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Match Reports

Rotherham United v Norwich City

25 August 2015


CITY progressed into the Third Round of the Capital One Cup after a 2-1 win over Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.

Following a slow start the contest developed into an entertaining cup tie, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel netting what turned out to be the decisive second goal against the Sky Bet Championship strugglers.

Jonny Howson's strike put Alex Neil's team ahead in the first half before van Wolfswinkel looked to have settled the game in the 68th minute with his poacher's finish.

Paul Green's volley boosted the Millers' hopes of forcing extra time, but the Canaries held onto their advantage to progress on a busy night of cup action across the country.

There were eight changes from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City, as van Wolfswinkel led the attack and Harry Toffolo made his senior debut for the Club.

Declan Rudd began in goal, while there were also starting berths for Vadis Odjidja Ofoe and Andre Wisdom, who made his first competitive appearance in yellow and green.

Steve Evans' made two alterations to his eleven from Saturday's 4-2 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Queens Park Rangers, with Adam Collin and Frazer Richardson replacing Kelle Roos and Richard Smallwood.

Starting in their third kit, City edged the first few minutes with Wisdom creating the game's first opening, firing a snap shot over after a quick one-two with van Wolfswinkel.

Toffolo had his first chance to deliver into the box on six minutes, with his reverse ball finding Howson but the midfielder's first touch was too heavy and Rotherham cleared.

The hosts were forced into an early change on 16 minutes when Frecklington limped off and was replaced by Chris Maguire, and Sebastien Bassong had to receive some treatment of his own soon after when clipped by Jonson Clarke-Harris.

With neither team taking control of the game, City punished Rotherham seconds after they had missed from the best opening of the contest on 22 minutes.

For Steve Evans' side, Grant Ward whipped in a cross from the right, and Clarke-Harris nipped between two defenders to direct a header at goal, but Rudd made an impressive reaction save to keep the forward out.

Within seconds, the Canaries had broken free and they snatched the opener themselves via a moment of Premier League quality from Howson, who took one touch to control Odjidja's pass before finding the bottom left-corner of Adam Collin's goal with a sweetly-struck shot.

Rotherham responded with increased energy as dangerman Clarke-Harris was twice thwarted by an in-form Rudd before van Wolfswinkel saw an effort ruled out for offside when he drifted beyond Rotherham's defence to turn home Johnson's downward header.

The Dutchman was onside in stoppage time when Johnson picked out his run in the channel, but Collin came to the rescue for the home team, whose deficit for half-time stayed at one goal.

HALF-TIME: Rotherham United 0-1 Norwich City

Rotherham put City under some pressure early in the second period and the Canaries had Rudd to thank once again as he made an impressive double save on 53 minutes.

First, the Academy graduate palmed Greg Halford's back-post header onto the crossbar before seconds later reaching Joe Newell's strike with his fingertips to turn it over the bar.

Emmanuel Ledesma fired inches wide on the turn as the Millers pressed their visitors back, but that aided City's threat on the counter-attack.

They nearly doubled their lead on 63 minutes as Dorrans picked out Toffolo with a deft pass, but Collin was on hand to block the young defender's low strike.

Five minutes later, however, they got their second goal through van Wolfswinkel, whose run into the box was picked out by Wisdom, whose cross was turned in from close-range by the former Sporting Lisbon man.

The two-goal cushion had taken the sting out of Rotherham and their supporters, but they almost got a repireve on 74 minutes when Matt Derbyshire beat Rudd to a chase, only to lift his effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Rudd then pulled off another eye-catching save to deny Derbyshire, but Rotherham were to get the goal their second half play deserved with ten minutes left on the clock.

Their corner was cleared to substitute Green on the edge of the box, and the experienced campaigner volleyed in to set up an interesting finale in south Yorkshire - but Neil's well-drilled eleven stood up the task and earned themselves a spot in the hat for the next round.

FULL-TIME: Rotherham United 1-2 Norwich City

GOALS: Millers: Paul Green (80) - Canaries: Jonny Howson (22), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (68)

ROTHERHAM UNITED: Collin; Buxton, Collins, Halford (c), Newell; Richardson, Frecklington (Maguire 16), G Ward (Green 76), Ledesma (White 76); Clarke-Harris, Derbyshire. Subs not used: Roos (GK), D Ward, Rawson, Thorpe.

NORWICH CITY: Rudd; Wisdom, R Bennett, Bassong, Toffolo; Odjidja, O'Neil, Dorrans (E Bennett 80), Johnson (c); Howson (Andreu 74); van Wolfswinkel. Subs not used: Ruddy (GK), Whittaker, Martin, Redmond, Thompson.

REFEREE: Mr K Wright

ATTENDANCE: 5,648 (1,029)

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