Millers FT: Rotherham 0, Peterborough 1

Lee Frecklington fires in a shot against his former club
Lee Frecklington fires in a shot against his former club
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Rotherham United surrendered their League One unbeaten record after a 1-0 defeat to Peterborough United at the New York Stadium.

They certainly started like it, getting on the front foot and there was real trickery and sharpness from Taylor as he sliced his way into the area but then tried a fancy backheel and Morgan cleared.

Both sides have a reputation for their fondness to attack and go at teams, and this was apparent in the confidence both showed in the early stages.

Agard, bursting onto Revell’s chestdown, went into the area and then blazed high over before a smart Millers move ended with Pringle shooting wide from 22 yards.

Then Pringle followed this up with a fizzing 25 yard free-kick not far wide.

This game against the promotion favourites was being used as a benchmark to assess roughly where the Millers were, and they certainly were not overawed considering how they were pushing the visitors back.

Ben Pringle is fouled

Ben Pringle is fouled

First glimpse of Assombalonga followed some typical sharp, slick passing and he got the ball just outside the area, moved onto his favoured right foot and lashed a powerful effort a couple of yards over into the North End.

Posh were clearly confident on the ball as they built their attacks but Rotherham actually provoked more danger.

A super move ended with Bradley’s sharp pass just eluding Agard, who was clear eight yards out.

Then Bradley was freed on the right but Pringle couldn’t just ‘grow’ enough at the far post and he was at full stretch as he sent his header over.

The game was living up to its billing. Rotherham would have been pleased how they’d dealt with Posh’s attacking threat so far although you could see the lurking threat in various positions and concentration had to be 100 per cent.

It was Ferguson who blinked first. Having started with a diamond midfield he switched to a flatter four with Taylor moved to the left flank and Barnet dropping in behind Assombalonga.

Then came the first proper chance - a great one it was too, and the Millers missed it.

Milsom lined up a 25 yarder, struck a tremendous shot that Olejnik could only parry. Nardiello had followed up, was all alone and could have controlled, but elected to shoot first time and blazed high over the bar.

As Rotherham’s confidence grew, Milsom ‘bombed’ another long shot not far wide.

Frecklington was the first booking for downing Taylor.

Rotherham then went so close. Morgan nodded down a corner and Bradley’s effort was going in until it was deflected wide by a blue shirt.

Then another let-off for Posh when Frecklington’s centre saw Pringle challenge and Nardiello just couldn’t get enough on the ball four yards out and Oljejnik gratefully saved.

The visitors, second best before half-time, escaped when a Pringle cross flashed across the six yard box, and then got the sort of break top teams often do to go in front on 51 minutes.

In the initial move there looked to be an offside. A corner followed, then another from which Arnason went up with Barnett and the ball brushed the defender’s arm.

A penalty was awarded despite the protests and MCCANN rattled it in.

It was the perfect response to the half-time rollicking handed out by manager Ferguson, clearly heard coming from the Peterborough dressing room. Rotherham should then have equalised. Pringle’s free-kick saw Bradley steal in but he put his header wide.

Rotherham had fought back from that early blow and after being in a tight spot in their own half they extricated themselves with some lovely play ending with Milsom going a long way and then firing inches wide.

Swanson was replaced by Kearns. Posh really were being put under the cosh and were hanging on grimly.

Arnason’s deflected shot almost cleared Olejnik and then came a great chance when Bradley’s centre dropped beyond Revell and Skarz struck his shot wide from six yards.

Another huge let-off Olejnik fumble a high centre, Nardiello’s first effort was blocked and the second one saw Payne clear near the line.

Rotherham were playing as well as they have done all season and the visitors had to produce some heroic defending.

Agard was replaced by Tubbs with 12 minutes left as Rotherham’s siege of the Posh goal continued. The Millers then replaced Skarz with Eaves as they chased an equaliser, but it meant Rotherham’s unbeaten league start was over in the ninth game after Bradley blazed a sitter over the bar in added time.

But they had given Posh a real going over, were unfortunate to lose and received a standing ovation at the end.