Rotherham were denied a rare win as Stephen Kelly’s own goal in the final four minutes gave Blackburn a 1-1 draw at New York Stadium.
Here’s five things we learned from the game.
Warney and the hairdryer
With his egg-shaped head Paul Warne does not have much need for a hairdryer, but he found one after a woeful first-half performance. The Millers put in one of their most abject displays of the season in the first 45 minutes and were lucky to go in at half-time still level. They got a mouthful from Warne, who admits to “losing his rag” and it had the desired affect. It’s usually the opposition that score straight after half-time but this time it was the Millers and within two minutes they had already improved on a horrific showing that never to be thought of again. Had they got a crucial second that they threatened soon after then they would have won. Warne is generally pally with the players but has showed another string to his bow here.
Stay strong Con
Sometimes we get a reminder that football is just a game and there was another one this week when it emerged that Brighton defender Conor Goldson may not play again after being diagnosed with a heart complaint. In situations like this the football family always reacts well and they did again, with Jon Taylor showing support for his best mate in a touching way. The winger, who found himself back in the starting line-up, had a premonition that he was going to score and it came true, giving him the chance to show off his t-shirt that donned the message ‘Stay Strong Con’. Let’s hope Goldson gets well and lets hope we see that t-shirt a few more times.
A day of ending droughts
While the wait for a win goes on to five games, Rotherham did at least register a first draw since October and end a goalscoring drought. The Millers had not rippled the net since the win over Norwich four weeks ago, so by the time Taylor fired home early in the second half 442 minutes had passed. If Warne is ever looking for divine intervention on what formation to play, that has to be it. Their wait for a draw was a much longer one, as they had not been involved in a stalemate since the 2-2 at Ipswich back on October 27. That is one of the defining reasons for their impending relegation, the inability to keep the points tally ticking over with draws, something they have done in the previous two seasons.
Tom Adeyemi is Mr Important
Rotherham have missed Tom Adeyemi in recent weeks following his illness and he showcased why on his return to the side. His drive, physicality, energy and box-to-box capabilities are the next best thing to what Lee Frecklington provides and he was involved in most of the Millers’ key moments. Rotherham need to try and sign him permanently if they can as next season he could dominate League One.
From the notebook
– Rotherham are trying their best to find new ways of dropping points. We’ve had last-minute penalties, defensive capitulations, late wonder goals and now they got really funky as thanks to Stephen Kelly’s 86th-minute own goal. Keeping it fresh guys.
– In fact, Blackburn’s leveller was the 13th goal the Millers have conceded in the last 10 minutes of games, the most in the division. Game management is clearly an issue.
– Who can remember Brian Wilsterman? He was nicknamed The Fireman, because he always put it out. Rotherham may have stumbled on Wilsterman mark II in the shape of Semi Ojayi. The centre-half was fairly solid, bar one moment of calamity, and has pace to burn, which is useful. However, on this evidence he always kicks it out!
– The more we see of Anthony Forde, the more he reveals himself as a winger that does not pass it forward or make any crosses. Clearly devoid of any confidence, Forde was withdrawn at half-time and may be set for a spell on the bench.
– Rotherham are certain to be in League One next season and on this evidence they could be joined by Blackburn. They are not a club in unity as the fans despise their manager and they looked as poorer side as there has been at New York this term – that has not played in red at least!
– Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell deserved a clean sheet. He made three excellent saves and was commanding throughout. He might also have been fouled for the equaliser, though Warne says not.