Portsmouth 0 Rotherham United 1 - Millers end agonising wait for away victory

Rotherham celebrate Jon Taylor's winner. Picture: Joe Pepler.
Rotherham celebrate Jon Taylor's winner. Picture: Joe Pepler.
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MANAGER Paul Warne admitted he felt the pressure mounting before Rotherham United ended an agonising wait for a win on the road by beating Portsmouth.

The Millers failed to win an away game for the entirety of last season’s Championship campaign - with their last win away from home coming almost 17 months ago at MK Dons.

But Jon Taylor opened his account for the season in the 36th minute to pick up a welcome three points yesterday at Fratton Park.

Warne, whose side had lost their last four, said: “I could feel pressure mounting on me after losing back-to-back games.

“I didn’t want to come here and lose again away from home and I thought the lads performed really well. It means a lot to end that run of games without a win away.

“I haven’t been in management long but I know if you keep losing games then you won’t keep your job for long. I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist for that.

RELIEF: Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: Marie Caley

RELIEF: Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: Marie Caley

“I’m not saying my job was under threat but for me personally it’s not enjoyable losing every week and I don’t want the lads to lose faith with what we’re trying to do.”

Warne made five changes as his side looked to put their recent run behind them.

Portsmouth’s first chance fell to Brett Pitman, who failed to trouble Richard O’Donnell before Michael Ihiekwe also missed the target down the other end.

O’Donnell produced a fine save to divert Brandon Haunstrap’s goal-bound strike for a corner before Taylor struck.

I haven’t been in management long but I know if you keep losing games then you won’t keep your job for long. I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist for that.

Rotherham manager, Paul Warne

Nine minutes before the break Taylor sweetly fired past McGee after racing onto a fine Ryan Williams’ through ball, before the injury prone former Barnsley man was forced off.

After the restart Warne’s men had to be resolute in defence as Kenny Jackett’s outfit fought hard for an equaliser.

Jamal Lowe missed a great chance to level before Darren Potter came to O’Donnell’s rescue by clearing Oliver Hawkins’ header off the line.

Lowe could not quite get a touch to convert Matthew Clarke’s cross with the goal gaping.

Late on a sea of Millers’ bodies threw themselves in the way of multiple Pompey efforts to cling on for the points.

Portsmouth: McGee, Whatmough (Thompson, 46), Burgess, Clarke, Lowe, O’Keefe, May, Hawkins (Naismith, 70), Haunstrup, Chaplin (Kennedy, 46), Pitman. Unused substitutes: Bass, McCrory, Donohue, Close.

Rotherham United: O’Donnell, Cummings, Ihiekwe, Purrington, Williams (Forde, 54), Wood, Potter, Vaulks, Frecklington (Towell, 90), Taylor (Newell, 85), Moore.

Unused substitutes: Bilboe, Ajayi, Clarke-Harris, Ball.

Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey)