Rotherham earn rare win over Boro

26 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Middlesbrough were made to pay for missing a host of chances as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Rotherham.

The visitors squandered numerous opportunities and hit the woodwork twice in a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.

Rotherham took full advantage, with Cohen Bramall netting the second-half winner to end the Millers' 11-game winless run.

Middlesbrough had won back-to-back games coming into this one and started full of confidence.

Isaiah Jones had the first effort on target but his effort from the edge of the box was easily gathered by goalkeeper Viktor Johansson.

Rotherham's Swedish international stopper was forced into a much more challenging save through Sam Greenwood's powerful drive which he tipped over for a corner.

Middlesbrough were building their attacks patiently and another chance fell the way of Greenwood and this time the Leeds loanee rattled the crossbar from the edge of the box.

The Millers' first real chance came when central defender Sean Morrison put in a low cross which Sam Nombe tried to turn goalwards.

Middlesbrough sprung a threatening looking counter-attack through Sam Silvera and he found Jones but again his effort was tame.

Rotherham started the second half with much more urgency but Boro carved out the best opening chance when Silvera was sent down the left by Jonny Howson. His shot across goal drifted wide.

The visiting crowd were calling for a penalty when Alex Bangura went down in the box from a tackle by Hakeem Odoffin but it was waved away by referee Andrew Kitchen.

A huge chance fell the way of Greenwood but his side-footed shot was blocked by Seb Revan.

The Millers then took the lead in fortuitous circumstances after 72 minutes with Bramall's misplaced cross deceiving Tom Glover and flying into the top corner.

Middlesbrough pushed players forward in an attempt to level and Anfernee Dijksteel's effort had to be charged down by Odoffin.

Boro substitute Riley McGree then saw his low effort turned onto a post by Johansson and the ball rolled away to safety.

Another replacement, Josh Coburn, had a shooting chance but again Odoffin got in the way to block.

Two former Millers almost combined to net for Boro late on with Matt Crooks heading Dan Barlaser's corner just off target.

The managers

Rotherham's Leam Richardson:

"The credit needs to go to the players for the victory. I class it as three games in charge and with the work ethic and level of performance they have shown, they have deserved that little bit of luck.

"We are low on bodies and we have players playing out of position. Some are having to do things that are quite foreign to them.

"But it's a choice to tackle, head and run back and stay connected to your team-mates with recovery runs. We have that in abundance.

"With regards to confidence levels, when you put so much effort in, you want a reward for it.

"I thought we were a little bit passive first half. We don't want to be like that. We have front-footed players.

"The harder you work, the luckier you get."

Middlesbrough's Michael Carrick:

"I'm baffled, to be honest. I know referees have a tough job. It's not even a tussle or a little trip, he just takes him out.

"For the life of me I don't understand how he can't give the decision there. It's a massive moment and the less I say about it is probably the better.

"Whatever the referee says about it, we are not going to agree. It was so obvious. It's crazy. I think it's the first time we have not conceded a shot and lost the game.

"We created enough to score one or two at least. We have got goals in the team. We are playing largely good football. The boys will be fine.

"It's very difficult to be critical of the boys. We controlled it. It's a very strange game sometimes.

"They (Rotherham) are always in the game until you kill them off. We dealt with them so well. We will take a lot from it and look forward to our next game."

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