FULL TIME: ROTHERHAM UNITED 0 PORT VALE 1

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ROTHERHAM United suffered an unhappy afternoon on a day spoiled by the wind at Don Valley.

EVeryone was aware how the strong wind would affect matters this afternoon at this most open of venues.

Rotherham were asked to defend against it but they threatened first when Griffiths put a long throw into the area and Grabban saw his shot blocked.

A snap shot from Williamson bounced off the chest of Taylor but the keeper recovered and pounced on the loose ball.

There was early evidence of the attacking intent of Griffiths. He linked well with Grabban who then made space inside the area but his effort was over the top.

A great chance fell to the Millers when a long, high ball from Jason Taylor held on the wind and put Loft in real trouble on the edge of the area. He failed to deal with things, Grabban got in behind him and looked sure to score only to strike the ball over the bar as the keeper came out at his feet.

Loft then popped up at the other end, cutting in from the left to strike a right foot shot which Taylor turned round his near post very sharply indeed.

The massive figure of McDonald, who puts himself about, crashed to the ground after a challenge with Jason Taylor. The Vale man needed a few moments before recovering.

The visitors should have then have gone in front and you cannot help feeling that the wind robbed them of a goal.

Rob Taylor broke up the right and his centre to the far post set up a glorious chance for Richards. He rose and looked set to head in but at the last second he had to adjust and couldn’t connect properly. The ball dropped down and then he hooked a shot over the bar from four yards.

A corner was struck low by Morsy and the former Doncaster midfielder Griffith reached it first but fired wide of the near post.

Vale’s left footed Taylor had switched to the right and he cut in for a left foot shot not far wide. Then Loft struck a fierce effort which Taylor pushed over the bar.

Right on half-time Wood swung in a free kick, Mullins got free in front of goal but his header went over the top and it was an indication of how conditions were affecting the game.

Good work between Wood and Schofield put Wood into the area and he spotted Grabban only for Loft to make a vital interception with the striker poised to shoot.

Rotherham might well have gone in front when Tonge’s centre rebounded off McDonald but Revell saw his shot on the turn from 10 yards go straight at Taylor.

Good work from Griffiths on the left saw his low centre cleared six yards out by McDonald. Then on 57 minutes Port Vale went in front from the penalty spot.

Loft’s attempted centre struck Marshall and dropped into the path of the Vale left back.

As he reached the ball Tonge mis-timed his challenge and brought him down. RICHARDS struck home the penalty.

Minutes later Marshall was replaced by williams.

New man Griffiths was replaced by Newey, a decision that didn’t go down well with the fans.

There was danger for the Millers when Williamson got behind the defence.

He lifted the ball over Taylor but Mullins got back to rescue the situation. It was looking direfor the Millers as they tried to find a way into the game.

Schofield produced a moment of quality with a fine effort from outside the area which was inches wide.

Wood was replaced by Harrison but it was proving difficult to create anything and Vale defended solidly.

A Mullins effort was cleared off the line with Rotherham players claiming it was over and it looked very close indeed to being over.

The club paid tribute at today’s match to former assistant manager Barrie Claxton who died this week aged 79.

Barrie was a stalwart servant at the club in various capacities for 20 years, first starting with his involvement as chief scout in 1969 and then working in a dual role as chief scout and youth team manager from 1973.

In that role he oversaw the early development of a number of promising young players who went on to become first team regulars.

He had a seven week spell as caretaker manager after the departure of Jim McGuigan in November 1979.

A Mullins effort was cleared off the line with Rotherham players claiming it was over and it looked very close indeed to being over.