Millers FT: Rotherham United 3, Bradford City 0

Kieran Agard wheels away to celebrate putting the Millers into the lead
Kieran Agard wheels away to celebrate putting the Millers into the lead
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Rotherham United booked their place in the next round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 derby-day win over Bradford City.

A good Bradford following - added to the usual New York Stadium noise - ensured a cracking atmosphere and surely none bettered anywhere on FA Cup first round weekend.

Among the guests here today was former Millers centre half of the 1960s, Peter Madden, whilst former striker Shaun Goater was here too - he is a friend of City boss Phil Parkinson.

First threat came from an Arnason long throw. Revell laid the ball back outside the area but O’Connor’s drive was off target.

It was no surprise that early indications were of a game where the ball would spend quite some time on an aerial route - Rotherham looked for Revell whilst Bradford’s way is to play almost everything through their tall striker Hanson.

When the ball did come down, the players had to come to terms with a skiddy surface after heavy rain provided a soaking.

Matt Tubbs goes close with an early shot for the Millers

Matt Tubbs goes close with an early shot for the Millers

But on 12 minutes Rotherham fans were singing when they went in front with a real opportunist effort from top scorer AGARD.

The original free-kick was half-cleared. Tubbs chased it, got the ball back to O’Connor out wide who curled it back in. Revell got up, his header towards the six yard box saw Agard pounce quickly and fire home a snap shot, a real poacher’s effort for his seventh of the season.

Bradford responded by getting the ball in the net but Hanson was adjudged to have fouled Collin.

Another Rotherham free kick provoked trouble and when Revell again won his header, Bradley’s shot was held by the keeper.

When Tubbs was slipped into space, he was on track for goal. McLaughlin just got a hand on the shot and as it rolled behind him, McArdle cleared.

Then brilliant goalkeeping denied the Millers, who were bang on top.

Good play on the left ended with a great ball in from Pringle. Revell rose, did everything right with a strong header, only for McLaughlin to produce a superb reflex stop with his right hand.

It was another strong first half attacking effort from the Millers and Bradford were being troubled at the back.

Bradley and then Revell headed out from a City set-piece before Collin produced a splendid save, low to his right, to deny Wells an equaliser from ten yards after Reid cut the ball back.

O’Connor needed treatment after a blow to the ankle when attempting a shot, and Rotherham then had a great chance for a second when an error let in Revell. His first touch just took the ball further away than he would have wanted. He then tried to go wide of McLaughlin but the keeper got his hand to it rescued his side again.

Then Arnason fouled Wells and was booked, his fifth of the season to incur a one-match ban taking in Tuesday’s JPT game at Hartlepool.

City, now going towards their fans, had claims for a penalty when Collin and Wells collided. There were protests on the Rotherham bench when O’Connor went down in an off-the-ball incident apparently with Doyle involved. However, it happened behind the ref’s back and neither linesman indicated anything, with O’Connor pointing to the back of his leg.

As expected, Bradford were making more of a forward push this half and Rotherham hadn’t yet attained their first half superiority.

Collin collected well from a centre by Reid. Then Tubbs found space out wide but the centre was just too far ahead of Revell and Darby cleared.

One-time Owls defender McArdle was booked for bringing down Tubbs and, from the free-kick on 61 minutes, the Millers went two up.

O’Connor whipped it in viciously from the left and it was REVELL who got at the near post to divert it home in front of a jubilant North End and went on a long run of joy to celebrate the end of his goal famine.

Instantly De Vita was replaced by one-time Blades wide man Yeates. Then Revell fired a hard, low centre and Darby’s clearance four yards out rescued Bradford.

With 20 minutes left Rotherham booked their passage into the second round when they went 3-0 up.

Revell was involved out wide. He found O’Connor and his centre to the near post saw AGARD time his leap superbly to get above his marker and send his header over and beyond McLaughlin into the far side of the net.

The Millers players and crowd celebrated as if they knew this was the moment a splendid and well deserved victory had been confirmed.