Millers FT: Rotherham United 4, Crewe 2

Kieran Agard leaps in celebration after his equaliser
Kieran Agard leaps in celebration after his equaliser
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Two goals from captain Lee Frecklington inspired Rotherham United to a 4-2 win over Crewe.

From the squad of the first League Cup Final in 1961 came Roy Ironside, Barry Webster, Lol Morgan, Peter Madden, Keith Bambridge, Brian Sawyer, Ray Lancaster and Gordon Morritt.

They were joined on the pitch by stars of the 1960s who not only were top players for the Millers but went on to star elsewhere including in some cases the top flight.

These were Albert Bennett, Barry Lyons, Frank Casper, Ian Butler and Dave Carver, all of whom moved on for sizeable fees and had excellent careers after doing well in the red and white.

The 13 of them had barely settled into their seats when Agard made some space for himself, moved into the area but fired wide of the far post. The watching Albert Bennett, a prolific scorer, just loved that sort of an opportunity!

Rotherham have made a habit of starting games well but they found themselves behind early on after also having a let-off.

Kari Arnason goes close with a first half header

Kari Arnason goes close with a first half header

Firstly Aneke put Leitch-Smith in behind the defence but the finish was poor and Collin saved.

Then, in the 11th minute, Osman cleared away from Milsom, the ball deflected off Arnason and Leitch-Smith was clear again. He hesitated and looked to have lost his chance but managed to get away a shot which hit the near post.

It rebounded out and INMAN closed in to place the ball into the other side of the net. Two minutes later, Rotherham could not have got closer to an equaliser.

Pringle’s short cross saw Revell’s header hit the near post and roll right along the line before Agard could get there to turn it in.

The early goal had boosted Crewe but Rotherham were lacking their usual fluency.

A Pringle corner was half-cleared but Frecklington, on the edge of the area, could not keep his volley down.

A spell of Rotherham pressure then ended with an equaliser on 29 minutes.

Osman, attempting to clear inside his area, skied the ball sending back across the goal face.

Milsom retrieved it, slipped to Bradley who found AGARD and he moved the ball aside then, on the turn, shot inside the far post for his 13th of the season.

Rotherham might have been in front shortly afterwards.

Crewe, looking vulnerable at set-pieces, didn’t deal well enough with a Pringle corner. Frecklington closed on the loose ball but his powerful effort went narrowly wide.

Addison, as last man, stopped Inman going clear and then Arnason challenged Moore.

Vuckic, playing the ball out to Pringle, moved into the area for the cross and his header was deflected over.

Rotherham set off towards the North End who probably knew their favourites had not ‘won’ any of the second halves in their last eight league games at home. If they could rectify that today then they’d got three points!

Both sides were guilty of giving away possession too easily at times but you felt that, although the Millers were not at their best, they were well capable of winning.

However, Crewe are always a threat going forward and Inman made a break forward, but Arnason bravely blocked the goalbound shot.

Then it was the visitors who went in front. A corner saw the ball drop down, Agard missed his attempt to clear and full back MELLOR spun and shot through a crowd of players.

Crewe, fourth bottom, were galvanised and after Inman made inroads again, Aneke should have done better with his shot from 12 yards.

But on 67 minutes Rotherham were back level and it was from a penalty ‘won’ by loanee Hitchcock.

He showed sharpness to move onto Tavernier’s angled pass and went down on the edge of the area as he cut across Ellis.

Crewe protested at the decision but skipper FRECKLINGTON took charge of matters as he grabbed the ball and struck home the spot kick. Four minutes later, Crewe were awarded a penalty - and Collin saved it. Then within a minute, Rotherham were in front!

The crowd were still celebrating the save, when Hitchcock found Pringle on the left. He produced a fantastic centre beyond the far post where REVELL rose to send a textbook header past Garratt.

Revell hit the post, and then Frecklington wrapped it up in the 90th minute from Hitchcock’s set up.