After drawing 3-3 with Lincoln midweek, Giovanni Landu’s goal first half goal was enough to seal all three points against Rotherham on Saturday. As Doncaster beat Chesterfield 5-0, they have moved up to second place, which leaves us four points clear at the top of the table.
We made a confident start and were award a free kick in the 9th minute when Danny Devine was fouled outside the box. The resulting free kick, taken by Rhys Jenkinson, beat the goalkeeper but hit the crossbar. The rebound was headed in by Sumaili Cissa but the goal was ruled out for offside.
We controlled the game throughout and had several chances to open the score. Cissa came close to scoring again minutes later but his effort was scrambled clear by the Rotherham defence and Devine’s header in the 19th minute went just over the bar.
We deservedly went 0-1 up in the 28th minute when Jack Waters’ long ball found Giovanni Landu who controlled the ball passed the defender and struck the ball into the left corner.
Cissa did well to intercept the ball in the Rotherham box several times which helped us to push forward and increase our attempts on goal.
Niah Payne’s footwork earned us a corner in the opening minutes of the second half. Xander McBurnie’s flick drifted away from goal but found the ball Cissa, who skipped past his marker and had another shot at goal.
We continued to dominate the game but could not convert our chances. Payne’s long range shot just before the hour mark was well saved by the goalkeeper and Sam Wright took full advantage of Rotherham’s defending minutes later when he nipped the ball round the goalkeeper to set up Cissa, whose effort went just over the bar.
Both McBurnie’s 76th minute shot and Niah Payne’s 80th minute strike were comfortably saved and we were unlucky not to score when Rhys Jenkinson’s ball flashed across the face of goal just before the final whistle.
Cissa was brought down outside the box in the closing minutes. The resulting free kick was well blocked by the Rotherham wall and the shot from the rebound was put behind for a corner.
Overall, it was a strong team performance and one that we hope to mirror when we host Chesterfield on Saturday. We know it will be a tough game with both Doncaster (2nd) and Chesterfield (3rd) just below us on 45 points and know it is a must win game to ensure we retain the title.
Bradford City U18’s v Chesterfield – 11 April 2015 – Rawdon Meadows, 11am K/O.