Super goalkeeper denies Millers a deserved victory

Scorer: Kari Arnason
Scorer: Kari Arnason
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THIS was seen as a big test for the Millers against a promotion rival. They passed it.

After a tight and combative first half, Rotherham imposed themselves on the second half in which they had the home side defending ferociously to keep them at bay.

In the end, they were denied by some outstanding goalkeeping by Scott Davies who thus made up for his error which led to Kari Arnason scoring his first goal for the Millers.

Davies made an incredible double save at the start of the second half but it was his truly top-class save from Alex Revell’s header 12 minutes from time which topped the lot and denied Rotherham the win they deserved.

The Millers were unchanged to face a side who started two points ahead albeit with a game more played so the noisy Millers following of 1,000 knew the value of at least remaining unbeaten if they couldn’t add to the four straight wins accrued since Steve Evans returned to the touchline.

It was evident from the first blast of Premier League ref Chris Foy’s whistle that this would be a notch or two up on most that the Millers have been involved in this season.

Both sides were intent on not giving an inch. Fleetwood, tenacious in many areas and with real pace down the right through Obeng and right back Beeley, lived up to their reputation of being a big test.

The Millers responded well but, like the home side, found opportunities difficult to create such was the concentration and the combativeness of the respective defences.

Indeed, whilst there had been threat, there had been no actual concern for either keeper before the quickfire goal action of two goals inside 60 seconds.

Rotherham went in front on 19 minutes. Bradley’s high free-kick saw keeper Davies leave his line but he didn’t hold on, the ball bounced away to the edge of the area where Arnason volleyed back into the unguarded net for his first goal for the club.

It was a real boost for the Millers. However, they conceded instantly. Beeley got away up the right and his cross was driven firmly home by former Barnsley man Parkin.

It was Parkin who might have added to it. Receiving Ferguson’s sharp pass, he gave himself a clear sight of goal 20 yards out but dragged his effort wide.

Morris forced Davies to cling on at the second attempt from his low drive and it remained a real challenge for both sides in how to find time and space to do any real damage.

With Arnason (shoulder) and Devitt (hamstring) replaced at half-time, Rotherham were so close to leading within a minute keeper Davies producing a remarkable double save.

Revell pounced on Frecklington’s blocked shot but the keeper blocked with his legs. The ball rebounded away and Evans looked sure to score only for the keeper to get up and fling himself in front of the winger’s effort.

Sharps hooked an overhead effort into the keeper’s arms as Rotherham enjoyed much the better of the second half and had the home side on the back foot.

Then two key moments came inside 60 seconds.

Fleetwood broke quickly and Howell was put in space on the angle and Warrington made a fine save with his leg.

Rotherham swept to the other end, Odejayi went round McNulty and set up a great chance for Revell but his weakly struck shot was straight at the keeper.

Then Davies produced his fantastic save to keep out a Revell header and the Fleetwood keeper had certainly kept his side in the game as they hung on to the end.

FLEETWOOD TOWN: Davies; Beeley, McNulty, Mawene, Howell; Obeng, Fowler (Marrow 64), Ferguson, Ball (Barkhuizen 79); McGuire, Parkin (Brown 55). Subs: Milligan, Nicholson, Goodall, Maxwell,

ROTHERHAM UNITED: Warrington; Bradley, Sharps, Morgan, Morris; Devitt (Evans ht), Arnason (O’Connor ht), Frecklington, Pringle; Revell, Odejayi. Subs: Hunt, Taylor, Agard, Nardiello, Thompson.

Referee: Chris Foy (Lancs)

Attendance:2,948.

Goals: Arnason (19) for Rotherham; Parkin (20) for Fleetwood.