The Millers moved one step closer to Championship survival with a crucial win over Brighton and Hove Albion. The home side came firing out of the blocks and looked determined to put an end to a run of four straight defeats. The visitors gave it a good go in the second half and threw the kitchen sink at the hosts in an attempt to restore parity, despite this they paid the price for a poor first half showing in which they offered very little in terms of an attacking threat. 

Rotherham took the lead after Jordan Bowery managed to deliver an exceptional ball from a very tight angle down the right hand side which found Matt Derbyshire who still had a lot of work to do, finishing sublimely for his 8th goal of the season. The Millers rarely looked like throwing away the lead in the first half with their opponents offering very little threat. They would have been disapointed not to go into half time more than one goal up. Jordan Bowery and Paul Green both squandering chances to put the game beyond the Seagulls. Brighton came back into in the second half and put the Millers under sustained pressure. Their best chance came through Beram Kayal who found himself one-on-one with Martinez. The midfielder though lost his composure and his poor touch allowed the Millers’ ‘keeper to get a hand to the ball. The hosts were dangerous on the break and should have wrapped the game up towards the end. Derbyshire’s shot was well-saved by Stockdale and Danny Ward dragged his shot just wide. This win has extend the gap between Rotherham and the bottom three whilst also sealing Blackpool’s fate. The Tangerine’s were relegated to League One without even playing just four years after playing in the Premier League. Brighton will feel they still need another win to make sure of safety. They sit a couple of places above the Millers in 18th.

Rotherham United

Emiliano Martinez: Responded to his critics with a couple of important saves to keep his side in the lead. Command his area well also. 6.5
Jack Hunt: Solid as ever. Looks a class above any right back the Millers have had this season. 7.0
Kirk Broadfoot: Like Martinez he has had a point to prove recently after being heavily criticised for his performances. He was the Miller’s best player at Birmingham and carried that on with a solid display yesterday. 7.0
Farrend Rawson: Has a very bright future ahead of him. A few miss-timed headers but that is being very picky. Outstanding block at the death also to keep the scoreline at 1-0. 6.5
Danny Lafferty: Like Hunt he looks a very accomplished full back. Another solid display. 6.5
Paul Green: His work rate throughout the game was integral to his sides performance. Did a decent job on the right side of midfield. 6.5
Kari Arnason: Slipped straight into the centre of the park like he’d never been away. Very classy performance, his calmness on the ball had been missed in recent weeks. 7.0
Richard Smallwood: Best player on the pitch and a shoe-in for Rotherham’s player of the season. Passing, tackling and energy. He has the lot. 8.0
 Ben PringleWorked hard on the left with Lafferty and also contributed a couple of dangerous crosses. 6.5
Matt Derbyshire: Very well taken goal and looked dangerous throughout the game. His hard work and constant harrying of defenders was key for his side when they were coming under sustained pressure. 7.5
Jordan Bowery: Made the goal with his hard work and exceptional cross down the right hand side. Tired in the second half and went missing. 6.5
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Substitutions

Danny Ward: He’d be the first name on my team sheet. Looked lively when he came on and created a goal. Offered everything Newton didn’t and is wasted sat on the bench. 7.0
6.0

Brighton and Hove Albion

David Stockdale: Made a great save to keep his side in the game from Derbyshire. Decent display. 6.5
Bruno: Solid enough and offered a threat going forward. 6.5
Greg Halford: Struggled to handle Derbyshire’s movement. Useful long throw though. 6.0
Lewis Dunk: Similar to Halford, looked the more solid of the two though. 6.5
Joe Bennett: Offered a decent threat going forward like Bruno. Defensively though he was very suspect. 6.0
Dale Stephens: Not the best, forgot he was playing at times. Completely anonymous.  5.5
Rohan Ince: Solid and assured presence on and off the ball throughout. Looks a good young player. 7.0
Beram Kayal: Quiet in the first half, more dangerous in the second. Fluffed a big chance when one-on-one with the Rotherham ‘keeper. 6.5
Kazenga Lualua: Pace is all he really offered, absolutely no end product. 6.0
Chris O’Grady: Felt a little sorry for him. He held the ball up reasonably well but there was no one any where near him to receive the ball. Let down by his team mates. 5.0
Mustapha Carayol: Looked a real threat with his pace and direct runs. Brighton’s best player. 7.0
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Substitutions

Jao Texeira: A few bright sparks when he got the ball, but struggle to get into the game. 6.0
Leon Best: Looked more a threat and was more mobile when he came on for O’Grady. 6.5
Craig Mackail-Smith: Put himself about but looked unfit when he came on. 6.0

Man of the Match

Richard Smallwood: Smallwood has been a consistent performer all season and once again put in an exceptional display. Swept up a lot of opposition attacks and laid the ball off to his team mates when required. I hope he’s in the centre of Rotherham’s midfield for years to come.  8.0

 


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