Match report: Rotherham United 1-0 Ipswich Town: Michael Smith the hero

Rotherham v Ipswich
Rotherham v Ipswich

Michael Smith fired Rotherham United to their first victory on their return to the Championship with a late winner against Ipswich Town.

Smith banished the Millers’ opening-day blues by providing a stoppage-time winner in their opening home game of the season at AESSEAL New York.

Former foe Paul Hurst, who made 438 league appearances for the Millers, returned to the club with new team Ipswich Town.

Paul Warne’s charges had denied Hurst’s Shrewsbury in the play-off final back in May.

Warne stated the Millers’ home form will determine whether or not they have a successful season following their opening day drubbing on the road.

Rotherham’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect after life president Barry ‘Chuckle’ Elliott and former chairman Syd Wood both recently passed away, with a minute’s applause preceding the game.

And in the 73rd minute both sets of supporters joined in a ‘To Me, To You’ chant for entertainer Elliott.

On the pitch the Millers were on the back foot for much of the first half.

Marek Rodak was on hand to snuff out the early danger as the visitors threatened.

The Millers defence had to fight valiantly to restrict the Tractor Boys to half chances.

On the stroke of half time Fulham loanee Rodak made a good save at his near post to keep out Jonas Knudsen.

The Millers looked a totally different proposition after the break, with Kyle Vassell a constant threat for the hosts.

Former Blackpool marksman Vassell forced Bartosz Bialkowski into a good low save with his weak foot.

And a Rodak long ball almost let Michael Smith in with the striker volleying wide of the target.

Down the other end Jon Nolan scuppered two separate chances to test Rodak from outside of the box.

With less than 20 minutes left Rodak produced a fine stop to keep out Gwion Edwards’ goal-bound free-kick.

Smith missed a chance late on when he struck wide, but made up for it minutes later by heading home the welcome winner