This was a fixture which even at this period of the season, stood out as a huge game for both sides. Cardiff City were looking for a win which would close the gap between them and those between them in 6th place. Where as, Rotherham United were looking for their first win away from home since their vital 1-0 victory over rivals Leeds United on the 21st of November 2015.
In the end, the Millers managed to pick up a draw, which they have not been able to do for 17 games before this fixture. The Millers were worthy of their point as they gave a good account of themselves and caused Cardiff City problems throughout the afternoon.
Cardiff on the other hand, will definitely be content with a draw after their lackluster performance. The Bluebirds did not perform to their full potential and will be happy with a point once they learnt that they did not fall away from their Play-off chasing rivals, as Sheffield Wednesday only managed to pick up a point away at Reading.
It was an uninspiring game for quality, but the lack of quality was made up with the drama of the occasion. Cardiff broke the deadlock on the 24th minute. The Millers switched off at the back to let Anthony Pilkington roam free in the box before he poked home from close range.
Rotherham were second best throughout the first half but they equalised right on half time as Joe Newell went through on goal after a precise pass from Danny Ward, he poked the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper David Marshall, before he finished off the move by scoring from a tight angle.
The Millers carried on from where they left off at the end of the first half, as they completed the turnaround from a corner with Cardiff goalscorer, Anthony Pilkington, knocking the ball into his own net to give the visitors the lead.
The eventful afternoon for Pilkington got better for him when he scored his second of the game to make it 2-2. The Millers failed to clear their lines and the striker beat the offside trap. Rotherham keeper, Lee Camp, was unable to prevent Pilkington from grabbing his brace to even up the encounter.
After this, both teams had chances to win the game, which were not taken. With just under 10 minutes to go, Cardiff defender Lee Peltier was given his second booking and was dismissed for his challenge on Jonson Clarke-Harris.
For the remaining minutes of the game, the Bluebirds defense were under pressure. But they defended well and prevented the Millers from earning a winner.
Cardiff missed an opportunity to gain ground on their rivals with Sheffield Wednesday dropping points. The Bluebirds now find themselves 5 points off the Play-off places. This is a deficit which can be easily made up if they manage to find some consistency in their results and put a good run together.
With Bristol City falling to a 1-0 defeat away at Leeds, Rotherham’s draw means they move a point above the relegation zone, along with a superior goal difference compared to their rivals.
The Millers have a essential two weeks coming up. Firstly, they come up against Charlton at home, then a week later they travel to Bolton. If they manage to pick up victories against both their rivals, it will give them a massive boost in their attempts for safety.
As a Rotherham United supporter, I would just like to give a special mention to the Cardiff City supporters and staff, who were very friendly throughout the day. Cardiff have sometimes received bad publicity for their conduct, but this was far from what our supporters witnessed. As I was walking into the ground, I was joined with a Cardiff fan and we got chatting about football and how each of our teams are doing so far this season. This is how football should be, it is such a pity that this kind of encounter between supporters is a rarity nowadays.
Can Cardiff make it into the Play-offs? How will Rotherham fare in the coming weeks and will they manager to maintain their Championship status once again this season? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!