Burton Albion 0 Rotherham United 1: Life on the road a lot happier for Millers in League One

To work out one of the biggest differences between life in the Championship and life in League One for Rotherham United you only need to look at their away column.

Sunday, 18th August 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th August 2019, 11:15 pm
Paul Warne

The new campaign is only three games old, but the Millers have already won more times away from than they have done in their last two seasons in the second tier.

It took them until March to register an away victory last season, but Saturday's gritty 1-0 win at Burton follows an opening-day a success at AFC Wimbledon and a Carabao Cup victory at Shrewsbury.

In a higher division the Paul Warne's side would invariably have lost a game like the one at the Pirelli Stadium where they had their backs against the wall and had to grind out the win.

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The finishing is just not as clinical at League One level and Burton missing a string of chances, which included hitting the woodwork twice, meant that goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara's first-half own goal did the job for the Millers.

It also marked a successful return to Burton for boss Warne, the scene of his tearful first game in charge of Rotherham two-and-a-half-years ago.

Not only that, but Warne reckons it lays down a marker to the rest of the league.

“Overall I am pretty pleased,” said Warne. “I always want football utopia and perfection. I am probably never going to get that so I can’t moan.

“To come here, where I think they will easily be in the top 10 and win is a real statement of intent and apart from the home game we have had a good start to the season.

“I am really pleased with the group.”

Of course, there are other things that work in the Millers' favour at this level and one of those is the refereeing.

Burton felt they should have been awarded a clear penalty in the second half after Richard Wood appeared to bundle Scott Fraser over, but the referee waved play on.

At the likes of West Brom or Aston Villa, those decisions probably get given.

Brewers boss Nigel Clough said “everybody in the ground knew it was a penalty” but it would have been incidental had his side been able to finish.

Nathan Broadhead hit the post inside the first minute, while David Templeton struck the crossbar deep into injury time, with Broadhead and Liam Boyce missing other good chances.

That meant the decisive moment came in the 24th minute and there was an element of luck on Rotherham's side as a quick break led to Ben Wiles' shot hitting the post and rebounding off goalkeeper O'Hara and into the net.

Luck – another thing the Millers never got in the Championship.