Rotherham United: Millers go up after penalty triumph

Rotherham's Kieran Agard battles with Nathan Clarke
Rotherham's Kieran Agard battles with Nathan Clarke
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Rotherham United will join Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship next season after beating Leyton Orient 4-3 on penalties in today’s League One play-off final at Wembley.

Goalkeeper Adam Collin was the Millers hero in the shoot-out, keeping out Mathieu Baudry and Chris Dagnall’s spot-kicks.

Kieran Agard, Ben Pringle, James Tavernier and Richie Smallwood all registered from 12 yards for Rotherham. Lee Frecklington’s weak effort was saved by Jamie Jones.

Lloyd James, John Lundstram, Nathan Clarke all converted for the O’s.

The Millers battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 and send the final into extra time.

Orient established a two-goal lead at half-time thanks to strikes by Moses Odubajo and Dean Cox.

But a second-half double by Alex Revell, a former Orient player, means the final is in the balance and extra time will be played.

Millers chief Steve Evans kept faith with the same side who beat Preston North End in the second leg of their semi-final victory against Preston North End.

Top-scorer Kieran Agard, who missed the first leg against Preston because of a hamstring injury, will be aiming to fire the club to back-to-back promotions.

If Rotherham triumph, it would mean Evans’ side will emulate the feat achieved by Ronnie Moore’s Millers in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

In the regular season, Leyton Orient finished above Rotherham on goal difference, divided by just one win and a single goal scored.

Rotherham settled quicker than Orient and could have been awarded a third minute penalty when Alex Revell appeared to be barged over by O’s skipper Nathan Clarke but referee David Coote was unmoved.

Thomas almost underlined the Millers positive start by turning in Craig Morgan’s knock down after a free kick by Adam Collin but Jamie Jones spread himself well and made the block.

But Orient posed their first threat through Dean Cox, who swung in a dangerous delivery which Moses Odubajo, leaning back, volleyed over from an acute angle at the far post.

Odubajo fired in an unstoppable left foot shot in the 35th minute after Rotherham only partially a free-kick.

Things got even worse for the Millers four minutes later when Cox doubled the O’s advantage, tapping in Odubajo’s low centre.

Pringle came close to pulling a goal back on the stroke of half-time but his left piledriver from distance floated over.

Revell reduced the deficit in the 55th minute, prodding home from close range after Jamie Jones failed to cling on to James Tavernier’s delivery.

Moments later, the big striker rifled in a spectacular leveller after collecting Agard’s clever knock down. He let from 30 yards, looping an unstoppable right foot drive over Jones to spark wild celebrations in the Rotherham end and send Evans racing down the touchline.

Orient nearly regained the lead in the third minite of extra time only for David Mooney’s delicate lob to drop on to the top of the net.

Rotherham: Collin; Tavernier, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz; Agard, Smallwood, Frecklington, Pringle; Revell, Thomas. Substitutes: Shearer, Brindley, Davis, O’Connor, Milsom, Vuckic, Hitchcock.

Leyton Orient: Jones, Omozusi, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, James, Lisbie, Mooney, Odubajo, Clarke. Substitutes: Sawyer, Larkins, Batt, Bartley, Dagnall, Lundstram, Simpson.