Rotherham United slip deeper into relegation mire after failing to trouble Reading

It was always going to be a tall order arresting a four-game skid against a team chasing a place in the Premier League, but a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Reading will have the feel of ‘one that got away’ for Rotherham United.

Rotherham's Freddie Ladapo has a shot blocked by Reading's Liam Moore (Picture: Dean Atkins)

Reading were the more dangerous side at the New York Stadium, no question about it, but they were also the sloppiest.

That they didn’t build on Michael Morrison’s goal midway through the first half when he bundled the ball over the line at the second attempt, owes much to their own complacency in front of goal.

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Rotherham created the more chances, mainly from set-pieces, but can certainly feel disappointed in their inability to truly test Rafael Cabral in the Reading goal.

Rotherham's Matt Olosunde loses out in the air against Reading (Picture: Dean Atkins)

The result, coupled with Birmingham’s win over QPR, leaves the Millers third bottom five points from safety.

Paul Warne’s side posed the most danger from set-pieces and managed to keep the Royals on their toes through much of the game.

Michael Smith as early as the second minute headed over from a free-kick; Freddie Ladapo had two first-half chances, one landing on the roof of the net, the other, the back row of the Mears Stand.

Rarely from open play did Rotherham probe, the second ball from a Smith knockdown landing with Ryan Giles who fed Matt Olusunde whose shot was deflected wide.

But otherwise Reading had too much pace, particularly through the middle.

They opened the scoring when Morrison plundered the rebound over the line after his initial header from Omar Richards’ cross was saved.

Lucas Joao and Alfa Semedo somehow contrived to miss glorious chances with the goal gaping as Rotherham struggled to deal with balls into the box.

Joao also muffed a shot when clean through early in a second half in which Reading appeared content to sit back and let Rotherham throw what they could at them.

Kieran Sadlier was introduced by Warne midway through the second half and his crosses from the left caused Reading the greatest concern.

But for all their endeavour, Rotherham needed a stroke of luck and they thought they’d got it in injury time when Ben Wiles’ shot from the edge of the box deflected off Morrison leaving Cabral wrong-footed but it drifted the wrong side of the post.

Rotherham United: Johansen; Harding, A MacDonald, Robertson (Wiles 15); Olusunde, Crooks, S MacDonald (Clarke 65), Wing (Hirst 80), Giles (Sadlier 65); Ladapo (Jozefzoon 80), Smith. Unused substitutes: Blackman, Barlaser.

Reading: Cabral; Yiadom, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Semedo, Laurent; Rinomhota (Esteves 86), Olise (Holmes 90_, Ejaria (McIntyre 75); Joao. Unused substitutes: Southwood, Baldock, Aluko, Tetek, Puscas, Camara.

Referee: D Coote (Nottinghamshire).

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