Ipswich Town 0-1 Rotherham United - Half-Time
Tuesday, 23rd Nov 2021 20:44
Ben Wiles’s 24th-minute goal has given Rotherham United a 1-0 half-time lead over the Blues at Portman Road at half-time.
Conor Chaplin came into the Town side for Sone Aluko, who was absent from the 18, but in the number 10 role with Bersant Celina on the right, while Fraser started on the left with Kyle Edwards on the bench.
Matt Penney was back on the bench having been left out of the squad for the last three league games.
For Rotherham, 12-goal top scorer Michael Smith returned from a one-match ban, while midfielder Ollie Rathbone didn’t make the trip having been ill.
The Millers were forced into a late change with keeper Josh Vickers dropping out and sub Viktor Johansson starting.
After the teams taking a knee had been warmly applauded, the game got under way with neither side threatening in a high tempo opening.
Rotherham forced the first save of the game in the 12th minute when Jamie Lindsay hit a curling effort from the edge of the box and Christian Walton did well to get across to his left to tip away for a corner.
Town were seeing a lot of the ball but with the Millers very quickly on to the man in possession they didn’t create a chance until the 21st minute when Janoi Donacien’s header into the box from Macauley Bonne’s left-sided cross was half-cleared to Fraser, who scuffed his shot wide.
Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Wiles was allowed to bring the ball to the edge of the area unchallenged from deep before hitting a shot to Walton’s left and into the net. It looked stoppable and the keeper’s reaction suggested he felt he ought to have done better.
It was a poor goal to concede from a Town perspective and handed the impetus to the South Yorkshiremen, who immediately went looking for a second, Lee Evans making an important block on the left of the box and Fraser eventually clearing after the Blues had made heavy weather of getting it out of their area.
A minute later, a clever Town move down the left ended with Bonne losing his footing as he looked to cut Chaplin’s pass into the six-yard box.
In the 31st minute, Freddie Ladapo shot across the face of Walton’s goal from the right from Smith’s pass.
The Blues were having long spells with the ball but without being able to break through the visitors’ determined defence.
The Millers were looking far more dangerous on the break and on 38 skipper Richard Wood headed Shane Ferguson’s free-kick across the face of goal but with Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Ladapo unable to reach it at the far post, fortunately for the Blues.
On 40 Lindsay was shown the first yellow card of the game for stopping Town from taking a quick free-kick, then four minutes later Michael Ihiekwe joined him in the book for dissent, which he continued as he walked away from referee Ward who called him back but decided not to issue any further sanction.
The niggly Rotherham fouls in the closing stages of the half meant the game had little flow, although the Blues won a late corner but which ultimately came to nothing.
The scoreline at the break was a fair reflection of the opening period with the Blues having been unable to lay a glove on the well-organised Millers, who had looked much more of a threat when breaking, although Town will feel they played a big part in Wiles’s goal.
Town had seen plenty of the ball but had been hesitant in playing the final ball into the box or taking a shot with their spells in possession all too often seeing them make their way towards the edge of the area then away again as they struggled to find an opening.
Town: Walton, Donacien, Nsiala, Edmundson, Clements, Morsy (c), Evans, Chaplin, Celina, Fraser, Bonne. Subs: Hladky, Burgess, Penney, Vincent-Young, Harper, Edwards, Pigott.
Rotherham: Johansson, Barlaser, Wood (c), Wiles, Ladapo, Ogbene, Lindsay, Ferguson, Ihiekwe, Edmonds-Green, Smith. Subs: Vickers, Harding, Sadlier, Grigg, Miller, Kayode, Odoffin. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).
Photo: Matchday Images
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