Stoke hit back to deny Rotherham as Bojan header pinches a point



Posted Sunday, September 30, 2018 by PA

Stoke hit back to deny Rotherham as Bojan header pinches a point

Rotherham were denied a fourth home win back in the Championship as Stoke battled from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw.

Two goals early in the second half looked like setting up victory for Paul Warne’s side but they were unable to fend off Stoke and were forced to settle for a point.

Ryan Manning’s penalty and Richie Towell’s close-range effort for Rotherham were countered by goals from Tom Ince and Bojan Krkic, to the relief of visiting boss Gary Rowett.

The first big chance of the game fell to Stoke’s Benik Afobe but he was denied from close range by Marek Rodak before Semi Ajayi completed the clearance.

Stoke then began to take control of the game and enjoyed lots of possession in Rotherham’s half. The pressure almost paid off when the ball dropped kindly for Joe Allen on the edge of the box but his volley was pushed over the bar by Rodak.

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland almost gifted Rotherham the lead with a slack throw which was seized by Manning and then curled into the side-netting with the England international way off his line.

Ince was the next Stoke man to have a go but his shot was deflected narrowly wide.

They came even closer to going in front moments later when Afobe’s looping header, from Erik Pieters’ cross, hit the underside of the bar and bounced to safety.

Rotherham came flying out in the second half and were awarded a penalty soon after the restart when Ryan Williams was felled clumsily by Ashley Williams.

Manning tucked the ball into the same spot as he did against Derby, in the previous home game, to give Rotherham a 47th-minute lead.

It was doubled in the 50th minute when Towell ensured Richard Wood’s powerful header crossed the line following Williams’ in-swinging corner.

Stoke showed their quality to get one back in the 59th minute with Ince sweeping home Pieters’ centre to finish off a flowing move.

They should have been level with their next attack but Allen’s unchallenged volley from Cuco Martina’s cross rattled off the bar.

Rotherham refused to hang in and tried instead to extend their lead.

Michael Smith came close as his powerful header from Williams’ cross sailed just wide of goal.

The Millers lost key central defender Wood to injury and had to play right-back Zak Vyner in his absence.

Stoke pushed for a leveller and got one in the 85th minute through substitute Bojan.

The striker linked up with partner Afobe and found the space he needed to guide a diving header beyond Rodak.

Stoke looked the more likely to pinch the points during six minutes of added on time but Rodak managed to get enough on Martina’s hanging cross to deny substitute Peter Crouch a header on goal.

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