Millers FT: Crawley Town 1 Rotherham United 2

Crawley v Rotherham United - SkyBet League 1 - 17th August 2013 - Goalscorer Kieran Agard battles for possession with Mat Sadler
Crawley v Rotherham United - SkyBet League 1 - 17th August 2013 - Goalscorer Kieran Agard battles for possession with Mat Sadler
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So, what sort of a reception was there for Steve Evans on his return to Crawley?

He had claimed it wasn’t the first game he looked for when the fixtures came out, but one finds that hard to believe.

Crawley became a club close to his heart due to the success here, with two promotions and cup success, too.

Well, it was the shortest of walks to the dugout right next to the tunnel, and he was out and in the dugout almost before anybody had realised.

So, there was no obvious reception - although it didn’t take the home fans long, when he merged to make a point rather forcibly to Agard, to sing a well-known ditty about the manager’s weighty frame!

Rotherham certainly made a positive start and Pringle’s 16-yard effort had Jones going full length to push it out.

Four long throws from Arnason into the area and a couple of corners indicated the extent of Rotherham’s early pressure and when Frecklington nodded Pringle’s centre back into the danger area, McFadzean headed desperately over his own bar.

However, after Rotherham had made the running, it was Crawley who took a 14th minute lead with their first threat - really awkward for ‘keeper Shearer on his return to Crawley.

SADLER, wide on the right, curled a touchline free-kick high into the area. Up went the heads, no one could get a touch and the ball carried on into the far side of the net as Shearer dived desperately but too late.

It perked up the home side but Rotherham then should have equalised.

O’Connor’s quick free-kick set up Pringle who delivered a great centre that fund Agard all alone six yards out but he misjudged his header badly.

Back they came again, Bradley crossed, the keeper’s punch fell to O’Connor and his volley was going in until Sadler, near the line, deflected it over.

There had been 18 goals in Crawley’s three games so far, nine both scored and conceded and they looked vulnerable at the back.

A Pringle free-kick saw Revell rise and send a header inches wide of the far post.

But on 36 minutes Rotherham equalised. Bradley won a corner, Pringle struck it deep, Arnason headed back into the danger area and AGARD made up for his earlier miss with a sharp header from eight yards.

Shearer came to Rotherham’s rescue to deny Adams after Crawley worked a great move from a short corner.

Right on half time Revell missed a glorious chance. Pringle’s cross found him right in front of goal six yards out but he headed the ball down and the keeper touched it over when he should have had no chance.

The first glimpse of an opportunity for Tubbs - back at the club where he scored so many goals - came from a Frecklington centre but he could not get above the ball and he sent his header over the top and into the Rotherham fans behind that goal.

Rotherham, playing with confidence and at a sharp tempo, were looking threatening at every set-piece and the home side were certainly struggling to contain Rotherham’s threat in the air from corners. Morgan was the latest to get a header on a Pringle corner, but it went wide. Rotherham really were making the running.

Pringle spotted Revell pulling away from his man and the big striker’s low ball in was just too far for Tubbs as it rolled beyond the far post.

Then Frecklington, decided to try his luck from outside the box.

As it dropped from a clearance, he struck the volley and it was far past the post with Jones scrambling.

Crawley finally managed a spell of pressure and excellent defensive headers from Revell and then Arnason kepot the home side at bay.

The home side took off Proctor to put on experienced striker Alexander.

Rotherham then made a great break sparked by O’Connor. Pringle took a return pass from Skarz only for Pringle’s fierce effort to be brilliantly turned over by keeper Jones.

When Tubbs was replaced he got a standing ovation from the home crowd. Worrall went on. With 14 minutes left Rotherham went in front and they certainly deserved it.

O’Connor’s centre was headed straight up in the air inside the area by Hurst. Pringle and Agard went to challenge Connolly as the ball dropped.

It bounced away to the edge of the area, where sub WORRALL closed in and struck a fine first time shot low past the keeper’s left hand, before celebrating with some of the 500-plus Millers fans behind that goal.

Revell had a late goal ruled out for offisde, but the Millers held on for their first league win of the season - and remain unbeaten.