Portsmouth 3 Rotherham Unted 2: Freddie Ladapo’s double not enough to rescue Millers

ROTHERHAM United’s three-match league winning steak came to an abrupt end with a 3-2 defeat at Portsmouth.
Freddie Ladapo.Freddie Ladapo.
Freddie Ladapo.

Paul Warne’s side have worryingly shipped five goals in their last two outings.

Freddie Ladapo bagged his second brace in as many games but it was a mere consolation for the visitors.

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Goals from Ronan Curtis, former Doncaster Rovers striker John Marquis and Ben Close did the damage at Fratton Park last night.

Victory would have seen the Millers leapfrog Peterborough United into third place in their quest for an immediate return to the Championship.

Millers’ manager Warne made a trio of changes to the side which pulled off a comeback win at MK Dons on Saturday, with Trevor Clarke, Kyle Vassell and Ladapo replacing Matty Crooks, Jake Hastie and Michael Smith.

But the visitors conceded in the first minute courtesy of a fine Curtis strike from the edge of the box.

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The Millers almost hit back immediately when Vassell forced Craig MacGillivray into a smart save.

But Ladapo made no mistake to bag his eighth goal of the season from close range after MacGillivray spilled a Dan Barlaser free-kick.

Clarke nodded over from a decent position before record summer signing Ladapo was denied a second by a good save from the Scottish shot stopper.

Rotherham found themselves behind eight minutes before the break when Marquis beat Daniel Iversen.

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On the hour Carlton Morris was tripped in the box with Ladapo, who missed a penalty at the weekend, showing great character to step up and send MacGillivray the wrong way.

But parity lasted barely a minute as Close slammed home a half volley to put the hosts ahead.

Warne’s charges finished with 10 men after Billy Jones hobbled off with seven minutes left.

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Haunstrup, Burgess, Hawkins, Brown, Walkes, Close, Williams (Harness, 78), Marquis, Curtis, Harrison. Unused substitutes: Bass, Evans, Bolton, Cannon, Downing, Pitman.

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Rotherham: Iversen, Olosunde (Ogbene, 45), Ihiekwe, Robertson, Jones, Morris, Barlaser (Lindsay, 74), Wiles, Clarke, Ladapo, Vassell (Crooks, 74). Unused substitutes: Price, Thompson, Hastie, Smith.

Referee: A Coggins (Oxfordshire).