Rotherham United 1-2 Middlesbrough: Akpom ensures Boro come from behind to win against ten-man Millers
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Chuba Akpom ensured Middlesbrough came from behind to beat ten-man Rotherham United 2-1 in the Championship at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Angus MacDonald gave the Millers the lead on three minutes, heading home from a Joe Mattock corner, before Matt Crooks saw red for a clash of heads with Grant HallGeorge Saville equalised with a superb strike, however, Akpom's strike ten minutes after half-time ensured Neil Warnock's side claimed all three points in South Yorkshire.

  • Story of the match

It was Rotherham who started the brighter and got the opening goal inside the opening three minutes, a corner from the right by Mattock, found the leaping MacDonald, whose header goes in via a deflection off Marc Bola's shoulder.

Middlesbrough thought they had equalised a few minutes later, but Duncan Watmore kicked the ball out of the hands of Viktor Johansson, before slotting the ball home but the referee Darren Bond blew for a free-kick to the Millers.

Moments later, Akpom jinked past a few players, before seeing his shot blocked on the line by MacDonald, at the other end, Michael Smith plays a lovely ball over the top for Freddie Ladapo to chase he latched onto the ball before cutting inside and firing an effort at goal which Jordan Archer saved.

Rotherham were then reduced to ten men as Crooks was shown a straight red after referee Bond thought he caught Hall with an outstretched arm, although, replays showing it was a clash of heads.

The visitors went close on the half hour mark as Yannick Bolasie found a bit of space but his effort is blazed over the bar.

Soon after the visitors were level, Neeskens Kebano pulls the ball back for Saville to hit home into the roof of the net.

With seven minutes to go before the break Jonny Howson fired an effort from the edge of the area off the bar, the follow-up effort from Bolasie is headed onto the bar and over.

Just before the break, Connor Malley who had looked bright since he came on, fired an effort towards goal which forced Viktor Johansson into a smart low stop.

The first chance of the second half went the way of the visitors, a free-kick from the left was pushed into the path of Paddy McNair who played the ball across the face of goal and Akpom turned it home, giving Middlesbrough the lead. 

Middlesbrough could have had a third after 62 minutes, Kebano pulled the ball back to Howson whose header hit the bar and goes over.

The hosts went close when Michael Ihiekwe headed the ball into the path of Ladapo, whose effort could only go wide with around 20 minutes to go.

The visitors won a free-kick on the edge of the area after a foul on Marvin Johnson by Michael Smith, the wall did it's job and the Millers cleared.

  • Takeaways

Never a red card for Crooks

The major talking point of the game was the sending off for Rotherham United midfielder Matt Crooks, with replays showing it wasn't a red card.

Referee Darren Bond felt as though Crooks had elbowed Boro defender Grant Hall, however, replays showed he got it wrong and it was just a clash of heads between both Hall and Crooks.

  • Teams

Rotherham United: Johansson, Sadlier (Ogbene 71), Harding (Clarke 76), Ihiekwe (C), A MacDonald, Mattock (Olosunde 46), Barlaser (Lindsay 46), Crooks, Wiles, Smith (Hirst 82), Ladapo. 

Subs (not used): Blackman, Wood, Clarke, Jozefzoon.

Middlesbrough: Archer, McNair, Hall (Malley 24), Bola, Johnson, Saville, Howson (C), Kebano, Bolasie (Coburn 87), Watmore, Akpom. 

Subs (not used): Bettinelli, Hackney, Kokolo, Robinson.

Referee: Darren Bond
Assistants: Wade Smith and Robert Hyde
Fourth Official: Andy Woolmer

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