Rotherham United 1 Charlton 4: Millers were poor, admits Redfearn

Rotherham United suffered a big setback in their fight to get out of trouble in the Championship with a 4-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Charlton.

Rotherham's Neil Redfearn.
Rotherham's Neil Redfearn.

A brace from striker Simon Makienok and one each from Igor Vetokele and Ademola Lookman was enough to ensure the Addicks went to within a point of Rotherham, and safety, in the Sky Bet Championship table.

Chris Burke had got Rotherham level before substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris blew their chances of getting back in the game by missing a penalty.

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Charlton forged ahead on four minutes with a counter-attack finished off clinically by Makienok.

After Shay Facey’s poor throw-in, Charlton sprung with Zakarya Bergdich breaking down the left and squaring for Makienok to power in from the edge of the box.

Vetokele then shot from distance but Lee Camp got down well to save.

It only took Rotherham until the 11th minute to equalise. Paul Green played the ball to Danny Ward who in turn slipped Burke in down the right and he slid his shot past Stephen Henderson.

The visitors responded with Johann Berg Gudmundsson testing Camp with a long-range free-kick.

At the other end, Burke bent a free-kick just wide of goal.

It took smart work from Camp to deny Charlton another chance. The keeper was off his line to clear quickly after Vetokele had been chipped through by Bergdich.

Grant Ward had a great chance to send the Millers in ahead at the break. Joe Newell’s cross was only cleared by Harry Lennon as far as Ward and he skipped inside before blasting wide from just 10 yards out.

But Charlton then stung Rotherham again on 44 minutes. This time they raided down the right with Henderson playing it to Gudmundsson who split the Rotherham defence in picking out Vetokele to tap in.

Luciano Becchio was brought on by Neil Redfearn for the second half but it was his strike partner Danny Ward who had the first effort of the half. He cut in down the right and curled an effort which Henderson had to palm away for a corner.

Charlton skipper Johnnie Jackson then drilled an effort wide from the edge of the box after Vetokele had made a nuisance of himself in the box.

Joe Mattock’s cross almost led to a chance for Becchio but he could not get enough on fellow sub Clarke-Harris’ header to divert it goalwards.

Jackson then drew a great save out of Camp from a 25-yard free-kick and, from the resulting corner, Charlton got their third on 69 minutes. Gudmudsson delivered into the box and Makienok rose above the defence to head in.

Clarke-Harris then wasted a golden chance to get the Millers back into the game on 74 minutes. The striker was tripped by Jorge Teixeira but blasted the resulting penalty way over the bar.

Substitute Lookman then crowned off the win deep into added time with a cool finish.

Rotherham manager Neil Redfearn said his side looked nervous and put in an uncharacteristic display.

He said: “I thought we were poor today but they played well. I’ve got no qualms with the result.

“I thought we looked a little bit tentative and nervous in the first half and I can’t understand why.

“We wanted to play backwards and square instead of forwards. They got through us too easy and that was the disappointing thing. It was unlike us.

“Today from the off I didn’t think we applied ourselves. I don’t want to be too critical of the players because we’ve had some good results lately.

“I thought at 1-1 we would go on and win it because they wobbled a little bit.”

Redfearn admitted that if Clarke-Harris’ penalty had gone in then it could have been a different result.

He added: “To be fair to Jonno he pushed and shoved his way in and won the penalty himself but penalties are black and white and having it saved or missing the target is frowned upon.

“It would have been interesting had it gone in to see how Charlton would have reacted.

“I’m disappointed more with the performance. We’ve got to run teams closer than that. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.”