Maidenhead 1 Rotherham United 3: No giantkilling as Paul Warne gets his first FA Cup win as Millers manager

For 45 minutes it looked like the TV cameras were going to get exactly what they went to Maidenhead for.

Sunday, 10th November 2019, 11:49 am
Updated Sunday, 10th November 2019, 6:15 pm
Matt Crooks of Rotherham United (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

The National League side were hosting Rotherham in the FA Cup first round and everybody came to town wanting a shock.

The BBC hosted their Saturday lunchtime Football Focus programme from York Road and it was not because they were interested in how the League One Millers have been faring.

In fairness, Paul Warne's men are ripe for an FA Cup giantkilling. They have gone out of the famous cup competition a staggering 10 times in the last 16 seasons and Alan Devonshire's side were bang up for making that 11 in 17.

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It was looking good for them as well as in testing conditions on a boggy pitch, the hosts had the better of the first half and took a 24th-minute lead through Jake Cassidy.

The striker slotted home in impressive style after controlling a long ball with skill and dreamed of his name in the headlines.

Warne could have been thinking the worst at half-time, but his side responded impressively after the break.

They were helped by a reckless piece of play by Maidenhead's Alan Massey, who clattered into Ben Wiles and received a straight red card early after the restart.

That gave the Millers the advantage and they put their name in the hat for the next round with a devastating nine-minute spell that saw them score three goals.

Michael Ihiekwe drew them level in the 69th minute with a composed finish and then Freddie Ladapo, the forgotten man, scored his first goal in two months with a rasping drive.

The win was complete in the 78th minute when Matt Crooks' hot run of goalscoring form continued, stroking home after Jake Hastie's hard work and earned an opening down the left.

It was a professional display in the end and gave Warne his first win in the FA Cup as Millers boss at the fourth attempt.

“We’re delighted to be through,” he said.

“Every credit to Maidenhead. They got the lead and defended well. In the end our quality won through.

“We showed great patience to keep plugging away. We could have panicked, but we didn’t.

“We stuck to the task at hand and got the job done. It was a really professional performance in the end.”

Maidenhead: Dunn, Ofori-Twumasi, Ellul, Massey, Steer (Thompson-Brissett 79), Sheckelford, Comley, Kelly (Davies 59), Upward, Smile (Whitehall 79), Cassidy.

Subs: Mensah, Keetch, Sekajja.

Rotherham: Iversen, Olosunde (Hastie 62), Ihiekwe, Wood (Thompson 37), Jones, Ogbene, Wiles, Barlaser, Morris, Crooks, Smith (Ladapo 53).

Subs: Price, Lamy, Hinds, Southern-Cooper.

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 1,924