Millers FT: Swindon 1 Rotherham 2

Two-goal  Wes Thomas (left) celebrates with Tom Hitchcock after giving United an early lead
Two-goal Wes Thomas (left) celebrates with Tom Hitchcock after giving United an early lead
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Rotherham United recorded their 14th away win of the season - bettered only once in their history by 15 in 1950/51 - as they completed a superb League One season with a tantalising tilt at the play-offs to come.

In keeping with the away followings throughout the season, the Millers fans had turned out in numbers once again.

The estimate was that over 1,000 had made the journey for this final League trip and every one of them were hoping they’d be making two more in the Play-offs.

The average home gate has risen to 8,500 this season and the away support has been tremendous right across this excellent campaign.

And those fans were cheering a goal inside 55 seconds.

A long throw was cleared but retrieved. Tavernier got possession in central midfield and slid a pass down the right side of THOMAS who moved onto it, shot low on the turn from 16 yards and it evaded the diving Foderingham and went just inside the far post.

A foul on Hitchcock saw Tavernier deliver a wicked free-kick and Stephens headed over his own bar.

Swindon had a let-off. Hitchcock blocked the keeper’s clearance kick, the ball diverted across the area and Thomas was just ahead of Branco who made a desperate challenge and the striker went down, at the same time knocking the ball into the keeper’s arms. The home side breathed a sigh of relief that the penalty claims were waved away.

Another lucky escape followed. Tavernier was sent clear on the right. His low centre was half-stopped, Hitchcock nudged the ball aside and Frecklington had a clear chance eight yards out but fired over the bar.

Thomas and McEveley tussled rather fiercely near the touchline and both crashed to the ground in a tangle of arms and legts. Both were spoken to with Thomas pointing out the torn neck of his shirt.

Rotherham doubled their lead on 22 minutes with a picture goal. Thomas slid a pass out to Pringle on the left, THOMAS set off towards the far post and Pringle delivered a superb cross and the striker, on the run, rose to nod his second of the afternoon, clipping the bar on its way in.

Swindon had an effort at goal following a corner kick routine that didn’t come off but ended with the loose ball being laid back to Branco who drove a 25 yarder over.

Neat footwork by Davis, more in keeping with a nimble midfielder, got him out of a tight situation and earned roars of approval from the Millers fans.

Brindley’s forward run earned a corner on the right. Pringle took it and Arnason was just unable to direct his header on target.

HALF-TIME

Swindon........... 0

Rotherham...... 2

Rotherham made a substitution at half-time. Thomas was replaced by top scorer Agard, the League One Player of the Month.

Swindon were going towards their fans but Rotherham had the first two opportunities. Hitchcock blocked a McEveley clearance, the ball stayed in play but his cross from the byeline was straight at the keeper.

Agard took advantage of a slip by Branco. moved into the area but his ball for Tavernier was just short.

Swindon were slick moving forward and it was a let-off when Smith found space for a header but put it straight at Collin.

Milsom lost possession then won it back to stop Luongo breaking through. But the pressure stayed and Smith headed too close to Collin.

Smith should have pulled one back when Davis slipped, the striker broke away and diverted his shot wide.

But SMITH did halve the deficit on 59 minutes. Arnason toppled Luongo as he burst into the area and the Swindon striker sent Collin the wrong way from the spot.

Smith could have equalised but failed to take control when the ball was deflected to him and Arnason rescued matters.

Rotherham’s second change saw O’Connor replace Milsom.

Swindon were close to levelling when a corner was driven low towards the edge of the area and McEveley’s thunderous shot rocketed back off the bar.

Rotherham took off Hitchcock and sent on Vuckic.

Agard was denied a penalty when he pounced on the keeper’s parry, nudged the ball away in front of the empty net and was toppled but, no penalty was given but the Millers held on for their 14th away win.

Rotherham are away to Preston in the first leg of the play-offs next Saturday (5.15) with the home leg on Thursday May 15 at 7.45.