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Match report: Rotherham United 0, York City 1
Matty Blair became the first opposition player to score at Rotherham United’s impressive New York Stadium as York City won through to the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
Following on from comprehensive thrashings of Bradford (4-0) and Burton (3-0), the result also represented the Millers’ first competitive defeat at their new home.
Blair struck on 80 minutes to settle the tie but City also owed much to another brilliant display in goal from Michael Ingham .
City boss Gary Mills made one change from the side that kicked off Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Oxford with Ashley Chambers dropping out due to a calf niggle.
In his place, last season’s leading marksman Blair was given his first start of the new campaign.
Rotherham, meanwhile, included ex-Minsterman Andy Warrington in their goal as home manager Steve Evans rested first-choice Scott Shearer.
A tight first-half saw Jonathan Smith fire the first chance of the night across the face of Warrington’s goal from 15 yards.
At the other end, Mark Bradley’s curling right-wing cross bounced off the top of Michael Ingham’s netting and Laurence Wilson fired over from 25 yards.
City’s biggest scare of the opening period came on 27 minutes, however, when Clarke Carlisle’s underhit back-pass sold Ingham short.
Under pressure from Millers striker Kieran Agard, the Minstermen ’keeper decided to gather the ball with his hands but, from the subsequent free-kick, Alex Revell drove straight into a well-manned wall.
Agard then stuck out a boot to divert a deflected 30-yard Jason Taylor effort wide, while Jonathan Smith called Warrington into action from distance on 34 minutes.
City ’keeper Ingham made his first two saves on the stroke of half-time, tipping Michael O’Connor’s dangerous cross and catching Revell’s curling 15-yard attempt at a comfortable height.
After the restart, Chris Smith ’s long punt forward lured Warrington 15 yards off his line but, after the 36-year-old shot stopper lost his aerial challenge with Blair, he recovered in time to collect Paddy McLaughlin’s attempted lob.
Oyebanjo’s ambitious 45-yard volley then only required a routine save from Warrington before Rotherham threatened from a string of corners.
Just past the hour, Ingham made a smart save low to his left after Johnny Mullins’s header from Gareth Evans’ flag-kick deflected off team-mate Agard.
Mullins also headed over from the next Evans set-piece before Ingham saved his team again when Revell broke clear on goal after Agard had flicked on the latest in an series of impressively long forward punts by Warrington.
The City ’keeper stood tall and pushed Revell’s rising shot around his right-hand upright.
City continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and only a brilliant block by Mullins prevented Michael Coulson’s firmly-struck drive hitting the target.
Ingham, though, was forced into another fine parry at his near post from Evans’ low 20-yard drive moments before the Minstermen broke the deadlock.
After Walker’s edge-of-the-box strike was charged down by Ian Sharps, Blair pounced to drive low past Warrington from 15 yards.
Just seconds later, home sub Daniel Nardiello had a great chance to level but with Ingham off his line could only lob tamely into the Northern Ireland international’s hands.
The visitors’ inspired net-minder then made his best save of an excellent evening, displaying remarkable reflexes after Nardiello had met Evans’ right-wing cross with a powerful diving header from four yards out.
Nardiello also saw an 89th-minute header brush the top of Ingham’s net but City defended stoutly during four minutes of stoppage time and could have doubled their advantage only for Warrington to execute a perfectly-timed challenge on Blair.
Rotherham United 0, York City 1 ( Blair 80)
Match factsYork City: Michael Ingham 9, Lanre Oyebanjo 8, Chris Smith 8, Clarke Carlisle 8, Charlie Taylor 9, Dan Parslow 7, Paddy McLaughlin 7, Jonathan Smith 7, Michael Coulson 8, Jason Walker 7, Matty Blair 8.
Substitutes: Jon Challinor for Walker 90).
Star man: Michael Ingham – deserved his first clean sheet of the season after a string of great saves.
Rotherham United: Andy Warrington, Mark Bradley (David Noble 23), Johnny Mullins, Ian Sharps, Laurence Wilson, Lionel Ainsworth (Daniel Nardiello 78), Michael O’Connor (Ben Pringle 46), Jason Taylor, Gareth Evans, Alex Revell, Kieran Agard. Subs not used: Kayode Odejayi, Alec Denton.
Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland).
Referee rating: 8/10.
Booked: C Smith 31.
Sent off: None.
Attendance: 3,975 (362 from York).
Shots on target: Millers 7, City 6.
Shots off target: Millers 5, City 2.
Corners: Millers 7, City 3.
Fouls conceded: Millers 5, City 10.
Offsides: Millers 5, City 1.