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Disappointment

Rotherham United
2 - 1
Derby County

Don Valley Stadium

11/08/09 19.45

Attendance: 4, 345

Referee:

After the heroics of last season`s run to the semi-finals Derby County were beaten by League Two Rotherham United at the Don Valley stadium to put paid to any hopes of another run. Nigel Clough`s men didn`t find the fluidity they showed on Saturday when claiming all three points and in truth could have no complaints with the final score after only waking up in the final twenty minutes but it proved too little too late. It was a scrappy match at times with the home side closing down well not giving The Rams time on the ball and they were unable to fashion many chances until the closing stages.

Ben Pringle came in for Paul Green in the only change to the starting line-up from the opening day victory against Peterborough with Steve Davies continuing in his lone role up front and Dean Leacock and Shaun Barker returned on the bench for the first time this season. Rotherham lined up with former Ram Pablo Mills in a midfield berth unaccustomed to those who knew him as a central defender in his time at Pride Park.

The game started with the home side on the front foot without really troubling The Rams backline but they found themselves behind after eleven minutes as Lee Croft broke forward. His clever run got him in behind the Rotherham defence and with only the keeper to beat he cut the ball back for Gary Teale to smash in his second goal in four days with his side`s first effort of the match. Luke Varney came on moments later to replace Steve Davies who was suffering from a tight hamstring as another forward went down for Nigel Clough`s side.

It was a scrappy match with Derby not showing the passing game they are capable of and Rotherham reduced to longer balls as they looked to get back into the match. The home side gradually gained control of the match but long range efforts from Pablo Mills and Nicky Law were all they had to show for their efforts as the game approached halftime. But, a minute before the break, Rotherham clawed their way level when a cross into The Rams area wasn`t headed to safety and Paul Warne volleyed home from ten yards out to even the scores at the break.

Derby needed to step their game up in the second half and Ben Pringle had an early effort ruled out for offside whilst Bywater pulled off a smart save at this near post to deny goalscorer Warne although again the flag was already up for offside. The goal had given new life to Rotherham and they continued to make most of the running and Warne was again involved as they took the lead just after the hour mark. Neat work down the left saw his ball pick out Kevin Ellison and he made no mistake from six yards to put his side in front.

The goal seemed to spark Nigel Clough`s men into life as they looked to get themselves back in the tie, Lee Croft came close to levelling the game again minutes later with a header from a Teale cross but Nick Fenton got back to clear from just in front of the line. Teale was having some joy down the wings and the Scottish international`s next ball into the area looked to have set-up Ben Pringle for his first Derby goal only for a last ditch clearance to deny him as the youngster was set to pounce.

The Rams were dominating the game and starting to play some decent football again but time was against them and they were denied by a superb save by Warrington in the home goal when Jake Buxton met a free kick into the area with a firm diving header only for the stopper to block at point-blank range. Dean Moxey fired in an effort from range that had Warrington worried but it flashed wide of the mark and the keeper then pulled off another superb save with his legs to deny Jay McEveley in the dying moments but it was not to be for the visitors as Rotherham claimed their place in the round two.


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Writer:MikeC
Date:Wednesday August 12 2009
Time: 10:21AM

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