Rotherham survival hopes out of their hands after Luton draw

Elijah Adebayo
Elijah Adebayo hit the crossbar for Luton in the first half

Rotherham United’s Championship survival hopes are out of their hands going into the final match of the season after they could only draw their game in hand at mid-table Luton Town.

The Millers started the day three points behind fourth-bottom Derby but knew victory in their last two matches would probably see them avoid relegation because of their superior goal difference.

In a frantic first half, Elijah Adebayo thumped a shot against the woodwork and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s corner came off the post for Luton, while Rotherham also hit the post through Matt Crooks’ deft lob.

The visitors came closest to a winner after the break when Crooks headed Ryan Giles’ fine cross agonisingly wide at the back post.

Paul Warne’s Rotherham – who have played 11 Championship games in 33 days and won just one of them – will need to win at Cardiff on Saturday and hope Derby fail to beat relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday if they are to stay up.

Wayne Rooney’s Rams will be safe with victory over second-bottom Wednesday, who must win at Pride Park and hope Rotherham do not triumph against Cardiff if they are to avoid going down to League One.

The point for Luton guarantees them a top-half finish and extends their unbeaten run to six matches as they continue their impressive finish to the season.

Adebayo almost beat visiting keeper Jamal Blackman from a difficult angle but his effort crashed off the bar and Dewsbury-Hall’s corner would have gone straight in if it wasn’t for Blackman clawing the ball against the post and out.

Bottom of Championship
Rotherham need to beat Cardiff on Saturday and hope Derby do not win to stay up

Rotherham also carried threat, Michael Smith putting a free header wide while Crooks watched his dink over Simon Sluga bounce and come back off the post.

The second half was a lower key affair but Crooks may rue his missed header while Luton’s Sonny Bradley had a stoppage time goal from a corner disallowed for a foul.

Luton manager Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio:

“There was plenty of endeavour, loads of honesty and trying to make the breakthrough but we just lacked a bit of quality on the night.

“We’ve hit the bar, hit the post and had some really good counter attacks when they’ve been open and we haven’t quite showed enough quality.

“I’m so proud of the team because they showed real honesty – we played properly, we’ve kept the integrity of the league and our club and we’re a credit to this league.

On Sonny Bradley’s disallowed goal: “There was nothing wrong with that goal – it’s probably a safe decision right at the end so that neither side loses it – it’s a terrible decision.”

Rotherham boss Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“We’ve created enough chances to win – as did Luton – but we just haven’t taken one.

“If ever there was a night to win a game it was tonight and unfortunately we just fell short.

“If we manage to win [on Saturday] then we give ourselves a chance – there’s all these connotations but we just have to go and win.

“This whole pile-up of fixtures has killed us – we haven’t really played badly in it but we haven’t been as sharp as I’d like us to be and whether that’s fatigue or ability I don’t know.”



Formation 3-5-2

  • 12Sluga
  • 6Pearson
  • 5Bradley
  • 24Naismith
  • 26Bree
  • 4TunnicliffeSubstituted forLuaLuaat 76′minutes
  • 16Rea
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 3PottsSubstituted forCornickat 45′minutes
  • 29Adebayo
  • 19CollinsSubstituted forMpanzuat 62′minutes


  • 1Shea
  • 2Cranie
  • 7Cornick
  • 14Moncur
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 25LuaLua
  • 27Nombe
  • 28Morrell
  • 30Pereira


Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 27Blackman
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 6Wood
  • 19Harding
  • 22OlosundeSubstituted forOgbeneat 65′minutes
  • 5Wing
  • 26BarlaserSubstituted forMattockat 74′minutes
  • 30Giles
  • 25Crooks
  • 8Wiles
  • 24SmithBooked at 43minsSubstituted forLadapoat 65′minutes


  • 1Johansson
  • 3Mattock
  • 4MacDonald
  • 10Ladapo
  • 11Ogbene
  • 16Lindsay
  • 17Sadlier
  • 21MacDonald
  • 28Jozefzoon

Dean Whitestone

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Luton Town 0, Rotherham United 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Luton Town 0, Rotherham United 0.

  3. Jamal Blackman (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Jamal Blackman.

  5. Foul by Elijah Adebayo (Luton Town).

  6. Richard Wood (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Offside, Rotherham United. Ryan Giles tries a through ball, but Freddie Ladapo is caught offside.

  8. Attempt missed. Elijah Adebayo (Luton Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by James Bree following a fast break.

  9. Attempt blocked. Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Wing with a cross.

  10. Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Simon Sluga.

  11. Attempt saved. Lewis Wing (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  12. Foul by Matty Pearson (Luton Town).

  13. Freddie Ladapo (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Foul by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town).

  15. Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by James Bree.

  17. Foul by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town).

  18. Ben Wiles (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Attempt missed. Kal Naismith (Luton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

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