung, Bony.

Rotherham United: Loach, Broadfoot (Brindley 56), Morgan, Wood, Sadler (Skarz 71), Bowery, Arnason, Frecklington, Tidser (Newton 59), Pringle, Revell. Subs: Collin, Skarz, Brandy, Swift, Derbyshire.

Goal: Gomis 22