Rotherham saw their three-game winning run ended as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Bradford.
The Millers weren’t at the level of their previous two home games and were undone by Romain Vincelot’s first-half header.
Here’s five things we learned from the game at Valley Parade.
Rotherham deserved a point
They were nowhere near hitting the highs of the last two home games and too many players weren’t at their best, but Rotherham had enough chances to have taken a point at Valley Parade. Jon Taylor had two brilliant opportunities to level, the second of which saw Matt Kilgallon produce a gravity-defying goalline clearance while Bradford’s goal came under constant threat in the second half. But a lack of quality, along with an unlucky run of the ball, hindered the Millers and they couldn’t get back into the game.
— Alastair (@AlastairH244) September 16, 2017
When Rotherham go behind they lose
Scoring first has become essential to the Millers winning as every time they have gone behind this season, they have gone on to lose the game. When Vincelot headed home in the first half there was a sense of dread about what was to come given the Millers’ recent record. They have only come from behind to earn a point once in the last 12 months while they have not turned a deficit into a victory since February 2015 – a vital win over Millwall. All the best Rotherham teams have had that ability to rally and this one needs to find it.
Finding a way to get something
The fact that there have been four wins and four defeats this season is symptomatic of Rotherham’s current state. They are still a team in working progress, far from the finished article, and when they are hot they are hot, but when they don’t hit the straps they are too easy to beat. Continued defensive gaffes don’t help, but along a bouncebackability they need to quickly find a way of getting something out of a game when they aren’t at their best.
Bradford stop the rot
So, the domination is over. Rotherham had enjoyed a feast of a time against the Bantams over the last few years, winning five of their six games and drawing the other. They conceded only two goals in that time and without the Steve Evans factor that run was always going to end soon, especially with Stuart McCall’s men looking like promotion candidates this season. The way they celebrated at the end of the game shows what the victory means to them.
From the notebook
– Stuart McCall highlighted his goalkeeper and two centre-halves as standout performers, which tells you something about how the game panned out. On another day, the Millers might have taken something.
– Matty Kilgallon and Nathaniel Knight-Percival should apply for the Cirque Du Soleil as they both produced acrobatic goalline clearances that saved certain goals. Kilgallon somehow hooked Jon Taylor’s effort off the line with Kieffer Moore breathing down his neck, while Knight-Percival flung himself at Lee Frecklington’s shot and kept it out. Brilliant stuff.
– The jury is still out on goalkeeper Marek Rodak. He was blameless for the goal and made two good saves, but was not really put under constant pressure. He flapped at a couple of crosses and he specialised in kicking the ball out in the first half, so a verdict is still under consideration.
– It’s a funny old game. Rotherham lost the game but found themselves moving up a place in the league. As Paul Warne joked after the game, only eight more defeats until they are top!
– Warne often jokes that Joe Mattock isn’t the brightest and the left-back showed it here with his late red card. With Bradford on the counter attack in the final minute Mattock felt the need to clatter into his opponent with two other defenders around him – a certain, but needless yellow card. He had to walk and will now serve a suspension.