Report: Rotherham 1 Ipswich Town 0 – Experimental Blues team loses at rock-bottom Millers
An experimental Ipswich Town side lost 1-0 at rock-bottom Rotherham United this afternoon.
The rock-bottom Millers – whose sole away point of the season came at Portman Road last October – are on course to set the lowest points total in Championship history, but they recorded only their fifth win of a miserable campaign courtesy of Tom Adeyemi’s 79th goal. This was their first clean sheet since December 10.
After back-to-back Easter weekend wins against Burton and Newcastle made the Blues mathematically safe, boss Mick McCarthy made nine changes to his starting XI as several fringe players and long-term absentees came into the side.
Luke Chambers and Myles Kenlock were the only two to keep their place as Dean Gerken, Tommy Smith, Josh Emmnauel, Toumani Diagouraga, Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop, Danny Rowe, Dominic Samuel and Brett Pitman all got the nod for this dead rubber.
A disjointed first half display ensued and only a fine Gerken penalty save from Danny Ward, in the 22nd minute after Emmanuel’s rash challenge on Jon Taylor, prevented the dangerous hosts from taking the lead.
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Smith and Chambers produced last ditch blocks, Richard Wood glanced a header wide and Adeyemi lashed over as Town struggled to get a foothold in the game.
The Blues did slowly start to find their feet though and Samuel smashed an angled shot against the crossbar, after Rowe’s shot was parried, in the latter stages of the half.
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Town continued to gel after the restart and Pitman spurned a good chance in the 57th minute after the impressive Rowe’s raking ball over the top.Moments later, Rowe’s deep free-kick was spilt, but Richard O’Donnell recovered to save at Diagouraga’s feet.
Ipswich now posed the bigger threat as Pitman’s cross flashed across the box, Rowe’s shot curled just wide and substitute Kieffer Moore’s teasing low delivery scraped the studs of Samuel inside the six-yard box.
Rotherham responded and Chambers came close to scoring what would have been an unfortunate own goal when the ball hit his back and deflected inches wide. They broke the lead from the resultant half-cleared corner. The long ball back into a crowded area fell loose and Adeyemi lashed home.
The game suddenly exploded into life as Moore’s expert header back across goal at a corner was hacked off the line by Darnell Fisher. Not long afterwards, Samuel’s turn and shot was well-saved by O’Donnell at the near post.
The Millers were desperate to get their first win in 18 matches though and fought to the end. They could have sealed it when Taylor blazed over after Gerken parried Joe Mattock’s cross.
ROTHERHAM UTD (4-4-2): O’Donnell; Fisher, Ajayi (Forde 53), Wood, Mattock; Vaulks, Smallwood, Adeyemi, Taylor; Morris (Clarke-Harris 71), Ward (cpt) (Bray 46).
Unused subs: Price, Newell, Belaid, Purrington.
Booked: Bray (64), Mattock (74)
IPSWICH TOWN (4-3-3): Gerken; Emmanuel, Chambers (cpt), Smith, Kenlock; Diagouraga (Bru 75); Bishop (Moore 63), Dozzell; Rowe (Sears 85), Pitman, Samuel.
Unused subs: Bialkowski, Digby, Skuse, Ward.
Booked: Diagouraga (54)
Referee: Jeremy Simpson