Millers are Taylor made as late show salvages vital point

Stockport County 3 Rotherham United 3

TAKE nothing for granted in the weird and wonderful world of football.

It didn't look like being so wonderful for the Millers at Edgeley Park last night, however, when they were 3-1 down against a side who have not only been struggling to win, but also having a job on keeping the ball out of their net.

But, in a remarkable finale, the Millers saved a precious point with two goals in the final six minutes - and then hit the post in stoppage time!

Ryan Taylor proved to be the hero in the 89th minute with a magnificent header from a Nicky Law free-kick.

It meant they extended their unbeaten league run to eight matches, but they missed out on the chance to close the gap on leaders Chesterfield to two points, which they would have done with a win.

The Millers had arrived strongly fancied for all three points against a side with only one home win all season.

But football often gets the script torn up and Stockport, once they had got over the dodgy first 20 minutes, ripped this one to shreds before Rotherham re-wrote that script with their late rally sparked by an own goal six minutes from time.

The Millers even had the 'luxury' of a magnificent penalty save from Andy Warrington to keep the scores level late in the first half, by which time Stockport were looking a different side to the one that had struggled early on.

Had Rotherham gone in front through one of their several early opportunities then it would almost certainly have been a different story, but once the side fourth bottom got into this game they looked a totally different side to the one which had begun so diffidently.

When Steve Husband, one of four loan players recruited last week, scored a stunning volley to put Stockport 2-1 up early in the second half, they were buzzing and clearly relishing the challenge, and every player in a blue shirt had raised their game.

And it looked a long way back for the Millers once Husband netted the third midway through the second half.

But Matthew Grieve's own goal six minutes from time gave Rotherham hope of salvaging a point and sparked a late push which Taylor's flashing header capped.

In stoppage time, sub Tom Pope saw his effort flick off a post and when Marcus Marshall put the ball back in, Ryan Taylor's header was somehow kept out on the line.

The only change for the Millers was Kevin Ellison back in the side for Will Atkinson. It was a return to a former club for two Millers players - Adam Le Fondre, who started here and lives in the town, and Jason Taylor, who had a loan spell here while at Oldham.

Before the start, there was a minute's silence in memory of the Macclesfield midfielder Richard Butcher, 29, who died two days ago. He played against Rotherham nine days ago.

Rotherham were soon making opportunities - four in the opening eight minutes.

Ellison spurned a shooting opportunity 22 yards out in only the second minute, and 60 seconds later he forced a save from Williams. Then Taylor headed wide from a corner before a well-worked free-kick almost brought reward. Nicky Law struck it low and Adam Le Fondre swooped, but struck a fierce effort from 15 yards just over.

Keeper Williams escaped when he dropped a Marshall centre and Ryan Taylor almost cashed in. Then, from Law's quick free-kick, Tom Newey delivered into the area and it felt perfectly for Ellison, but he blazed over the top.

Only 18 minutes had gone and it seemed only a matter of time before the Millers would expose County's wobbly defence.

But after Elding's 20 yarder forced a save from Warrington, Stockport's confidence visibly rose from the 25 minute mark and they stunned the Millers by taking the lead on 33 minutes.

It was a superb pass from Paul Turnbull inside Newey and the pace of Ishmael Demontangnac, one of four players just in on loan, saw him onto it to clip past the advancing Warrington.

Fortunately for the Millers, they struck by very quickly.

Ryan Taylor got a touch on a long ball, Le Fondre pulled the ball over his head where Ellison got beyond right-back Halls before striking home a low drive.

But Stockport were now into this game and should have been back in front on 39 minutes.

When Robbie Williams curled in a free-kick, Le Fondre leapt forward from the wall and the ball struck his upraised arm.

Elding's penalty was well placed, but Warrington went a long way to his left to beat it away.

By now, Rotherham knew they were in a tussle, lowly County looking a totally different proposition to the diffident side of the opening period.

Stockport led with Husband's stunning volley from 25 yards after 50 minutes, and he also wasted a decent chance from 18 yards.

Ryan Taylor went close to an equaliser before Husband, put through by Elding, slotted home the third on 68 minutes.

At that stage, the Millers were a long way from a point but they got their chance when Grieve diverted the ball in after Jason Taylor challenged in the area, and the Millers then hungrily hunted the equaliser.MATCHFACTS

STOCKPORT COUNTY: Williams, Halls, Assoumani, Grieve, Williams, Husband, (Vincent 81) Turnbull, Tansey, Griffin, Demontagnac, Elding. Subs: Lynch, Poole, Mainwaring, Fisher, Rose, Glennon.

ROTHERHAM UTD: Warrington, Tonge, Mullins, Fenton, Newey, Marshall, J Taylor, Law, Ellison (Pope 71) Le Fondre, R Taylor. Subs: Green, Ashworth, Harrison, Warne, Annerson.

STATS

Goals: Husband (50, 68), Demontagnac (33) for Stockport; Ellison (35), Grieve og (84), R Taylor (89) for Rotherham.

Referee: David Coote (Notts).

Attendance: 3,612.

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