Match report: Rotherham 0-2 Villa
Match: Rotherham United v Aston Villa
Date: March 4, 2017
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: AESSEAL New York Stadium
Weather: 11C, partly cloudy
Will Vaulks (68 mins)
Jonathan Kodjia (87 mins)
Two second half goals helped Villa secure their third consecutive Championship victory as they saw off Rotherham at The New York Stadium.
An own goal from Will Vaulks and Jonathan Kodjia’s late strike were the difference.
With the renewed confidence following consecutive victories clear to see, the visitors started well.
Conor Hourihane came close to netting his second goal in as many matches – only to be adjudged offside when finding the back of the net before his low effort was excellently palmed away by Lewis Price in the Rotherham goal.
Back in the starting XI in place of the injured Andre Green, Birkir Bjarnason was also in the thick of the action early doors – seeing consecutive attempts blocked before firing over the follow-up.
Showing his worth at both ends of the field, Villa were indebted to Kodjia, who was well placed to clear Tom Adeyami’s header off the line as Paul Warne’s troops grew into the contest.
At the other end, Albert Adomah did well to meet a lofted ball over the top – his lob beat goalkeeper but was cleared by Aimen Belaid.
In what was a stop-start climax to the half – Bjarnason was replaced by Jack Grealish after picking up a knock before Grealish himself had to be withdrawn through injury before the interval.
Both teams battled in a pulsating start to the second period.
The Millers attacked with pace and Tom Adeyemi’s pass found Vaulks out on the right, his cross possessed plenty of power but no-one in a red shirt could meet.
After pin-ball in the box – Hourihane met Mile Jedinak’s header but his audacious overhead kick was off target.
They took the lead with just under 20 minutes remaining – Kodjia's cross turned into his own net by United’s Vaulks with Hourihane ready to pounce.
The hosts responded but were thwarted by a stubborn claret and blue backline and Sam Johnstone while Villa were lethal on the counter-attack.
They made sure the points returned to the second city in that very way three minutes from time – Kodjia finishing emphatically following a slick break.
Aymen Belaïd (Foul)
Lee Frecklington (Foul)
ROTHERHAM: Price; Kelly (Smallwood 18), Ajayi, Belaid, Purrington; Forde, Vaulks, Adeyemi, Taylor (Newell 60) Ward (C) (Frecklington HT), Yates. Unused subs: Bilboe, Mattock, Bray, Warren.
VILLA: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester (C), Baker, Taylor, Jedinak, Hourihane, Lansbury, Adomah, Kodjia (Davis 88), Bjarnason (Grealish 33, Amavi 44). Unused subs: Bunn, Bree, Elphick, Richards.
Referee: Mr S. Martin
Assistant Referee 1: Mr D. Avent
Assistant referee 2: Mr J. Hunt
Fourth Official: Mr R. Clark