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Match report : Rotherham United 1, York City 1
YORK City were cruelly denied their first win in ten games when promotion contenders Rotherham United grabbed a 94th-minute equaliser.
The Minstermen had been comfortably the better side at the New York Stadium and deserved the lead that Matty Blair gave them on 64 minutes.
But Daniel Nardiello pounced right at the death to deny Gary Mills’ men a first victory since New Year’s Day.
City fielded the same starting line-up that faced Oxford during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at the Kassam Stadium.
The hosts, meanwhile, included former Minsterman Andy Warrington in goal on his 200th League appearance for the Millers.
But midfielder Danny Kearns, who spent seven weeks on loan with City earlier in the season, was ruled out for Steve Evans’ men due to a hamstring injury.
The Minstermen, buoyed by great support from the away end, started the game brightest with Ashley Chambers volleying at Warrington on five minutes after Lanre Oyebanjo’s long throw had only been half-cleared.
John McGrath also saw a 25-yard effort deflected wide as City dominated possession.
Rotherham largely resorted to route-one rubbish in response, aiming for 6ft 3in tall striker Alex Revell’s head at every available opportunity.
On 15 minutes, Revell headed over from a Nardiello right-wing cross and Lee Frecklington also shot wide from 25 yards, following a free-kick that saw Oyebanjo cautioned for a trip on Kieran Agard.
But it was the visitors who continued to carry the greater attacking threat with Jason Walker rattling the crossbar from 15 yards after McGrath released him through the right channel.
Blair also tied Millers’ centre-back Claude Davis in knots with a direct run into the home penalty box before firing across the face of goal.
At the other end, Michael Ingham kept out a curling David Noble free-kick before Nardiello missed a great opportunity in first-half stoppage time.
The former Manchester United reserve broke clear on City’s goal but, with Ingham advancing, lifted the ball over from ten yards. Revell headed wide from a Kari Arnason long throw with the first opportunity of the second period and Johnny Mullins also missed the target after rising highest to meet Noble’s corner.
But, within seconds, City had broken upfield and Blair exchanged passes with Walker before charging clear on goal. His sidefooted finish was brilliantly kept out low to his left by Warrington, however.
Blair was in no mood to pass up a second chance, though, when given another one-on-one run at Warrington.
This time, after glancing to his left to check he was onside, Blair went round Warrington and rolled the ball into an unguarded net.
Arnason then saw a deflected 25-yard drive narrowly clear Ingham’s crossbar and the Icelandic international also headed the consequent corner into the City ’keeper’s hands.
On 74 minutes, Ingham needed to react smartly at his near post following Jack O’Connell’s sliding interception from a Ben Pringle cross.
Nardiello then sent a 15-yard opportunity out for a throw-in and Mills’ team looked to be safeguarding maximum points with few problems.
But, in the fourth of five added-on minutes, substitute Michael Rankine failed to cut out a left-wing Pringle cross and Nardiello beat Ingham from six yards.
Rotherham United 1 (Nardiello 90+4), York City 1 (Blair 64)
Star man: Matty Blair – showed great nerve to take his second chance of the night.
Rotherham United: Andy Warrington, Mark Bradley, Johnny Mullins, Claude Davis, Liam Ridehalgh, Lee Frecklington, Kari Arnason, David Noble (Ben Pringle, 73), Kieran Agard (Kayode Odejayi, 66), Daniel Nardiello, Alex Revell (Jordan Slew, 73).
Subs not used: Tony Thompson, Michael O’Connor, Craig Morgan, Courtney Cameron.
Referee: Robert Madley (Wakefield).
Referee rating: 5/10.
Booked: Oyebanjo 25, Blair 32, Ingham 42, O’Connell 64.
Sent off: None.
Attendance: 7,666 (679 City fans).
Shots on target: United 4, City 4.
Shots off target: United 8, City 2.
Corners: United 5, City 3.
Fouls conceded: United 17, City 10.
Offsides: United 3, City 6.