Rotherham United 4 Portsmouth 1: Michael Smith gets perfect 30th birthday present with brace against former club

Rotherham United striker Michael Smith could not have asked for a better 30th birthday present.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 2:56 pm
Michael Smith of Rotherham United scores their first goal against Portsmouth: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The Millers hitman celebrated his milestone age on Sunday by bagging a brace in a 4-1 win against Portsmouth 24 hours earlier.

It came against his former club, whose fans were jeering him, and took his tally to 10 goals in his last 12 games as Paul Warne' s side continued to assert themselves as League One promotion contenders.

Smith opened the scoring against old employers Pompey, who hammered Sunderland 4-0 last time out, before Marcus Harness levelled things up after the break.

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But Warne's side blitzed their visitors with three goals in seven minutes as Smith grabbed his second, Richard Wood headed home and Ben Wiles finished the romp with a stylish finish.

Warne describing his front man as “colossal” and “unplayable”, adding: “Obviously strikers are judged by their goalscoring. I don't just judge them on that.

“He has been colossal and he leads the line really well. He works hard in the gym and on the training ground and he is getting his just rewards.

“He was excellent as he has been in many games and he was unplayable at times. He is the one who takes the headlines.

“It's nice for Smudge to get two goals, even nicer against your old team, it is always means more but his overall performance was good. But he was joined by another 10 players.

“To score two goals against your former club, win 4-1 and play the way he did was a right boost.”

Momentum is growing at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, as the Millers stretched their unbeaten run to six games and put themselves in the mix at the top end of the table.

Warne added: “It's good, that's the difference if you take your chances.

“I always thought we were not far away from scoring a lot of goals. Today we took our chances really well and that has been just what was missing in our performances.

“Our performances have been excellent, the lads trained well this week. I was bordering on excited about today, I thought they would play well but sometimes they train rubbish and play well and vice versa.

“They took their chances well today.”