MX23RW : Friday, July 30 12:45:56| >> :600:327307:327307:
Mar 2, 2019 at 3pm UK at AESSEAL New York Stadium (Rotherham, South Yorkshire)
Attendance: 9,663
RotherhamRotherham United
3-2
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
Ajayi (2', 83'), Williams (57')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Bell (51'), Mulgrew (93' pen.)

Result: Rotherham return to winning ways against Blackburn

Result: Rotherham return to winning ways against Blackburn
© Reuters
Semi Ajayi scored twice as the Millers picked up their first victory since New Year's Day.

Rotherham boosted their chances of survival in the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-2 victory over Blackburn.

It was the Millers' first win since New Year's Day – a run stretching back nine matches – and ensured they stayed in touch with the teams above them despite remaining in the bottom three.

Two goals from Semi Ajayi sandwiched Ryan Williams' effort to end Rotherham's run of five draws on the bounce.

Amari'i Bell and Charlie Mulgrew replied for Rovers but their winless streak now stands at six.

Rotherham flew out of the blocks and were ahead after just 96 seconds when Ajayi powered in Will Vaulks' long throw into the bottom corner.

The pressure was kept up by the Millers and Vaulks came close himself with a dragged effort.

Jack Rodwell had the visitors' first effort on target but his overhead kick was straight at goalkeeper Marek Rodak.

Bell then had a tricky run into the box stopped by fellow full-back Billy Jones as Rotherham saw off Blackburn pressure at the end of the first half.

Blackburn made an attacking change at the break, with Joe Rothwell brought on for the second half.

Mulgrew tried to take advantage of the windy conditions with an in-swinging corner which almost crept over the line.

And it was the Scot's delivery which led to Blackburn's leveller after 51 minutes. Rotherham failed to clear the initial ball in and Bell was on hand to hook into the net.

Rotherham responded swiftly and were back in front after 57 minutes when half-time substitute Williams nipped in ahead of Rovers goalkeeper David Raya to prod the ball in from Michael Smith's knockdown.

Blackburn dangerman Bradley Dack carved out a chance for himself from Elliott Bennett's pass but, after creating space, he lashed his effort wide.

Michael Ihiekwe then denied Rothwell a shot on goal with a strong challenge.

The chances kept coming for the away side but Danny Graham could only find the side netting after Adam Armstrong's direct run and Mulgrew then fired straight at Rodak from a decent free-kick position.

Rothwell came even closer with an effort from 25 yards which had Rodak scrambling.

After conceding deep into stoppage time in the previous home game against Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham needed another goal to settle the nerves and it came in the 83rd minute again through Ajayi.

The Nigeria international towered above the Blackburn defence to thunder a header into the top corner from Vaulks' cross.

Mulgrew converted a penalty in the third minute of added on time, when Billy Jones hauled back Graham after Dack's shot had cannoned off the post, but Rotherham clung on for a vital win.

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Rotherham United manager Paul Warne pictured on January 26, 2019
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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

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· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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