A game of two penalties

Last updated : 22 February 2002 By Tony Scholes

Were they penalties though or were they not particularly good decisions? Rotherham boss was in no doubt that neither should have been given and suggested that the second, to Rotherham, was given to balance things up. Moore said,

"If we'd have played like that on Saturday, we'd have murdered Stockport. We've taken a point today though and we won on Saturday, so it's horses for courses. I've got to be happy with the performance and I think it's definitely a point gained and not two lost.

"We played a side that is capable of beating anyone on their day and we should have been one up after two minutes when Alan Lee should have done better, but our Ian put one past the post when he could have passed it.

"Both penalties weren't penalties and were harsh. Some of our substitutes on the line reckon their's was, but I'd like to see it again because I reckon Ian was clever and went down and played the old man. John Mullin was hardly touched and he went down, but we need to produce that form every week.

"Burnley have a chance of getting out of this division and they are a quality side. They have quality players, they brought Blake on and it was one £1 million player for another £1 million player, which is great for them but, I'm happy with the way we played tonight."

Neither says Moore and John Mullin wasn't so sure about the one he won. "I think both penalties were questionable. For mine, I was clipped, contact was minimal and I lost my balance, but you take it", said Mullin.

Stan thought ours was and their's wasn't and said after the game,

"I'm pleased with the point in what was a difficult game because of the pitch. It was a battle, but that was what I expected and it was never going to be a good footballing game and it was just a battle.

"I thought ours was a penalty, but I didn't think their's was. The referee couldn't wait to make the decision, but that's it and he's seen it and made the decision, so we have to put up with it. All in all, it's a good return, five points from three away games.

"There were no real chances in the game. Ian Moore had one in the first half when he could have played Glen in, then Gareth Taylor had Robbie Blake with him, but didn't see him, but it was a bit of a battle and we'll take a point because we haven't played very well. In fairness, Rotherham deserve credit and they closed us down well. We're proving hard to beat and that's what we want."

Peter Lansley (The Times)

If these teams continue to play in this manner for the rest of the campaign, they can expect to meet in the Nationwide League first division again next season. Rotherham United drew on all the spirit that has lifted them up from the third division over the past two years to deserve fully the point that keeps Burnley, once more off the pace, five points from an automatic promotion position.

Rotherham have not been beaten at Millmoor in 12 league games and Ronnie Moore, the manager, has his players battling with maximum effort but no little style in their bid to retain their status. "We did well against a quality side that could well get out of this division," he said. "We need to produce that type of performance every week if we are to get out of trouble."

His team are now as clear of the relegation zone as Burnley are off the promotion places. Stan Ternent's team have won only one of their past eight league games, but the manager is consoled by the three away games without defeat over the past week. "We did finish the game strongly and we had the better chances," he said. "But a point was about the right result. It's important we crack on at home now."

The game had a frenetic start. Alan Lee allowed Marlon Beresford, Burnley's on-loan goalkeeper, to save when he was clean through, while at the other end Ian Moore opted to shoot from 18 yards when Glen Little was better positioned. The teams then traded penalties, Gareth Taylor converting his twelfth goal of the season in the tenth minute after Ian Moore had been tripped by Martin McIntosh and Mark Robins, with his fourteenth, replying almost immediately after John Mullin was felled by Paul Weller.

The suggestion by Ronnie Moore, father of the Burnley forward, that his son had played for the penalty is bound to disrupt domestic harmony once more. "I'd like to see it again on video," he said.

Although Mullin, the former Burnley forward, came close to volleying home Chris Sedgwick's centre just before half-time, Taylor, with a low shot, and Graham Branch, the substitute, with a late looping header, came even closer to bringing the visiting team maximum points. That, however, would have been an injustice on Rotherham.

Millers grind out a point

John Wardle at Millmoor (Guardian)

Rotherham's home form continues to underwrite their gritty attempt to preserve a place in the First Division. They are now unbeaten in their last 12 league games at Millmoor and could have emerged with more than a draw last night.

Burnley, with enough talent available that they could afford to leave their £1m signing Robbie Blake on the bench for an hour, were the latest to discover the spirit within Ronnie Moore's genuine team.

Stan Ternent's promotion contenders rarely displayed the composure which was a feature of their excellent form earlier in the season and, after leading through a penalty, created little apart from a 70th-minute shot which Gareth Taylor dragged wide.

Ian Moore was in his dad's bad books again after only nine minutes. The Burnley striker, who scored against the team managed by father Ronnie earlier this season, won a penalty when he was brought down by Martin McIntosh who was booked for protesting over the verdict.

No doubt Ronnie brought up young Ian to be an honest lad, but the Rotherham manager appeared less than impressed by the way his youngster tumbled - and by the assistant referee's decision to signal a spot-kick which was tucked away by Taylor.

The manager's mood was improved within two minutes, though, when the referee John Brandwood decided that Paul Weller had brought down his former Burnley team-mate Paul Mullin inside the area.

This time, Kevin Ball was booked before Mark Robins equalised from the spot for Rotherham, who should have been ahead inside three minutes of the start when another former Burnley player, Alan Lee, failed to beat keeper Marlon Beresford.

With Robins almost turning in a cross from Lee a minute later, it represented an enterprising start by the troubled Yorkshire club and they continued to trouble Burnley after the quickfire exchange of penalties.

The home team retained the initiative after the break without making real inroads into the Burnley area, but Mullin did go close when he stabbed his 58th-minute shot wide from Chris Sedgwick's cross.