Rotherham's unbeaten run continues after the Christmas break
RHC v's Brigg
After what seems an unusually lengthy Christmas break, Rotherham's second half of the season started with a home fixture against Brigg. Rotherham won the previous encounter 5-3 on a day when captain James Thomas and in-form forward Jack Hartley were unavailable, for this game the numbers were no higher though with students Luke Bridger and Tom Cowan taking an extended Christmas break before returning to University.
After some confusion around umpires the game got underway a little late than planned in uncharacteristically sunny weather for January. Rotherham started well, with large spells of possession only being lost due to their own passing inaccuracies. It wasn't until 15 minutes into the half that Rotherham started to look comfortable though, and once they did goals soon came. It was 2 goals in quick succession, both scored by Jack Hartley but neither were solo efforts. The first some excellent partnership play between the two forwards Davis and Hartley culminating in Davis drawing the keeper from goal before slipping neatly to Hartley for an easy finish. The second started from deep in midfield, Lee Kaighan intercepting a Brigg pass before picking out Hartley unmarked, out wide in the D, with the angle of the shot not proving an issue Hartley doubled the lead. At 2-0 it looked like Rotherham were going to run riot scoring once again but Brigg defended well and kept the score line at bay.
At half time Rotherham had plenty of positives to pick out as well as areas for improvement, a slight changed formation was introduced in the hope of providing more midfield support when going forward.
Far from rolling over, Brigg came out strong and more organised in the second half. Their press against Rotherham 16's left little space and the aerial ball become Rotherham's only option. When in possession Brigg were starting to cause Rotherham problems; just over 5 minutes into the half disaster struck when some poor marking from the home side left Brigg's winger free at the top of the D with enough time to get away a clean strike into the bottom corner. At this point the game could have gone either way. Rotherham had at least 6 penalty corners but were unable to convert. Whilst at the other end goal keeper Tony Cooper was in fine form, pulling off several key saves to keep Rotherham in the game. In the last 5 minutes Rotherham played down time, keeping hold of the ball and playing it round excellently, showing their composure when it mattered.
Final score 2-1.
Man of the match - Tony Cooper