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Matt Taylor kicks off Rotherham reign with a point after Millwall hit back

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 2022-10-05
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Matt Taylor’s reign as Rotherham manager began with a 1-1 draw against Millwall at the New York Stadium.

Taylor was appointed as the Millers new boss on Tuesday after agreeing to leave League One Exeter and he was thrown straight into Championship action.

He enjoyed the perfect start as Dan Barlaser’s penalty inside the opening 10 minutes put his new side ahead.

But a brilliant goal by Zian Flemming – blasting into the top corner from 25 yards – denied him a winning start and earned Millwall a worthy point.

They probably deserved more as Flemming saw a free-kick tipped onto the crossbar while Tom Bradshaw had two opportunities to give the Lions a first away win since March.

Taylor, 40, will be pleased to be up and running but will know his side will need to improve if they are to build on their good start to the season under former boss Paul Warne.

Staying in a local hotel as he moves his life up north, Taylor will not have dreamed of a better start to life in the Millers dugout as they went ahead in the ninth minute.

They were awarded a penalty as Ben Wiles was cropped down by a reckless Jake Cooper tackle and Barlaser struck home the penalty, though George Long got a good hand to it and might have kept it out.

Millwall responded well and Tyler Burey should have levelled on the half-hour as Millers defender Richard Wood misjudged a long ball, allowing Burey into the area, but he put his shot wide.

And they levelled in superb fashion four minutes before the break as Flemming produced a brilliant finish.

He picked up the ball 30 yards out, shifted it on to his left foot and arrowed an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

Flemming almost doubled his tally 11 minutes after the restart as he came within inches of giving his side the lead, but his 30-yard free-kick was tipped on to the crossbar by an athletic Viktor Johansson.

The Millers had another escape from the resulting corner as Bradshaw skewed a header wide after Cooper had headed into his path.

Millwall continued to look the most likely to score again and Bradshaw was inches wide after he got on the end of Flemming’s mishit shot.

Flemming was a constant threat and he hit an effort straight at Johansson from the edge of the area.

Neither side looked like winning it in the final 15 minutes as Taylor’s reign began with a point.

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