Rotherham struck a last-gasp equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against Plymouth at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Semi Ajayi fired in from close range deep into injury time after former Miller Ryan Taylor put Plymouth ahead following Richard Wood’s early second-half dismissal.
Here’s five talking points from the game.
Getting what you deserve
There is no doubt that a draw was the least Rotherham deserved from this game. Plymouth came for a point, putting 10 men behind the ball from the off, and it was the Millers who were constantly knocking on the door in the first half. Even when Richard Wood was dismissed, it was the hosts that looked most likely, until they fell behind in the 82nd minute. They were the better team with both 11 men and 10 men and got their reward late on. Any other result would have been a travesty.
— Liam Mullins RUFC⚽️ (@mullins1990) December 16, 2017
Showing the right attributes
After earning a first win from a losing position since February 2015 last week at Blackpool, the Millers followed it up by showing more qualities of a team that does well. Having conceded so late on themselves they could have easily thrown the towel in, but they showed spirt and desire to try and get something out of the game. A big tick in the box, made even bigger by the fact that they only had 10 men. All of the successful Rotherham teams of recent years produced results in situations like these and that can only be a good sign.
Welcome back Semi Ajayi
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Ever since Paul Warne said in pre-season that Semi Ajayi could be worth £10million, the centre-half was a shadow of his former self, with early-season performances littered with goal-costing errors. However, the centre-back was back to his best against Plymouth. He bossed his battle with Ryan Taylor, was strong in the air and the ground, was good on the ball and scored the vital goal at the death. With a run of games, everyone will be hoping that the Ajayi of old is back.
Return of the ex
Having helped Oxford to FA Cup victory at New York Stadium in January, Ryan Taylor again returned to his boyhood club and got on the scoresheet. It was a totally anonymous performance from the 29-year-old, until he got in front of his marker at a corner and headed home in the 82nd minute – a goal which looked like winning three points. To further irk the crowd that gave him a good reception before kick-off he ran over to the home section of fans and blew a kiss. It later turned out his family were sat there and there was no malice intended, but the supporters in that part of ground weren’t buying it.
— Beren Cross (@BerenCross) December 16, 2017
From the notebook
– Take a bow Will Vaulks. After Wood’s dismissal the midfielder stepped back into defence and put in a brilliant performance. He won his headers, he threw his body in the way and he marshalled the defence well.
– You always have to take what opposition managers say with a pinch of salt, but Derek Adams suggesting that Rotherham put all 10 men behind the ball and defended after Wood’s dismissal was particularly head-scratching.
– You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Richie Barker judging by the way he squared up to Derek Adams. When the Plymouth bench suggested Wood should be sent off for his first-half tackle on Kelle Roos, Barker sprinted over to the opposition dugout and had to be pulled away by the fourth official.
– Talking of Kelle Roos, Millers fans probably still have nightmares about his time at the club two years ago. He made a great save to deny Ryan Williams in the first half, though the frailties that saw his season-long loan spell ended after just a month were still evident.
– What do they give them to drink in the sponsors lounge? In a game where Ajayi was masterful, Vaulks was as good as he’s been, Forde and Williams were both dangerous throughout, the sponsors handed the man of the match award to Joe Mattock.
– That is now the Millers’ fifth point they have claimed this season having conceded the first goal – a tally that is going in the right direction.