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Rotherham hold out to draw with Watford

Watford v Burnley – Sky Bet Championship – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: John Walton)

Rotherham survived a late onslaught to claim a creditable 1-1 draw with Watford.

Both sides would have been happy to see out the transfer window without losing their star men and ultimately feel the same satisfaction with sharing the points in what was an even game.

Skipper Richard Wood scored for the third straight home league match to give Rotherham a surprise lead in only the second minute but it was cancelled out before the break by Vakoun Bayo.

Watford, who were two divisions higher than their hosts last season, piled on the pressure late on but could not find a winner.

Veteran defender Wood was on hand to head The Millers in front from Wes Harding’s looped cross to stun the visitors and notch his fourth of the season already.

Cohen Bramall then tested Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann with a driven free-kick which had to be pushed away.

Rotherham continued to threaten and Conor Washington was the next to try his luck but his shot from the edge of the box bobbled wide.

The first bit of quality the visitors produced got them level on 33 minutes. Ken Sema wriggled free down the left flank and his cross was volleyed in emphatically by Bayo.

Rotherham almost began the second half with another early goal but Lee Peltier’s effort from a long throw was deflected just inches wide for a corner.

Watford responded with Bayo forcing a save from Viktor Johansson after Joao Pedro had caused problems down Rotherham’s right-hand side.

It was an open game and the next chance fell Rotherham’s way, with midfielder Dan Barlaser forcing Bachmann into an unconventional save with a long-range effort which was swerving.

The visitors were within inches of going in front when Bayo glanced a header from dangerman Pedro’s cross which bounced off the post and to safety.

Watford were really stepping up their search for a winner going into the final 20 minutes and brought on Keinan Davis to bolster their attack even further. He almost made an immediate impact but his powerful shot, which looked goal-bound, was heroically blocked by Harding.

The visitors cranked up the pressure in the final 10 minutes but Rotherham survived a succession of set-pieces without too much panic and had Johansson to thank for bravely collecting a number of crosses comfortably.

An injury in added time extended the period Rotherham had to hang on for but they managed to keep the ball deep in Watford territory to earn a share of the spoils.

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