Mk Dons 0 – 4 Rotherham United
Prior to this encounter getting underway, it was talked to be the biggest either side have faced this season and it was a game neither could afford to lose.
It may have not surprised onlookers if they witnessed a cagey start to the game, when you consider the enormity of this fixture. But this was far from the case, as Rotherham made a breakthrough after just one minute.
The move started from a Mk Dons corner, which was claimed easily by Rotherham keeper, Lee Camp. He sent an early ball out wide to Grant Ward, who eased past his man before letting in Matt Derbyshire. The striker’s first attempt was well saved by Mk Dons keeper, Cody Cropper. But this did not make a difference, as Derbyshire scored at the second attempt to put his side 1-0 up.
Mk Dons’ perilous position in the relegation places was worsened when Rotherham took a 2-0 lead after 17 minutes.
The goal came from the penalty spot. Rotherham defender, Richard Wood, got to the ball first before Mk Dons keeper, Cropper, who brought Wood down to give the visitors a penalty.
The spot kick was taken by Leon Best, who made no mistake as he finished calmly into the bottom corner.
In the second half, Rotherham continued where they left off in the first half. Their dominance was heightened when they took a 3-0 lead after 54 minutes.
The goal came from a free kick from Joe Newell. His ball in fell perfectly for Kirk Broadfoot, who’s header beat Cropper as it went into the top corner.
Mk dons had two of their best chances in a space of two second half minutes with half an hour to go.
Jake Forster-Caskey’s free kick was tipped over the bar by Rotherham’s, Lee Camp, who has been a shining light for the Millers all season. Then, just moments later, Forster-Caskey’s brilliant long range effort struck the bar.
Although, Mk Dons’ efforts to get back in the game came to no avail. Rotherham made it 4-0 after 79 minutes.
Some good build up play from the visitors lead to the ball dropping to Danny Ward at the edge of the box. His lay off fell to Richard Smallwood, who’s half volley was struck superbly as it went into the top corner.
Mk Dons manager, Karl Robinson, expressed his disappointment with the result after the game:
— MK Dons FC (@MKDonsFC) April 11, 2016
Rotherham United manager, Neil Warnock, also gave his thoughts on the game which gave his side a nine point cushion between themselves and Mk Dons, who are placed in the last relegation spot:
— Football Heaven (@footballheaven) April 9, 2016
Rotherham United fully deserved the victory and they were well worthy of the scoreline in which they won the game.
The visitors were dominant throughout the encounter as they outclassed a Mk Dons side, who have been on an awful run of form by picking up four consecutive defeats in the Championship.
This victory has extended Rotherham’s remarkable run under Neil Warnock, as the Yorkshire outfit are now eight games unbeaten, winning six of those eight.
If Rotherham finish off the job to retain their Championship status, it must be regarded as Neil Warnock’s greatest managerial achievement.
This result is a significant blow to Mk Dons’ survival hopes. Their performance was uninspiring as they were brushed aside by their relegation rivals.
The factor which will be most disappointing for Mk Dons fans is the fact they were evidently out fought by their opponents, who wanted the points more than the home side. This is totally unacceptable at this stage of the season, when you consider the enormity this game had on both Rotherham and Mk Dons’ season.
Mk Dons now need a late season miracle to stay up this season, while Rotherham are now a couple of games away from securing their Championship status for a second consecutive season.