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17:32 17th October 2009

Rotherham United 0-0 Notts County

By Dane Vincent The visiting Magpies were unable to surpass the magnificent Andy Warrington in the Rotherham United goal in an afternoon that saw them create enough chances to win two matches. Luke Rodgers and Ben Davies, particularly, looked set to win the tie for Notts but a string of fine stops ensured that the Millers escaped with a share of the spoils. Joint-Caretaker Managers Dave Kevan and Michael Johnson had opted to pack out the midfield, leaving Lee Hughes up front on his own. The system handed wingers Davies and Matt Ritchie much more attacking flexibility thanks to the three-man midfield consisting of Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill and Johnnie Jackson. It was Rotherham that almost took the lead first, when a deep, opening minute, cross by Dale Tonge was nodded just wide of the target by the towering Drewe Broughton. Former County defender Nick Fenton headed narrowly past the same post shortly after, latching onto an in-swinging corner from Kevin Ellison. Notts' first real opportunity saw Bishop pick up a loose ball deep inside the Millers' half following a challenge on Hughes. He progressed into the area and cut back for Ritchie to strike from close-range, forcing Andy Warrington to block well with his body. The well maintained Don Valley surface allowed County to get the ball down and produce a number of promising attacks. One of these led to a free-kick on the edge of the box when play was brought back for a trip on Davies. Still, the wide-man was unable to replicate Sunday's set-piece heroics. His curling effort evaded the wall but not the goalkeeper who saved low to his right, holding the ball well. Davies was involved again moments later, finding room to float a cross into a busy penalty area for the best chance of the half. Mike Edwards rose highest to rattle the woodwork with a well-placed header that had Warrington beaten. Schmeichel was tested for the first time when the creative Nicky Law managed to carve out a chance for United's top-scorer Adam Le Fondre. His looping header looked like it was going to creep under the crossbar but Schmeichel stretched well to flick it over with his fingertips. The home side also produced the first chance of the second half through Ellison who had collecteda loose ball outside the box. His attempt spun off the back of Le Fondre, calling Schmeichel into action with a stretching stop. Davies was still causing problems for Rotherham and his mazy run saw him upended on the edge of area. Fenton had been the perpetrator and was duly shown a red card, subsequent to his second booking of the match. Despite this, it was Rotherham that continued to craft the better of the chances, with Laws proving to be the architect on multiple occasions. The most notable saw him link up well with Broughton before skipping past Thompson down the left wing. A promising cross into the goalmouth looked destined to find a red shirt before Edwards nipped in to intelligently divert behind for a corner. County reverted to a 4-4-2 formation when Luke Rodgers was introduced. His energy increasingly caused problems for the home defence and his side reclaim a stranglehold on the match. Rodgers forced Warrington into his first meaningful stop of the half after striking well from the corner of the box. The Millers' keeper stretched well to his right to palm over. Rodgers was then dragged over on the edge of the box, allowing Davies to strike powerfully at goal from the free-kick. Warrington, again, was equal to the effort, parrying the ball to safety. Notts continued to control the game, making the most of their extra man, and the livewire Rodgers appeared uncontrollable. His next opening came after he had managed to control a long pass and jink past a defender, prior to having his shot well closed down by Warrington. County fans were on their feet as he followed up to strike the rebound into the side-netting. He was unable to claim all three points for his team, but came close twice in the dying moments. Firstly, he broke free and finally managed to slide the ball past the onrushing Warrington, only for Jamie Green to swipe the ball clear. Rodgers did have the ball in the net moments later after pouncing first in a goalmouth scramble. However, his celebrations were cut short when the referee acknowledged the linesman's offside signal. In the end County had to settle for their third consecutive league draw, although they arguably deserved more. It was their first 0-0 draw in 56 games. Attendance: 5,738 (1,377 Notts County fans) Rotherham United: Andy Warrington, Dale Tonge, Nick Fenton, Ian Sharps, Andy Nicholas (Green), Nicky Law, Pablo Mills, Danny Harrison, Kevin Ellison, Drewe Broughton (Pope 28), Adam Le Fondre(Warne 78). Substitutes: Jamie Annerson, Tom Pope, Micky Cummins, Jamie Green, Andy Liddell, Paul Warne, Mark Lynch. Yellow Cards: Fenton (20, 51) Red Card: Fenton (51) Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, Matt Ritchie, Mike Edwards, Graeme Lee, John Thompson, Ricky Ravenhill (Rodgers 65), Lee Hughes (Akinbiyi 83), Neal Bishop, Ben Davies, Johnnie Jackson, Daniel Jones (Clapham 69). Substitutes: Kevin Pilkington, Matt Hamshaw, Karl Hawley, Jamie Clapham, Luke Rodgers, Craig Westcarr, Ade Akinbiyi. Yellow Cards: Thompson (61)
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.