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16:58 9th April 2012

Full Time: Millers 1-0 Robins

Rotherham United stole all three points at the death to put a dent in Cheltenham's playoff hunt.

Ryan Cresswell rose highest from a corner in the final minute of injury time and headed the ball past Butland for 1-0 and victory.

The first half was pretty much a non-event until the 27th minute when Alan Bennett gave away a penalty after his trailing leg caught Lewis Grabban. Rotherham's top scorer himself took the spot kick only for Jack Butland to make a very good save. The Millers were controlling throughout the half but they couldn't break through before the half time whistle blew. The second half saw chances for both sides but it was the 93rd minute when the Millers finally made their control count with a last gasp Ryan Cresswell header.

Cheltenham Town opted to go with the starting XI that ended the 2-0 victory over Barnet on Friday for this game today. Jermaine McGlashan, Kaid Mohamed and Jimmy Spencer took their places while Josh Low, Steve MacLean and Darryl Duffy started from the bench.

This would be the last time that Cheltenham Town would probably compete at the Don Valley Stadium with the Millers set to move to their new home (The New York Stadium) in time for the new season. This fixture also had extra spice with Rotherham announcing that former Crawley manager Steve Evans had taken over the management duties this afternoon. He wouldn't be in the dugout today but his appointment was sure to create an atmosphere around the ground.

It would be important to let no sideshow impact upon a solid Cheltenham Town performancehere this afternoon with the Robins needing three points to continue their playoff push. That sideshow made his way into the ground five minutes into the game to a very split welcome from the home support. On the pitch it had started out as a calm affair with both teams competing for possession in the middle of the park but no real efforts within the opening minutes.

The first effort of the game fell to Alex Revell on 11 minutes but he wasted a poor clearance from Luke Garbutt by smashing his shot high over the bar and beyond the athletics track. In truth Rotherham looked the better side in the opening stages with Cheltenham struggling to get the ball on the ground to play their own style of football.

27 minutes in and it seemed as though the Millers were handed an invite for the opening goal when Alan Bennett's trailing leg brought down Grabban. The referee pointed straight to the spot and it was Rotherham's top scorer himself who would step up to take the penalty only to see it well saved by Jack Butland. Cheltenham were handed another chance but the Millers in control at this point.

Rotherham kept up the pressure with a long range shot from Ben Pringle after 35 minutes but Cheltenham were standing firm and soaking up that pressure. Some of the passing play from the hosts was lovely to watch and a good move met with a final Ryan Cresswell cross needed just a simple finish to create the first goal but Rotherham allowed it go to waste. More fluid passing play gave Jason Taylor a superb opportunity to score but he scuffed his shot and saw it fly wide of goal.

A final effort of the half from Gareth Evans brought about another good save from Jack Butland but the half time whistle signalled a stalemate at half time despite the best efforts of Rotherham United.

Half Time: Rotherham 0-0 Cheltenham

Mark Yates made a change at half time with Brian Smikle replacing big striker Ben Burgess. The substitute imemdiately got himself into a good position for a Cheltenham attack but couldn't get the ball from under his feet to supply McGlashan or fire in his own effort. Smikle was involved again minutes later when he supplied Keith Lowe on the right wing and the defender' cross was headed just wide by Mohamed.

Alan Bennett was the next man to have an effort on goal and it was from the corner this time but the central defender saw his strike fly high over the bar. Even so it was a much more positive display from the Robins who looked a lot more comfortable on the ball than they did in the first half. Another change was made by the Cheltenham Town bench on 60 minutes with Josh Low replacing Jermaine McGlashan. A possible attempt at taking more control of a very even second half. Rotherham could have spoiled that plan moments when a right wing cross had to be saved quickly by the alert Butland. Josh Low wasted a good opportunity a few minutes later after good wing play from Mohamed and the scores remained level.

Rotherham made their first substitution after 72 minutes with Sam Hoskins replacing Gareth Evans. The change came at a time when Rotherham were asking several questions of the Robins defence with searching crosses and yet again decent passing and positional play. Keiran Cadogan was introduced in place of Alex Revell on 79 minutes and Darryl Duffy became Cheltenham's final change just one minute later at the expense of Jimmy Spencer.

The game was nearing the end of 90 minutes and Mohamed could have won the game in style when he attempted an over head kick but the winger couldn't connect and neither could Smikle when he swept up the loose ball. A long shot from Jason Taylor threatened to steal the game for Rotherham too but, again, the chance was wasted. Another long ranged effort from Josh Low was hardly a challenge for Rhys Taylor on 90 minutes and the game seemed to be ebbing towards a 0-0 stalemate.

Would it be 0-0? No it wouldn't as Rotherham stole the win right at the death through central defender Ryan Cresswell. The powerful defender rose highest to head past Butland and hand all three points to the Millershere at the Don Valley Stadium. Bitter, bitter blow for Cheltenham and their playoff hunt.

Full Time: Rotherham 1-0 Cheltenham

Rotherham United FC (4-2-3-1): Taylor (GK); Tonge, Cresswell, Mullins (C), Wood; Taylor, Schofield; Evans (Hoskins 72), Pringle, Grabban; Revell (Cadogan 79)

Subs not used: Warrington (GK), Newey, Harrison

Cheltenham Town FC (4-4-2): Butland (GK); Lowe, Bennett (C), Elliott, Garbutt; McGlashan (Low 60), Summerfield, Penn, Mohamed; Burgess (Smikle 46), Spencer (Duffy 80)

Subs not used: Hooman, MacLean

Referee: Mr. Colin Webster

Attendance: 3,066 (160 from Cheltenham)

Robins Star Man:Jack Butland - He had a quiet second half but kept Cheltenham in the game during the first. An excellent penalty save and a very solid performance despite the Rotherham winner.

James Brown from the Don Valley Stadium

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    Data provided by Press Association


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