Rotherham United 2 Fleetwood Town 2: Patched up MIllers show their powers of recovery

There was plenty of Christmas spirit on show as a patched-up Rotherham twice battled back to take a point against Fleetwood.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 10:51 am
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 7:42 pm
Freddie Ladapo continued his goalscoring form against Fleetwood. Picture Scott Merrylees

The Millers were stricken by injury and illness, which forced Paul Warne to play several players out of position.

They overcame a poor first half showing to rally after the break and earn a point that gave the home fans at least some festive cheer.

Ched Evans, the former Sheffield United striker, enjoyed his return to South Yorkshire as he twice put the Cod Army ahead.

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Freddie Ladapo briefly levelled at 1-1 and then attacking midfielder Matt Crooks, who started the game part of a back three, scooped home the second equaliser 10 minutes from time.

Though an encouraging point given the circumstances, it was more home frustration for the Millers, who are just not enjoying playing at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Still, Warne was pleased his side were able to give the fans something to cheer after a disappointing first half.

He said: “We had to jiggle the side quite a lot but that aside we didn't really play well enough in the first half. It looked a bit lacklustre, which is disappointing.

“We wanted to make the fans happy in the second half.

“I was really pleased when we got back into it. I thought we would go on and win it. It felt like one of those great days at New York.

“I thought we might nick it but it wasn't to be.”

Joey Barton's men were by far the better in the first half and had already struck the post by the time Evans scored his first goal in five games when he headed home Lewis Coyle's 26th-minute cross.

They could have been further behind but rallied in the second half and Ladapo's good run of scoring form continued when he glanced home Matthew Olosunde's cross.

Parity was short-lived, though, as Olosunde immediately made a rick at the other end, selling goalkeeper Daniel Iversen short with his backpass, allowing Evans to nip in.

But the Millers' response was again good and Crooks got the leveller from close range with 10 minutes to go.

“The second goal is a calamity really,” Warne added. “That is the nicest way to put it. We didn't need that misfortune.

“But in fairness to the lads' character we came back in it again.

“At half-time I asked them to do things a bit differently and play with a bit more speed and to get crosses into the box. If you do that, you get chances.

“We are at our best when we play forward.”