FT Millers: Rotherham Utd 0 Bradford City 0

Kari Arnason just fails to convert for Rotherham as he climbs above the Bradford defence
Kari Arnason just fails to convert for Rotherham as he climbs above the Bradford defence

The Millers may have just had an early taste of what Play-off opposition may do when they arrive for the semi-finals next month.

Bradford City set themselves up for containment, to deny Rotherham space when they progressed over the halfway line and it spelled out a night of frustration for the Millers.

They could not find a spark or the inventiveness to break down a determined City side who carried their plan out to the letter. They invited the Millers to break them down and they couldn’t.

There were just two clear openings for the Millers, the second of them coming in the 90th minute when unmarked Kari Arnason closed on a Ben Pringle corner only to put his header over the top.

It was a great chance matched by the one 20 minutes earlier when sub Haris Vuckic fired over with only the keeper to beat.

So on the night the the tv cameras showed up for the first time for a live game at the New York Stadium, they saw only the third goalless draw here this season and the first since November. Sod’s Law eh?

The first half certainly wouldn’t have made riveting viewing, the Millers starting slowly.

When Rotherham worked their way into the game Revell brought a save from Jon McLaughlin.

In the absence of Lee Frecklington, Michael O’Connor was handed his first start since the Christmas game at Port Vale but like the rest of the Millers, found space in the midfield area at a premium. In fact, in the Bradford half as a whole.

City set up 4-5-1, dropping off into their own half and and inviting the Millers to try and find gaps.

With James Tavernier tracked by on every occasion by Adam Reach, Rotherham found that attacking avenue largely shut off and it was difficult for them to get much tempo into their game.

City had the best early chance when Jon Stead volleyed over after Andrew Davies had headed on a free-kick.

A goalbound shot from O’Connor struck Kieran Agard as the Millers stepped it up. They then went close.

Ben Pringle moved in from the right and his fierce shot was pushed out by McLaughlin. It went too quickly at Revell whose instinctive effort went over.

It was a let-off but Revell was even closer to a goal soon after when Agard had a shimmy and shot and the big striker slid in and was inches away from touching it into the net.

There was some genuine excitement at the start of the second half and nearly a goal. In just 50 seconds O’Connor curled in a free-kick, no one got a touch and it rebounded off the far post. Nicky Adams pounced but his shot was deflected for a corner.

From it O’Connor drove the ball back outside the area but the incoming Richie Smallwood struck his shot wide.

Then Reach struck a chance wide on the volley before making another opportunity at an angle and Adam Collin made a sharp save with his legs.

Pringle pushed inside more this half but Rotherham needed something to change.

Adams was taken off for Vuckic and he had an instant impact with a telling ball for Tavernier who brought a sharp save from McLaughlin.

Then Vuckic missed his great chance after Revell nodded down.

In a game of so few chances, it was the sort you had to take and the Millers spent most of the second half probing away but unable to find a decisive moment of inspiration and after six successive wins over Bradford, this time they drew a blank.

Rotherham will be hoping they do better when the cameras return for the Play-offs.