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Report: Rotherham United 2 Blackpool 1

Millers Take All Three Points On New Years Day

1 January 2020

A late Daniel Barlaser free-kick ensured Rotherham took all three points in the New Years Day clash at the New York Stadium.

Michael Smith's header at one end was cancelled out by Armand Gnanduillet's at the other in the first half, before Barlaser's set piece found the back of Mark Howard's net with just five minutes of the match remaining.

It was the hosts who had the best of the early opportunities, with the Seasiders struggling to get a hold of the ball in the opening ten minutes. A succession of Rotherham corner kicks were well dealt with by the Blackpool defence, with Rotherham using all of the height and power within their ranks to their advantage.

With just over 15 minutes gone, Blackpool had their best opportunity of the match. A fluid counter attack down the right hand side gave Armand Gnanduillet the perfect opportunity to feed in a delicious cross to Nathan Delfouneso, but the wide man’s finish was way over Iverson’s goal.

The hosts made their bright start count on 20 minutes, as Michael Smith gave them the lead with a bullet header following a corner from the right hand side, which glanced off of the under side of the bar and over the line.

Blackpool continued to soak up a good deal of pressure and almost found themselves two goals down, following a mix up in the penalty area where Mark Howard appeared to drop the ball whilst challenging for a cross. With Howard scampering back to goal, the header was cleared away by Ben Heneghan just before it made it to the goal line.

With just ten minutes of the first half remaining, Armand Gnanduillet levelled things up. A cross from Jordan Thompson on the right hand side following a corner kick was curled over everyone – including the Rotherham goalkeeper – and went straight to Gnanduillet at the back post, who headed into a near empty net from just four yards out.

Neither side were able to test the opposition in the final ten minutes of the first half and the scores were level at the interval.

Half Time: Rotherham United 1 Blackpool 1

Simon Grayson made two changes at half-time with Curtis Tilt and Joe Nuttall replacing Jordan Thompson and Sullay Kaikai, respectively.

Just three minutes into the second half, a Rotherham penalty shout was waived away by the referee with substitute, Tilt and Michael Smith pulling each other’s shirts in the box, but nothing was given.

Armand Gnanduillet then had a lovely effort saved by Iverson at the other end, after Jay Spearing fed him the ball following a fantastic interception in the middle of the park.

On the hour mark, Blackpool had a lovely chance to take the lead. A fantastic cross-field ball from Jay Spearing found James Husband with space on the left hand side. The full-back reached the byline and fed a wonderful pass to Joe Nuttall at the back post, but the forward just couldn’t reach it in time.

And with five minutes remaining, Rotherham claimed the victory. A foul on the edge of the area from Jay Spearing was given and Barlaser stepped up and smashed it into the top corner from 20 yards out to give the home side the three points.

Full Time: Rotherham United 2 Blackpool 1

Team: Howard, Turton, (Feeney, 85'), Edwards, Heneghan, Husband, Spearing, Virtue, Thompson (Tilt, 45’), Kaikai (Nuttall, 45’), Delfouneso, Gnanduillet.

Subs: Sims, Notts, Macdonald, Guy.


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