F-T: Millers outplayed and well beaten ... Southend United 2 Rotherham United 0

Southend United v Rotherham United
Southend United v Rotherham United
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The pitch was bad and Rotherham United were even worse as they fell to a desperately disappointing League One defeat at Southend United.

The play-off-chasing Millers looked nothing like a side in fourth place in the table as they were beaten by a goal in each half in Essex.

The bobbly Roots Hall surface was full of sand and cut up horribly, but that was no excuse for one of the worst performances of the season by Paul Warne's men.

It took them over an hour to register an effort on target and they were second best to their midtable opponents.

Stephen McLaughin opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Simon Cox ended the contest in the 79th minute.

Rotherham made a sluggish start and were made to pay when Cox held off Will Vaulks and played in Stephen McLaughlin who had far too much room on Southend's right as he shot past Lewis Price.

Price had to tip over a Dru Yearwood 20-yarder six minutes later and did superbly soon after to save at the feet of Marc-Antoine Fortune when the striker was through on goal and looked certain to score.

The outplayed Millers were so poor in the opening period that it took them until the 44th minute to really worry the home side, David Ball swiveling in the six-yard box and screwing a low effort just wide.

Rotherham, while still well below par, tried to pick up the pace in the second half and Warne went three at the back in an attempt to force an equaliser. In the 62nd minute, Richie Towell's shot was parried by Mark Oxley, with substitute striker Jerry Yates losing his footing as he tried to follow up.

But, with 11 minutes left, Cox beat Semi Ajayi far too easily and drilled home a second goal for the Shrimpers.

The Millers went close to scoring in an 83rd-minute goalmouth scramble and sub Joe Newell shot narrowly wide in time added on, but neither incident could disguise a woeful display by the visitors.

Southend (4-4-2): Oxley; Bwomono, Turner, White, Coker; McLaughlin, Yearwood, Mantom (Timlin 69), Wordsworth; Cox (Wright 89), Fortune (Harrison 82). Subs: Bishop, Ferdinand, Kightly, Robinson.

Rotherham (4-4-2): Price; Emmanuel (Yates 58), Ajayi, Vaulks, Mattock; Taylor (Forde 58), Towell, Palmer, Williams (Newell 73); Ball, Smith. Subs: Bilboe, Cummings, Wood, Ihiekwe.

Goals: McLaughlin 7, Cox 79 (Southend).

Referee: Brett Huxtable (Devon).

Attendance: 7,719 (461).

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