Debutant Harry Darling secures draw for Swansea in season opener at Rotherham

Posted Sunday, July 31, 2022 by PA

Debutant Harry Darling secures draw for Swansea in season opener at Rotherham

Harry Darling’s stunning strike earned Swansea a 1-1 draw at Rotherham but they had goalkeeper Andy Fisher to thank for keeping the point.

The centre-half marked his debut in fine style as he crashed a 25-yard effort into the top corner to cancel out Cheidozie Ogebene’s opener for the Millers.

Ogbene, who has been linked with a summer move to the Swans, nodded his side into an early lead and was denied twice more by Fisher.

The Swans goalkeeper also made good stops from Cohen Bramall, Georgie Kelly and Dan Barlaser as the Millers pushed for a win on their return to the Championship.

But it was not to be and both sides, who had good chances, had to settle for a point in an entertaining opener.

Russell Martin’s side, with their ability to beat the Rotherham press, started well and fashioned some half-chances for Joel Piroe, who shot tamely at Viktor Johansson and then had a goalbound effort blocked by Cameron Humphreys.

Rotherham’s approach was very different, and once they had got to grips with the game their direct tactics paid dividends as they took a 16th-minute lead.

Wes Harding’s long throw was flicked on by a Swansea defender into the path of Ogbene, who nodded over Fisher and into the back of the net.

It was the start of a dominant spell for the hosts, who would have doubled their lead nine minutes later had Fisher not been alert to palm away Ogebene’s inventive overhead kick from another well-worked set-piece.

Rotherham were on top and would have fancied their chances of doubling the lead as Ben Wiles led a five on four counter-attack, only to trip over the ball.

That proved a pivotal moment, as a minute later it was all-square and it needed something special from the Swans.

Centre-back Darling was given too much space as he shifted the ball on to his right foot and arrowed a 25-yard shot into the top corner.

Ogbene was Rotherham’s biggest threat and could have regained his side’s lead early in the second half.

Wiles played him in on goal but his curling shot was tipped around the post by Fisher.

Swansea began to up the ante and had two quickfire chances to go in front just after the hour.

First, Piroe advanced down the left and crossed for Obafemi at the far post who only had to tap into an empty net, but got it all wrong and produced an embarrassing miss.

Then, moments later, Johansson produced a stunning save to tip over Jamie Paterson’s effort after the dangerous Piroe had his shot blocked.

It looked like Rotherham were going to be hanging on for the final 30 minutes, but they came back to life and fashioned enough chances to win the game.

But they found Fisher in impenetrable form as he got down well to keep out Kelly and Bramall efforts before tipping over Barlaser’s rasping drive.


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