Shrewsbury Town 1 Rotherham United 2: MIllers back to their best in last gasp win
Super sub Michael Smith popped up with a stoppage-time winner to hand Rotherham United a late Christmas gift at Shrewsbury Town.
After a patched-up side earned a point at home to Fleetwood on Saturday, Paul Warne’s side looked back to its cohesive and balanced best to win in Shropshire with three headers scored by both teams.
The Millers enjoyed the majority of possession inside the first quarter-of-an-hour but couldn’t make it pay despite rattling the woodwork.
A front two of former Shrews in Freddie Ladapo and Carlton Morris came closest to breaking the deadlock early on. Ladapo’s low effort deflected wide off Aaron Pierre on three minutes before Carlton Morris was unfortunate to see his close-range effort ricochet off Max O’Leary and to safety after hitting the post.
It took until the hour for Rotherham’s pressure to pay off from the most unlikely of sources. Joe Mattock popped up at the far post from Michael Ihiekwe’s header across goal to turn home his first of the season.
The hosts hit back and almost levelled on 64 minutes but for a late Adam Thompson block on Dave Edwards. However, Town did level it up through defender Aaron Pierre who nodded home after a well-worked free-kick down the left freed Scott Golbourne to deliver.
Substitute Ryan Giles went through down the left on 80 minutes and forced Daniel Iversen into a smart save.
But it was the Millers’ sub Smith who won it with a looping header from Adam Thompson’s teasing cross.
“I thought we were pretty good,” said boss Paul Warne. “I thought we created enough chances to win the game. We conceded from a well-worked free-kick but I don’t know if that’s their only attempt on goal.
“For Smudge (Michael Smith) to score the winner in added time, I’m really pleased.
“When we scored our goal, we might have gone and won it more handsomely but I’m not complaining to win it late on.”
Shrewsbury Town: O’Leary, Pierre, Golbourne, Edwards (Giles 79), Beckles, Whalley, Okenabirhie (Udoh 68), Walker, Love (Williams 86), Ebanks-Landell, Laurent. Subs: Murphy, Fane, Goss, Cummings.Rotherham United: Iversen, Mattock (Wood 90), Thompson, Ihiekwe, Robertson, Barlaser, Crooks, Olosunde, Ogbene (Vassell 82), Ladapo, Morris (Smith 85). Subs: Price, Clarke, Lindsay, Hastie.
Referee: M. Edwards.
Attendance: 7,555 (987 away)