Championship
Rotherham2Nottm Forest1

Rotherham United 2-1 Nottingham Forest: Struggling Millers claim vital victory

Michael Smith scores for Rotherham against Nottingham Forest
Michael Smith's goal was his first in 14 games and only his fifth in 39 appearances this season

Michael Smith scored one goal and made another as Rotherham boosted their Championship survival hopes with a gutsy victory over play-off chasing Nottingham Forest.

Smith struck early on, finding the far corner from close range after Forest failed to deal with a long throw in.

Lewis Grabban levelled before half-time, calmly scoring at the second attempt after being sent through.

But Michael Ihiekwe's header secured the Millers a first win over Forest since 1956 and lifted them to one point off safety.

Millwall's win over West Brom ensured Rotherham stay in the bottom three.

Forest remain ninth in the table, but are now five points adrift of the top six following Aston Villa's win over Sheffield Wednesday and draws for Bristol City and Derby County.

The visitors had not lost in 23 games against Rotherham and, although they started well, that record was soon under threat.

Lewis Grabban scores a first-half equaliser for Nottingham Forest against Rotherham
Lewis Grabban's first-half strike was his 17th goal of the season

A clever Yohan Benalouane backheel hit the inside of the post and somehow rolled across the line before being cleared as the Reds pressed.

But it was the Millers who went ahead though, Smith turning the ball home at the back post.

Forest then hit the post again through Grabban's improvised hooked effort but, after Jon Taylor skied a strike over the bar at the other end, Grabban's 17th goal of the season made it 1-1.

Grabban remained a big threat after the break and came close to putting the visitors ahead.

But Rotherham's direct approach and set-piece threat continued to cause danger and Ihiekwe's header from a corner was enough to earn victory.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"Every win is to be cherished. The lads literally gave everything they've got from the first to the 95th minute. The points are absolutely essential to all the teams for different reasons now.

"Overall I am really pleased with the lads and they should take great pride from (this result).

"We simplified the game a little bit and for them to come away with a win will give them massive confidence. And I just think it shows you how together they (the players) are."

Nottingham Forest manager Martin O'Neill said:

"I am naturally disappointed we conceded from the set-pieces, we have tried in recent weeks to be as strong as we possibly can defensively.

"I thought we would go on to take control of the game. These type of margins in games like this are everything.

"This is not the early part of the season where we can look at it. We are in the real business end now and to lose games like this is obviously a set-back for us."

Line-ups

Rotherham

  • 1Rodák
  • 28JonesSubstituted forWilesat 70'minutes
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 6Wood
  • 3MattockSubstituted forRobertsonat 45'minutes
  • 4Vaulks
  • 5Ajayi
  • 13Towell
  • 11TaylorSubstituted forWilliamsat 80'minutes
  • 24Smith
  • 22Newell

Substitutes

  • 7Forde
  • 12Price
  • 15Robertson
  • 17Crooks
  • 19Vassell
  • 23Williams
  • 25Wiles

Nottm Forest

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 21JankoBooked at 42minsSubstituted forAppiahat 76'minutes
  • 13Wagué
  • 29Benalouane
  • 11OsbornSubstituted forAntunes Carvalhoat 76'minutes
  • 14Cash
  • 8WatsonSubstituted forTuncará Gomesat 69'minutes
  • 6Colback
  • 23Lolley
  • 7Grabban
  • 9Murphy

Substitutes

  • 10Antunes Carvalho
  • 15Steele
  • 18Robinson
  • 24Yacob
  • 28Tuncará Gomes
  • 37Ansarifard
  • 43Appiah
Referee:
Steve Martin
Attendance:
11,012

Match Stats

Home TeamRotherhamAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home17
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Rotherham United 2, Nottingham Forest 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rotherham United 2, Nottingham Forest 1.

Foul by Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest).

Michael Smith (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Yohan Benalouane (Nottingham Forest).

Michael Smith (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from long range on the right is close, but misses to the left.

Molla Wagué (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Smith (Rotherham United).

Attempt missed. Richard Towell (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ryan Williams.

Molla Wagué (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Smith (Rotherham United).

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Will Vaulks.

Attempt blocked. Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Cash.

Offside, Rotherham United. Michael Smith tries a through ball, but Joe Newell is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Michael Smith (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Clark Robertson with a headed pass.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Michael Ihiekwe.

Arvin Appiah (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Wiles (Rotherham United).

Foul by Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest).

Michael Smith (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Richard Wood (Rotherham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Will Vaulks.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Ryan Williams replaces Jon Taylor.

Foul by Yohan Benalouane (Nottingham Forest).

Richard Towell (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. João Carvalho replaces Ben Osborn.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Arvin Appiah replaces Saidy Janko.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Molla Wagué.

Attempt saved. Jon Taylor (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Will Vaulks.

Foul by Michael Smith (Rotherham United).

Pelé (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

Michael Smith (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Molla Wagué (Nottingham Forest).

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Ben Wiles replaces Billy Jones because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Pelé replaces Ben Watson.

Richard Wood (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest).

Foul by Richard Towell (Rotherham United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich40259682483484
2Sheff Utd40238967373077
3Leeds402371066422476
4West Brom4020101075522370
5Aston Villa401615973561763
6Bristol City391711115142962
7Derby391612115548760
8Middlesbrough401513124136558
9Nottm Forest401415115547857
10Preston401512135953657
11Hull40169155957257
12Sheff Wed401414124954-556
13Swansea39158165249353
14Brentford401312156356751
15Stoke401118113842-451
16Blackburn401211175363-1047
17Birmingham401314135652444
18QPR40128204665-1944
19Wigan401011194359-1641
20Millwall391010194558-1340
21Reading40913184360-1740
22Rotherham40815174368-2539
23Bolton4088242966-3732
24Ipswich40415213265-3327
View full Championship table

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