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Match Reports

Report: Rotherham Utd 1 Rovers 1

Late own goal rescues Rovers

11 February 2017

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Rovers struck late to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw with Rotherham United.

After Jon Taylor had fired the home side in front early in the second half, Rovers grabbed an equaliser four minutes from time when Connor Mahoney's corner was put into his own net by Stephen Kelly.
A point was the least Rovers deserved as they had the better of the chances for the majority of the match.
Jason Lowe struck the crossbar in the first half, whilst joint top-scorers Sam Gallagher and Danny Graham both went close.
However the Millers started the second half strongly, taking the lead through Taylor. And although Charlie Mulgrew headed against the bar soon after, it was the home side who enjoyed their best spell of the game as Tom Adeyemi and Danny Ward both had chances.
But Rovers, inspired by substitutes Marvin Emnes and Mahoney, came back late in the game, pushing their hosts back before eventually drawing level when Derrick Williams put enough pressure on Kelly to bundle the ball into the back of the net.
Rovers almost snatched all three points at the death but Emnes headed inches wide.
At a chilly AESSEAL New York Stadium it was the Rovers who enjoyed the better of the chances in a goalless first half.
After Stephen Kelly had fired wide for the hosts, a lovely ball from Darragh Lenihan to Sam Gallagher was cushioned down into the path of Danny Graham but the striker put his effort inches wide.
Rovers kept pressing and probing, pushing their opponents back with regularity, and just before the midway point of the opening half they were the width of the woodwork away from taking the lead.
Excellent play from Lowe on the left touchline saw the midfielder win the ball back, he strode forward before hitting a curling effort that beat Richard O'Donnell in the Rotherham goal, but the ball crashed down off the crossbar and away.
Richie Smallwood put a free-kick into the stand at the other end, but again that was a rare chance for the home side as Rovers looked for that elusive opening goal before the break.
After Charlie Mulgrew headed wide, Graham failed to test the keeper with an effort from distance, before his strike-partner Gallagher sliced wide after Lenihan had attacked a Liam Feeney corner.
Rovers ended the half with another chance as Craig Conway sent over a dangerous corner kick from the left, but the returning Derrick Williams couldn't direct his header on target.
But as well as Rovers had played in the first half without reward, it was all undone moments into the second.
A 47th minute cross from Danny Ward from the left saw Tom Adeyemi find Taylor and he squeezed the ball under Jason Steele at the back post.
The woodwork would prevent Rovers from getting on the scoresheet once more as they looked for an immediate response. A Conway corner picked out Mulgrew but his header slammed against the bar.
Yet despite that chance it was the home side who enjoyed the better of the play.
Adeyemi saw his header cleared off the line by Gallagher before Danny Ward fizzed an effort narrowly over the bar,
Then after Steele had to race out of his area to clear as Adeyemi raced through, the Millers midfielder twice went close with shots that deflected wide.
Rovers tried to wrestle back the advantage as Hope Akpan, Marvin Emnes and Connor Mahoney were all introduced in quick succession and eventually it would have the desired effect.
Emnes made an immediate impression with a pass that saw Elliott Bennett cut in from the left to shoot but O'Donnell got down at his near post to save.
Graham fired high over the bar after neat passing between Akpan and Gallagher, before Emnes tricked his way into the area but O'Donnell saved his shot.
Rovers continued to press for a way back into the match, Mahoney, like his introduction against Queens Park Rangers seven days ago, catching the eye with another impressive performance on the wings with several dangerous balls across the box that just needed a touch.
So it came as no surprise that it would be from a Mahoney delivery that Rovers finally got the leveller they deserved. A corner from the right was delivered to the back post and with Derrick Williams attacking the ball it went into the back of the net via defender Stephen Kelly.
With three additional minutes left to play Rovers sensed a chance to claim all three points and they very nearly claimed them.
As Mahoney attacked the Rotherham defence once more he clipped the perfect ball into the area for Emnes to attack, but the Dutchman's header went inches the wrong side of the post.
In the end Rovers will be pleased to have collected a point away from home, but whilst it really should have been all three, it was very nearly none at all.
ROTHERHAM: O'Donnell, Kelly, Wood (c), Forde (sub Yates 46 mins), Ward, Taylor, Ajayi, Newell, Adeyemi (sub Vaulks 77 mins), Purrington, Smallwood.
Subs not used: Bilboe (GK), Mattock, Blackstock, Bray, Ekstrand.
Goals: Taylor 47 mins.
Booked: Kelly 44 mins.
ROVERS: Steele, Nyambe (sub Akpan 65 mins), Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney (sub Mahoney 69 mins), Lowe (c), Bennett, Conway (sub Emnes 69 mins), Gallagher, Graham.
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Joao, Guthrie, Brown.
Goals: Kelly (OG) 86 mins.
Booked: Mahoney 88 mins.
Attendance: 9,438 (including 1,195 Rovers fans).

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