Lincoln City 0 Rotherham United 1: ‘We rode our luck’ admits Millers boss Paul Warne

Matty Crooks. Picture Scott Merrylees
Matty Crooks. Picture Scott Merrylees
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ROTHERHAM United opened up a six-point lead at the top of League One by beating Lincoln City 1-0 last night.

Matty Crooks bagged the only goal of the game as Paul Warne’s men piled the pressure on their promotion rivals.

Chiedozie Ogbene saw two efforts blocked by the hosts after Hakeeb Adelakun did well to get the ball into the box.

Imps’ stopper Josh Vickers intercepted Adam Thompson’s cut-back with Michael Smith waiting for a simple tap in, while Millers’ keeper Daniel Iversen produced a fine stop to keep out Jorge Grant’s header.

Forward Jake Hesketh squandered a great chance as he stabbed Grant’s cross wide on the stretch, but it was Crooks who missed Millers’ best chance of the first half as fired wide.

But the midfielder made no mistake in the 47th minute as he broke the deadlock.

Former Blackpool forward Kyle Vassell provided a pin-point cross for Crooks to head home his 10th goal of the season.

The Millers upped the ante as they looked to put wasteful Lincoln to bed. Adelakun lashed wide from long range before Ogbene missed the target

Millers defended well to keep Anthony Scully’s effort out on the line. Vassell could have sealed the points but failed to convert before Iversen proved his worth as he thwarted Tyreece John-Juless.

Warne said: “We conceded a few chances and rode our luck a little bit at times, but if you’re going to win a football match then you’re going to have to do that.

“We were much better in the second half than the first thankfully. I don’t think we played the conditions as well as they did in the first half and they created some good chances.

“We changed our set pieces for the second half completely and were bit more dynamic in terms of getting down the sides. We got a lot of crosses in and improved on the break. Lincoln in fairness to them though like to play out from the back so we had to try and play a high press, but that was where their chances stemmed from as we didn’t set up quick enough.

“Lincoln are a really good side here and have a better home record than us, they like to play and they like cause problems, so to come away and win on a Friday night is really pleasing.”

Lincoln: Vickers, Eardley, Bolger, Shackell, Melbourne, Bridcutt, Morrell, Anderson (Hopper, 82), Hesketh (Scully, 72), Grant, John-Jules. Unused substitutes: Andrew, Edun, Coventry, Chapman, Payne.

Rotherham: Iversen, Thompson, Ihiekwe, Wood, Wiles, Ogbene (Koroma, 79), Crooks, Barlaser, Adelakun (MacDonald, 89), Vassell (Ladapo, 77), Smith. Unused substitutes: Bilboe, Olosunde, Lindsay, Ladapo.

Referee: M Coy (Durham).