A bad night at the office as Town lose in the Carabao Cup
Town: Joe Murphy, Omar Beckles, Luke Waterfall (Aaron Pierre 4), Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Scott Golbourne (Shaun Whalley 46), Ryan Barnett, Brad Walker, Luke McCormick, James Rowland, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Steve Morison (c) (Ryan Giles 77)
Subs: Max O’Leary, Romain Vincelot, Donald Love, Kian Taylor
Rotherham United: Lewis Price, Richard Wood (c), Kyle Vassell, Ben Wiles (Jamie Lindsay 75), Freddie Ladapo (Shaun Macdonald 63), Daniel Barlaser, Carlton Morris (Michael Smith 6), Clark Robertson, Matt Crooks, Michael Ihiekwe, Matthew Olosunde
Subs: Daniel Iversen, Joe Mattock, Jamie Proctor,, Jake Cooper
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Assistants: Wade Smith and Ollie Williams
Fourth Official: Andrew Dallison
Attendance: 2,830 (164 from Rotherham)
Sam Ricketts changes his side around a little for this Carabao Cup game with Rotherham United. Joe Murphy’s start his first competitive game for Town while there are also first starts for Omar Beckles, Luke Waterfall, Scott Golbourne, Ryan Barnett, Brad Walker and James Rowland.
Ro-Shaun Williams is missing with this hamstring problem, Josh Laurent with his muscle problem, Dan Udoh is still on the way back from a groin strain, Ollie Norburn, Lenell John-Lewis and Ryan Sears continue on their recoveries.
Rotherham grabbed an early lead with only a couple of minutes on the clock, a ball through the Town defence found Vassell, he turned his marker to make the space but Murphy was out quickly and slide in to tackle, the rebound dropped to Crooks who turns it home for 1-0.
The visitors grabbed a second minutes later, Waterfall and Morris challenge for the ball, both dropped to the ground looking hut but the ref waved play on and Vassal took the ball forward before driving in a low shot, Murphy was down quickly to block but the power of the shot just had enough to take the ball in for 2-0.
Luke Waterfall was hurt in the challenge with Morris and couldn’t carry on; he was quickly replaced by Aaron Pierre.
Town were starting to get into the game a little more with 15 minutes on the clock, a clearance found Rowland and he drove forward, he played a lovely ball into the run of McCormick, he continued driving forward before playing it wide to Golbourne, he whipped in a good first time cross but it was cut out for a Town corner.
Town were awarded a free kick on 25 minutes after Morison was fouled midway in the Millers half. The ball was delivered into the box and Beckles rose well to knock it down to Walker, he hit a decent low shot in but it was blocked, it came back to Rowland who was about to shoot but the ref blew up as a Millers player was down in the box.
Town were creating chances and after good work from Rowland saw him keep the ball well in he box, he played it to Okenabirhie who turned his marker and looked for options, he found Barnett at the back post who found the space to shoot but it was blocked.
The second half started with a change for Town with Shaun Whalley coming on to replace Scott Golbourne, with Town going to four at the back.
Town looked a bit more lively after the restart and the addition of Whalley alongside Morison and Okenabirhie saw Town creating a number of good openings.
Rotherham were still dangerous and when the ball came to Ladapo on the edge of the box he had the touch to find space, and then drive in a low shot but Murphy was down quickly to save.
Town were pressing well and looking to get at the visitors, first Walker tried his luck from long range but didn’t connect cleanly, then Rowland go the ball out wide, he cut inside and drove for goal, he road a couple of challenges before firing in a good looking shot but Price was in the right place to save.
Rotherham had a good chance on 62 minutes when Smith found himself in one goal with only Murphy to beat, but the Town keeper slid in quickly to block and then his defence cleared the danger.
Whalley was causing problems as normal, he received the ball out by the Rotherham corner flag, he had Olosunde close by, but Whalley turned him inside and out and then drove for goal, he hit a low ball across the face of goal and was then clattered by Olosunde but the ref was close by and didn’t see the penalty that Whalley was appealing for.
Town were still looking to create chances and when Ebanks-Landell got the ball he drove forward, he looked to see if the shot was on but elected to play the ball to McCormick on the edge of the box, he skipped past a challenge and shot but it was blocked.
Rotherham grabbed a fourth goal with just over 5 minutes of the game remaining, the visitors swung in a corner that Town failed to clear, it dropped to Wood in the Town box and he fired it home from close range.
Fejiri Okenabirhie had a good chance late on, he latched onto the ball and drove forward, he held off his markers to find the space to fire a low shot into the near post but Price had got his angle right and was there to block the effort.