Rotherham United 1 Cardiff City 2 - ‘To come away with nothing seems a bit harsh’ rues Paul Warne

ROTHERHAM UNITED were denied a share of the spoils as Cardiff City extended their unbeaten Championship run to four matches as they snatched a late victory.
Matt Crooks netted for Rotherham.  Picture Bruce RollinsonMatt Crooks netted for Rotherham.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Matt Crooks netted for Rotherham. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The visitors remain undefeated under Mick McCarthy as his side pulled off a smash-and-grab triumph in the former Republic of Ireland manager’s native South Yorkshire.

A first-half counter-attack strike from Sheyi Ojo and Joe Bennett’s late header secured victory in the snow for the Welshmen. Back-to-back wins have lifted Rotherham out of the relegation zone and they never gave up on earning another three points but Matt Crooks’s equaliser was cancelled out with five minutes remaining.

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Michael Smith saw his shot took a deflection to fly just wide of Dillon Phillips’s far post.

Smith was leading the line strongly for the Millers and his third attempt on goal was palmed away by Phillips before Perry Ng smashed the ball away for a corner with Wes Harding lurking for a tap-in.

Matt Olosunde saw his volley blocked by Aden Flint before Smith was denied by a stunning reaction save from Phillips.

Viktor Johansson was then called into action at the other end as Kieffer Moore fired in a low effort from the edge of the box.

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Smith seemed to have a good shout for a penalty when Curtis Nelson barged into him from behind in the box.

Rotherham were then caught out with Cardiff breaking from their own half to take the lead three minutes before the break.

Harry Wilson latched onto a loose ball and picked out Ojo who had a clear run on goal and slid his the ball past Johansson with minimal fuss.

Rotherham’s first good move of the second half yielded the leveller just after the hour mark with Smith breaking down the right and delivering a low ball for Crooks to tuck in.

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Heavy snowfall then dictated a change of ball and with the more visible yellow version, Cardiff retook the lead after 85 minutes with Josh Murphy’s driving cross picking out Bennett to nod home at the far post.

Rotherham felt they had decent shouts for a number of penalties in the game with a shove on Smith looking the most likely.

Manager Paul Warne said: “We go through games of full luck or no luck. We rode our luck Saturday (victory at Preston) but I didn’t think we had any tonight.

“I thought over the course of 95 minutes we didn’t deserve to lose.

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“I asked the lads to give everything they’ve got. It was just a misjudgement for their goal in the first half and their lad finished it confidently. We were well on top.

“I think we were more than deserving of a penalty for a foul on Smudge (Smith). We got ourselves back in the game and I thought we would go on and win it. All in all we come away disappointed but really proud of the way we played.

“The lads didn’t do much wrong. Cardiff were quite happy to just play off Kieffer (Moore) and just have throw-ins and corners.

“There wasn’t enough ball in play time. To come away with nothing seems a bit harsh.”

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Rotherham United: Johansson, Ihiekwe, Wood (Hirst 87), Robertson, Olosunde (Giles 71), Wing, Barlaser (Ladapo 81), Wiles, Harding, Crooks, Smith. Unused substitutes: S MacDonald, Sadlier, Clarke, A MacDonald, Jozefzoon, Vickers.

Cardiff City: Phillips, Morrison, Flint, Nelson, Ng, Vaulks, Ralls (Pack 63), Bennett, Wilson, Kieffer Moore, Ojo (Murphy 53). Unused substitutes: Watters, Sang, Harris, Brown, Ratcliffe, Bagan, Hoilett.

Referee: G Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).

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