Two goals in the first twenty minutes laid the foundations for a dominant win for Middlesbrough at the New York Stadium. Patrick Bamford and Yanic Wildschut both took their goals superbly to give the visitors the edge. The home side felt aggrieved when a wayward high boot from Daniel Ayala caught Alex Revell. The striker had to be substituted and the defender went unpunished. Five minutes later Revell’s replacement Jordan Bowery was sent off after a coming together with George Friend. It looked a poor decision from the linesman, who informed the referee of the incident; and it removed any danger of the hosts getting back into the game.

Middlesbrough though were simply outstanding from start to finish and in truth the red card did little to change the outcome of the game, which they deservedly won. The away side were in complete control and had numerous chances to add to their tally in the second half but were surprisingly wasteful. Rotherham to their credit kept plugging away and should have made the game interesting 10 minutes from time. Matt Derbyshire stole the ball from Daniel Ayala to go through on goal.  His effort hit the wrong side of the post and went wide leaving him still searching for his first goal for the club. Boro wrapped up the points in 87th minute. Lee Tomlin’s fine individual run was rewarded with a goal after a fine finish.

The Millers will have to put this game behind them and move on very quickly. All credit must go to Middlesbrough who are by far the best team to come to the New York Stadium this season. On this showing they should be considered as serious promotion contenders.

Rotherham United

Adam Colin: Couldn’t do much about the goals he conceded which were all superb finishes. He actually made some good saves to keep the scoreline down. 6.7
 Frazer Richardson: Not his best day. Had a tough times against Wildschut. 6.2
 Craig MorganPut in a decent performance. Without his dominance in the air the score could have been much worse. 6.6
 Kari Arnason: Like Morgan he was fairly solid throughout the game and not at fault for any of the goals. His runs from defence and composure on the ball also helped Rotherham carry the ball forward. 6.6
 Kirk BroadfootNot in his natural position and it showed. Tried his best but had a tough time against the Boro wingers. 6.2
Paul Taylor: He offers trickery and drive from the midfield. His problem is he doesn’t release the ball early enough and his final ball is largely poor. 6.0
Lee Frecklington:  Chasing shadows a little throughout the game. His normal energetic performance was missing. 6.4
 Paul Green: One of Rotherham’s better performers. His energy in the midfield questioned Middlesbrough’s control in the middle. 6.7
 Ben PringleGot in some good positions but rarely received the ball. Subbed at half time, bad day for him. 6.4
 Jonson Clarke-Harris: Tried his best but was asked to play a role that didn’t suit him. He didn’t win much in the air all day against the Middlesbrough centre backs who were very comfortable. 6.2
 Alex Revell: Went off with a head injury after twenty minutes after a poor challenge that went unpunished from the referee. Didn’t have long to make a real impact, but he was missed. N/A

Substitutions

Matt Derbyshire: Missed a chance you’d think he was nailed on to score when one on one. Put it the wrong side of the post. Strikers with his experience need to be putting them away. 5.8
 Richard Smallwood: Came on with a point to prove and added composure and energy to the midfield. Decent performance on a bad afternoon for his side. 6.6
 Jordan Bowery: Sent off within five minutes of coming on, looked harsh but didn’t do much else. N/A

Middlesbrough

 Dimitrios Konstantopoulos: Didn’t really have much to do. Dealt well with crosses into the box but this was one of the easier afternoons he’s had in his career. 6.8
Emilio Nsue: Dealt well with Pringle in the first half and was solid throughout. 6.8
Daniel Ayala: Lucky not to be booked for his challenge on Revell but in fairness he was very good. Solid and assured performance from him. 7.0
Ben Gibson: Like Ayala he marshalled the defence well and was solid throughout. 7.0
George FriendRounded off a very good day for the Boro back line. Solid again. 6.8
 Adam ReachHe had a decent game and was lively thoughout down the right and created numerous chances for his team mates. 7.2
 Grant LeadbitterOutstanding performance from Leadbitter who was allowed to run the game. Never wasted possession and was very neat and tidy on the ball. 8.5
Adam Clayton: Fantastic performance from Clayton. Like his midfield partner he rarely wasted possession and also offered energy in the midfield with his driving runs. 8.4
Yanic Wildschut: Looked lively throughout and was a constant threat. Superb finish too for his goal which gave Colin no chance. 8.1
 Kike: Wasted a lot of chances for his side. He’ll be disappointed with his performance. 6.6
 Patrick BamfordVery well taken goal was a threat throughout. 7.8

Substitutions

Lee Tomlin: Looked very dangerous when he came on and his goal was very well taken after a fantastic run. 7.2
 James Husband: Came on with two minutes to go and didn’t really have much time to make an impact. N/A
Jelle Vossen: Wasn’t as good as Bamford but still looked a threat. 6.7

Man of the Match

grant-leadbitter

Grant Leadbitter: As I said he ran the game for Middlesbrough with his composure on the ball. His accurate and precise passing helped him dictate the tempo of the game for his side who in fairness killed the game off very well and, thanks to Leadbitter’s performance in the middle; were a constant threat throughout.  8.5


About Author

Rotherham United season ticket holder and aspiring sports journalist. Plan to go on to study Journalism at University.