Rotherham United 3 Bristol City 0: Signs are good for Millers - Redfearn

Millers Lee Frecklington celebrates his goal with Joe Newell.
Millers Lee Frecklington celebrates his goal with Joe Newell.
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STRIKER Jonson Clarke-Harris scored his first goals since mid-September as Rotherham followed up victory at Leeds United by claiming another three points in their fight against relegation.

Clarke-Harris curled in an early opener and struck from the penalty spot in the first half against their fellow strugglers at the New York Stadium. Millers captain Lee Frecklington then made the points safe by netting the third in the 75th minute.

Rotherham United.

Rotherham United.

Rotherham were without suspended Leon Best after his sending-off at Leeds and so Danny Ward partnered Clarke-Harris up front. Danny Collins replaced hamstring victim Joe Mattock at left-back as they went 4-4-2.

Bristol employed a 3-5-2 formation with former Millers striker Kieran Agard partnering Jonathan Kodjia up front.

The Millers repelled a couple of corners before Clarke-Harris curled in a 20-yard beauty from just outside the area which beat Frank Fielding inside his far post on the stroke of nine minutes.

Agard went close to replying after being put through but Lee Camp raced off his line to make an important block.

Fielding then had no chance with Clarke-Harris's fiercely-struck 27th-minute penalty after Kirk Broadfoot had been shoved to the ground by Kodjia as the ball was pumped back into the area.

Agard headed narrowly wide from Luke Freeman's cross but it was 2-0 to the Millers at the break, Fielding's boot keeping out a far-post volley from Clarke-Harris in stoppage time.

Rotherham, however, had suffered a blow shortly before the break when central defender Stephen Kelly limped off with calf trouble and was replaced by Farrend Rawson.

Bristol, however, made little headway after the break, losing Agard after Kirk Broadfoot had been booked for a challenge from behind.

The Millers relied on the counter-attack but appeared the more likely side to score again with Grant and Danny Ward supporting Clarke-Harris in fine style.

Bristol threw on Simon Cox for Kodjia but still could not puncture the Millers' defence.

And Frecklington then made it 3-0 in the 75th minute after being teed up by Danny Ward from Grant Ward's cross and the points were in the bag.

Redfearn says Clarke-Harris' first goal came at an opportune time with Rotherham under pressure.

He said: "I felt for 10, 15 minutes we looked a bit shaky and they were really bright. They were really good for 20-25 minutes. We weren't allowed to play well and credit to them for that.

"The first goal came at a good time. I thought after Jonson's first goal we really settled into it. They always looked under pressure.

"When we went a goal up we didn't have to chase the game.

"We had a good shape to us and broke quite well on them but we kept a high line at the back which was important.

"It's a couple of wins but it's a long old season. The signs are good. When there's nothing in games, like Leeds last week, we look mentally tough as a group.

"The presence of some experience has helped. It's given us a platform. We worked our socks off today.

"The lads have worked hard and bought into it."

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