Ipswich Town 0 Rotherham United 1: We deserved the win, claims Warnock

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Resurgent Rotherham moved out of the Sky Bet Championship’s bottom three with a 1-0 win over play-off hopefuls Ipswich at Portman Road.

Leon Best’s 43rd-minute goal proved the difference, the striker prodding home Matt Derbyshire’s cross for his third in two matches.

The Millers comfortably held on to make it five matches unbeaten as Town saw their top-six hopes take a big hit.

In both halves, the home side started brightly before folding meekly.

Ipswich striker Freddie Sears headed over a half chance on five minutes before the striker shot low at Lee Camp following good build-up play involving Jonathan Douglas and Brett Pitman.

The first chance for the visitors came midway through the first half when Richard Smallwood seized on a loose ball but could only shoot straight at Bartosz Bialkowski after cutting in from the left.

A hard-fought encounter saw little in the way of chances until 10 minutes before the interval.

Lee Frecklington’s lob narrowly missed the far post before Grant Ward’s low shot was turned around the post by Bialkowski.

In between, Ipswich skipper Luke Chambers saw a half volley hit Camp - but the fact the chance brought derisory cheers from the home fans said everything.

Rotherham took the lead two minutes before the interval when a sloppy pass from Douglas allowed the visitors to break clear.

Derbyshire had time down the left to cross for Best, who found the bottom corner under pressure from Christophe Berra.

It had been a poor first half from the play-off contenders, but they almost got back on level terms within three minutes of the restart after Chambers’ cute flick released Sears in the area but his low shot was hacked clear of danger by Stephen Kelly.

After Ipswich forced four corners in the opening six second-half minutes, Daryl Murphy went close with a header which Camp did well to hold under pressure from Pitman.

The Rotherham goalkeeper was then in the right place to hold onto Jonas Knudsen’s header from another cross from debutant Liam Feeney, who was making a difference after coming on at half-time for the ineffective Douglas.

While they huffed and puffed, the hosts never looked like getting an equaliser and it was Rotherham’s winger Grant Ward who went closest but he scuffed Greg Halford’s cross wide of the far post.

The final chance went to the home side, after they finally exerted some pressure. A goalmouth scramble fell to Ben Pringle but his low shot evaded both the far post and the sliding Berra.

Warnock said: “I thought we deserved the win. We were so solid at the back and restricted them - our goalkeeper (Lee Camp) didn’t have shots to save.

“Overall, our lads have done ever so well. We are limited but the Championship is my cup of tea.

“I have come here for 14 matches and I am loving it. I don’t feel under any pressure and I have asked the lads just to give me their best. As you can see today, they are certainly doing that.

“Leon Best has come in and I think he is the only player on that pitch who could have scored that goal - it was a better one than what people might think.”

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