Millers grind out a scrappy draw

Macclesfield Town 1Rotherham United 1Attendance: 1,715

Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 10:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 10:13 am

BEFORE the game the announcer over the PA system said that the real fans of football were at Moss Road rather than those at home who were watching Manchester United v Roma.

It's a view.

Unfortunately those 1,715 supporters who braved this match watched a scrappy draw for their money.

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The Millers are frustrating. The up and down season continues with the good, the bad and indifferent and all in equal measure.

With nine games gone the season is starting to take shape. The team are not ruthless enough when attacking, not resilient enough when defending and they can go from showing rays of light to complete darkness in the blink of an eye.

The Millers boss, Mark Robins made three changes from last Saturday which tells its own story. His team withstood an uncertain start as they were pegged back and Danny Harrison was given the benefit of the doubt with a two-footed tackle on Martin Gritton that earned him a booking after only two minutes.

Gritton was equally lucky to stay on the field when he exercised the exact same retribution on Millers' captain Graham Coughlan five minutes later.

Having withstood early pressure the Millers settled down to create the best chances in the first half. Their positive play brought rewards in the 13th minute when Chris O'Grady's persistence on the touchline ended with a cross which Derek Holmes finished with a left foot shot which proved too strong for Tommy Lee even though the Macclesfield goalkeeper got a hand to it.

The goal led to the best spell of the game for the Millers and they almost increased their lead after 18 minutes. Holmes was brought down near the edge of the box which earned Luke Dimech another booking for the home side. Stephen Brogan's free kick left Lee standing only for it too bounce back off the post.

Paul Warne then crossed the ball and somehow it evaded the homeside's goal and was scrambled out for a corner. Rotherham maintained their mom-entum and pressure with a flurry of corners. But despite being the better side the Millers couldn't put the game beyond reach by half-time which eventually proved to be costly.

The Millers had a golden opportunity just after the break when Dale Tonge broke the offside trap and fed O'Grady who failed to turn the ball in and allowed Izak Reid to clear.

If this was the good part of the Millers then we were left floundering as they were pinned back for most of the second half. From being the better side they turned into second best, barely getting out of their half.

The pressure eventually built up as the Millers found it harder to keep the home side at bay. Increasingly stretched they gave away a free kick. Macclesfield captain Kevin McIntrye swung it over and Gritton met it with his head for the equaliser.

At the moment the Millers are gradually improving but in recent games they haven't been able to come back from behind and last night they were not able to hang onto a lead.

Maybe the result was understandable and predictable. Macclesfield are the only side not to have won a home game in the league while the Millers have never won anything at Moss Road.

But for now it is back to the drawing board as the Millers try and kick start their season. Maybe bottom of the table Mansfield on Saturday will be the turning point.