Millers FT: Carlisle 1, Rotherham United 2

Wes Thomas celebrates his opener
Wes Thomas celebrates his opener
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Kieran Agard netted a stoppage time winner for Rotherham United as they snatched yet another late, dramatic victory - this time against Carlisle United.

It was here that Rotherham clinched promotion to what’s now The Championship when winning 1-0 in 1981, a season when they were to go on and win the title in what’s now League One, of course.

Then, in 1996 on a cold, snowy night, they ensured a first ever visit to Wembley when securing a 2-0 second leg win (the same scoreline as the first leg) in the Northern Area Final of the Auto Windscreens Shield which, of course, the Millers went on to win.

Nothing as concrete as those two triumphs would be assured today but the Millers were looking to add to their run of away successes which stood as six wins from the last seven away games, a splendid sequence.

But Carlisle have been much improved recently and can be a real handful here on their day - as one or two leading sides have already discovered.

There was a pretty stiff breeze and the Millers chose to have it behind them on a pitch which looked quite dry and with a high bounce.

Carlisle United v Rotherham United - SkyBet League 1 - 22nd February 2014 - Goalscorer Wes Thopmas gets injured as he bravely challenges Jordan Pickford

Carlisle United v Rotherham United - SkyBet League 1 - 22nd February 2014 - Goalscorer Wes Thopmas gets injured as he bravely challenges Jordan Pickford

It had been all Rotherham in the early stages but they were nearly caught out in Carlisle’s first threat when Potts just coukdn’t reach a through ball from Redmond and Collin, back at his former club, was initially deceived but was able to backtrack and dive on the ball.

Then Amoo fired narrowly wide with the home side’s first shot. When Rotherham responded Thomas should have scored, but he made no mistake in the 23rd minute when he fired the Millers into the lead.

Frecklington was in the defensive ‘wall’ which blocked a free-kick on the edge of Rotherham’s area. The midfielder then hammered the ball high upfield, Thomas and two defenders gave chase but keeper Pickford came well outside his area and collided with all of them and they crashed to the ground. Thomas was first up, was closest to the loose ball and he took control, moved into the area and shot past the covering O’Hanlon.

It was well deserved and the home side had certainly had to defend in numbers under some strong pressure.

Revell took a ball on his chest and had space for a shot but struck his effort over.

Then young Pickford made another misjudgment, Agard lifted the ball past him but O’Hanlon cleared as Thomas moved in to score.

Rotherham were certainly creating oppportunities and causing trouble but Carlisle were defending with real spirit and always seemed to be first to the loose balls.

From a long free kick, Revell sent in a looping header but it landed on the roof of the net.

The wind had been a help to the Millers and a hindrance for defenders, but Rotherham were made to pay for not cashing in when MILLER produced a fine overhead kick into the corner to equalise.

Tavernier fired a long shot over but was then tricked by Redmond. The centre was held by Collin as Miller closed in.

Thomas was slow to read Smallwood’s pass into the area - it would have been a clear chance had he done so.

Then Agard moved inside for Revell’s header and swept a shot not far wide.

Rotherham had started on the front foot and they made another chance. Frecklington slid the ball through, Thomas held off Robson but struck his shot against the keeper’s legs. The rebound came to Pringle but O’Hanlon threw himself in front of the shot, in another example of Carlisle defiance this afternoon.

Then Rotherham were denied the most blatant of penalties. Agard robbed Meppen-Walter, moved in along the byeline and was just inside the area when the defender bundled him over from behind. It was the clearest of fouls but the ref, amazingly, gave only a goal kick.

But Rotherham were calling the tune again and the home side were breaking on them. Davis, who had stayed forward after a free-kick, was so close to finding Revell ten yards out with measured pass. With 15 minutes left Thomas, who should have been walking off with a hat-trick, was replaced by Adams.

In the first minute of stoppage time AGARD got the winning goal.

On the run, he smartly turned in a superb low centre from Revell.

It’s the third successive match Rotherham have snatched a very late winner, twice in stoppage time.