Rotherham United 1 Accrington 0: Why Millers' gritty victory sure feels sweet after below-par display

There have been plenty of times this season already when Rotherham United have not been at their best at home and not won.

Millers' Carlton Morris firse in a second half shot. Pic Steve Ellis
Millers' Carlton Morris firse in a second half shot. Pic Steve Ellis

So, again not being at their best, but this time grinding out a gritty 1-0 win over Accrington will feel sweet.

Carlton Morris' first-half goal earned three points for the Millers, who had to defend the last 10 minutes with 10 men following Chiedozie Ogbene's red card.

It was just their third win at the AESSEAL New York Stadium this season, but it moves them up to sixth in League One and Paul Warne's side are beginning to build some momentum.

Having being frustrated so many times in front of their own fans, Warne knows getting the win was the most important thing.

“I think we will play a lot better than that and lose, so I'm not complaining,” he said. “In the first half we were good and caused them problems.

“It felt a bit edgy, but at the end of the season those three points will mean the same as a 3-0 win.

“It's nice to win and going up to sixth position is good. I still think there's a lot to come from the team.

“People always tell me it's a sign of a good team if you win when you're not at your best. It's all about winning.”

Morris' third league goal of the season ensured that when he headed home Ben Wiles' free-kick on the half-hour.

It was reward for a strong first-half performance, but the Millers struggled to replicate it after the break and Accrington pushed for a leveller.

The hosts held firm, even though they lost Ogbene in the 82nd minute for a second yellow card after contentious decision from referee Darren Handley, who adjudged the winger to have dived.

“To go down to 10 men showed a lot of character and I thought the fans got behind the team. They helped the lads out. In a perverted sort of way, it helped us.

“Carlton took his goal really well. It was a good header. We just needed the second goal really. In the second half they put us under pressure.

“Accrington made it difficult for us. We knew it was going to be tough and if you had offered me 1-0 before the game I would have taken it.”

Rotherham United: Iversen, Olosunde, Ihiekwe, Jones, Wiles, Barlaser, Crooks (Lindsay 76), Ogbene, Smith (Ladapo 76), Morris (Thompson 88).

Unused: Price, Clarke, Hastie, Vassell.

Accrington Stanley: Evtimov, Johnson, Sykes, Rodgers, Maguire (Carvalho 89), Clark, Conneely, Barclay (Bishop 77), Finley, Pritchard (McConville half time), Charles.

Unused: Savin, Edwards, Zanzala, Diallo.

Referee: Darren Handley.

Attendance: 8,430.