Rotherham United 2 Bristol City 2: This could be valuable point, claims Stubbs

Rotherham United's Isaiah Brown celebrates scoring.
Rotherham United's Isaiah Brown celebrates scoring.
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CHELSEA youngsters Izzy Brown and Tammy Abraham took centre stage at the New York Stadium as honours ended even.

Brown scored his first goal in English football as Rotherham responded to their Oakwell mauling with a spirited display for the first hour before Abraham’s 74th-minute goal for the visitors was followed by a late equaliser from Bobby Reid.

The visitors finished by far the stronger side and only the post denied substitute Jamie Paterson’s curling left-footer giving them a 90th-minute winner.

The 19-year-old Brown, who signed on a season-long loan for the Millers after being on loan at Dutch side Vitese in 2015-16, netted in the seventh minute after a mix-up in the Robins defence.

One of the culprits, centre-back Aden Flint, then sliced the ball in off a post in the 58th minute to give the Millers an important buffer after some fine saves from Lee Camp had kept out the Robins, who had not won at Rotherham since 1995.

Millers chief Alan Stubbs made three changes from the starting line-up at Barnsley, where Rotherham capitulated in the second half and lost 4-0.

Jake Foster-Caskey, Will Vaulks and Scott Allan were consigned to the bench as Greg Halford, home debutant and Boro loanee Dael Fry and Joe Newell stepped in.

Central defender Richard Wood failed to get into the squad and reserve goalkeeper Lewis Price was away with his partner due to give birth.

Bristol City named an unchanged side after a 3-1 home win over Aston Villa and the line-ups matched up at 4-2-3-1.

Former Sheffield Wednesday product Richard O’Donnell was in goal for the visitors as Abraham, 18, led the attack.

O’Donnell was soon in action, parrying a volley from Dominic Ball, wearing a protective face mask.

But the Robins goalkeeper was then caught out on the edge of the area as Brown nipped between him and Flint and poked the ball forward before tapping into an empty net for a seventh-minute opener following a long ball from defence.

Goalkeeper Lee Camp was then alert to prevent a cheeky back-heel from another Chelsea loanee, Abraham, giving Bristol the equaliser but other attempts from the visitors in the first quarter were off target.

Bristol pressure built and Reid spurned their best chance when he mis-hit a low cross from Luke Freeman.

Lee Tomlin was the first in the book in the 36th minute for dissent.

Millers striker Danny Ward twice had to be treated for blows to the head before the interval when the Millers led after a fine save by Camp from Reid’s snap-shot in stoppage time.

Anthony Forde replaced Jon Taylor, who had taken a knock, for the start of the second half when Ward’s fierce shot from the left of the area was beaten away by O’Donnell.

Halford then got an important block on Reid and Camp punched clear the ensuing corner before also getting a fist to a goalbound header from Abraham and going down to his right to keep out Reid’s shot from outside the area.

The unfortunate Flint then watched in horror as he slid in to clear a mis-hit shot from Halford, fed by Brown, but sliced it against the post and beyond O’Donnell into his own net in the 58th minute following a Millers counter-attack.

Bristol chief Lee Johnson tried to retrieve the situation just after the hour mark by making a triple substitution.

Ward, crucially, should have made it 3-0 but fired over the bar after pinching a long ball off the toes of Reid down the middle.

Camp was again called into action, pushing away a dipping shot from Tomlin to concede an 11th corner to the visitors in the 72nd minute.

Abraham finally forced home in the 74th minute after Rotherham could only clear Joe Bryan’s free-kick to Tomlin, whose low drive from the right of the area to the far post was turned in.

Camp was booked for holding on to the ball too long and Johnson was lucky to escape with a lecture when he left his technical area to retrieve the ball for a Rotherham goal-kick as time began to run out.

Scott Allan replaced Brown, who was suffering a touch of cramp, in the 81st minute.

It was 2-2 in the 84th-minute when Joe Bryan low, curling cross from the left was converted by Reid at the far post.

Abraham went close to an equaliser with a shot on the turn which was blocked by the legs of Camp and a combination of the goalkeeper and Kelvin Wilson somehow kept out Callum O’Dowda following a cross to the far post.

Then came Paterson’s screamer before the Millers negotiated five minutes of stoppage time, Fry heading wide from a corner.

Rotherham boss Alan Stubbs hid his frustration and said the draw could prove to be a valuable point.

“I can understand the frustration of the fans after the game, but there has to be some realism,” he said.

“The Championship has become an even harder league and it is harder to compete, you are fighting an uphill battle.

“When you look at the bigger picture this could be a valuable point. We were playing a good team who have spent this summer.

“We had chances to make it three and that’s the difference. At 3-0 you go on to win the game.

“They got themselves back into the game and you have to give Bristol City credit.

“We have to be realistic, there is always a frustration when you lose a 2-0 lead, but we are coming up against a team who want to be in the play-offs. It takes us out of the bottom three and could be a good point when you look back on it.”

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