Crewe Alexandra 2 Rotherham United 1: Millers subside in second half and exit FA Cup

Crewe 2 Rotherham 1
Crewe 2 Rotherham 1
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Rotherham United paid the price for a dismal second-half performance as they went out of the FA Cup at the hands of Crewe Alexandra.

Millers had led 1-0 after dominating in the first half at Gresty Road but their lower league opponents hit back with two goals after the break to win the first-round tie.

It was late agony for Paul Warne's men as the game-clinching goal came in the 89th minute.

Will Vaulks had put Rotherham in control of the tie after curling a beautiful shot into the net before celebrating with his trademark somersault.

Top scorer Kieffer Moore looked to have headed Rotherham 2-0 ahead on the stroke of half-time from Joe Newell's corner but, after consulting with a linesman, the referee ruled that the flag-kick should be retaken.

Having dominated proceedings, the Millers were pegged back two minutes after the break when goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell dithered over whether to come for George Cooper's free-kick and Brad Walker glanced his header home.

Then Callum Ainley was on hand in the dying stages to steer the ball past O'Donnell to complete Rotherham's misery.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne said: “I thought we played really well in the first half and controlled the game. We had enough chances to be out of sight and I thought Joe Newell was outstanding in the first-half.

“We felt pretty comfortable in the game. I don’t think our ‘keeper made a save in the first half.”

“Obviously there was a big turning point on the stroke of half-time. I thought that would have been game over but the referee pulled it back and he said there was a foul before the ball come into the box.

“I think that changed the game a little bit. At half-time, I said to the lads that I think that will give them a boost and in the second-half, they came out and had a free header for the equaliser in the middle of our penalty box which was unacceptable.

“It was quite an open end-to-end cup tie and I thought we would go on and win it, so for them to score in the manner of their second was difficult to take.

“I thought we played more than well enough in the first half to get through. I have been saying all week a nice cup run would be good, but it wasn’t to be. I can’t pretend that I’m anything other than disappointed.”