Rotherham United 0 Bristol Rovers 1: Match Report

Rotherham United v Bristol Rovers'Rover Jim Patterson tries to hold back Kieron Cadogan
Rotherham United v Bristol Rovers'Rover Jim Patterson tries to hold back Kieron Cadogan
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IT was the ref who suggested it was a ‘bit of a Dick Turpin job’. He even offered up that suggestion to the winning manager, no less!

To his credit, Mark McGhee didn’t turn purple or blow his top. After all, plenty of managers wouldn’t take too kindly to being told that they had been a touch fortunate.

Rotherham United v Bristol Rovers'Johnny Mullins just can't believe the millers have throw all awayn it

Rotherham United v Bristol Rovers'Johnny Mullins just can't believe the millers have throw all awayn it

“Not quite a smash and grab,” reckoned McGhee, now seven matches into a Rovers reign that has begun well and seen a struggling bunch suddenly turn into hard-to-beat workaholics.

The Millers have been priding themselves on their work ethic and endeavour and unity in the recent, brief about-turn in fortunes.

We saw that here as well, which meant you’d got two sets of players doing their level best to snuff out what the other lot were trying to do. And generally succeeding.

Which meant they cancelled each other out. And that usually means it’s not particularly entertaining - and that’s without the old Don Valley factors!

But, the onus is on the home side to overcome hard-working, organised, opponents. When you can’t and then concede a winner two minutes into stoppage time, then the misery-ometer rises in line with the jaw dropping.

Andy Scott looked a lot more miffed afterwards than he had done the four previous games. Not surprising really.

But then football has a habit of de-railing you when you thinking you’re getting on the right lines.

It all gave Scott more food for thought. Yes, a bit of flair (ie Danny Schofield) has been sacrificed recently for hard work, for harder-to-beat doggedness - call it whatever.

But, like whatever you do, when it comes off then fine. When it doesn’t then - well, wouldn’t it have been better another way?

Apart from a moment when Shaun Harrad looked to be in but was under pressure by the time he got an underhit shot away against the keeper’s legs, the Millers rarely mounted much of a genuine first-half threat.

Home fans had to wait until the final minute of the half for a real moment of menace, Lewis Grabban cutting in from the left for a shot deflected just over.

Rovers had carried the extra threat with a tactical Millers switch fairly early on which saw Sam Wood operate on the right to help Michael Bradley nullify the danger from the pacy Carayol.

Rovers should have scored through Lund and might have done through Zebroski.

The second half saw Harrad removed, Grabban switched down the middle and Kieron Cadogan making a lively entrance - initally on the left but switching with Wood the moment Carayol was substituted.

Certainly had Grabban finished off Revell’s supply three minutes into the half, instead of shooting wide, it would have had a definite game-changing effect.

Rotherham’s second-half pressing suggested they could get that breakthrough but with, among other things, the big, blond-haired Bolger having a huge game, Rotherham always seemed to find one green shirt too many in too many places.

Yes, the Millers - as in the first half - lacked composure as they strove to find a way through with Rovers constantly thwarting them.

Rotherham had opportunities though. Grabban, receiving from Harrison’s header, struck a fierce shot on the turn which Bevan beat away. It fell towards Alex Revell who ballooned high over.

When Revell cleverly hooked a ball in behind the defence, Grabban was on to it, but Bevan had reacted excellently and managed to block right on the edge of the area as the striker attempted to lift the ball over him.

Rovers had been almost anonymous in attack in the second half until the introduction of three subs.

Even so, DVS’s first goalless draw of the season looked assured, particularly after the 90th-minute denial of Brown by Andy Warrington, in the side after Rhys Taylor was forced to pull out with an elbow injury.

But two minutes into three of stoppage time, Dorman struck from a centre by Brown and, I must say, smash and grab did come to mind. It didn’t feel like much of a consolation though!