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Rotherham United (0) 0 - 2 (1) Ipswich Town

Coca-Cola Championship 2004-05

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Referee: G Laws

Manager: Ronnie Moore

Millmoor 15:00

Attendance: 5,504

Manager: Joe Royle

Match Number: 3065

Goals

Home
 
Away
 Shefki Kuqi (43)
 Shefki Kuqi (47)

Substitutions

Home
MintoScott (57)
GarnerVernazza (67)
SedgwickWarne (81)

Cards

Home
 Mullens 
 Swailes 

Teams

Home

Pollit

Stockdale

Swailes

Gilchrist

Minto

Sedgwick

Mullin

Garner

Shaw

Proctor

Richard Barker

Substitutes

Home

Montgomery

McLaren

Scott

Vernazza

Warne

Match Report

Shefki at the double

Rotherham are still looking for a first league win of the season after Shefki Kuki's brace earned Ipswich a 2-0 win at Millmoor.

The 27-year-old striker opened the scoring with a magnificent long-range volley good enough to grace the Barclays Premiership, let alone the Coca-Cola Championship.

Kuki's strike was harsh on Rotherham, who were comfortably the better side in the first half.

But once Ipswich made the crucial breakthrough, the gulf in class between the two sides was there for all to see and after Kuki made it 2-0 with a crisp close-range finish after 47 minutes, an away win was never in doubt.

Joe Royle will have been particularly impressed with his side's defensive steel in the face of adversity - a facet to their play so badly lacking last season - and will harbour realistic hopes of pushing for promotion this time around.

In contrast, Rotherham are in trouble - even at this early stage of the season - and their supporters can be forgiven for bracing themselves for another season of watching their side scrap for every point to stave off relegation to League One.

However, the home side did go about their task diligently in the opening exchanges with Paul Shaw and Michael Proctor trying their luck from long range within the space of five minutes.

Joe Royle's men could not match the Millers' early vim and vigour and were reduced to uncharacteristic long-ball tactics inside their own half to assuage the real threat Rotherham were posing.

However, Kuki could have been left to rue what could have been when he failed to test goalkeeper Mike Pollitt with a wayward header after Drissa Diallo had done all the donkey work on the left flank.

Kuki was to make amends for his miss two minutes before the break with a remarkable 25-yard strike. The former Sheffield Wednesday forward stunned the Millmoor faithful into silence with a textbook volley which was destined for the back of the net as soon as the ball left his foot.

Things were to get much worse for Moore's troops when Kuki doubled his tally for the afternoon - and the season - two minutes after the restart.

Darren Bent was given too much time on the edge of the Rotherham penalty area and threaded a neat ball through to the Finland international who made no mistake from close range.

Faced with a mountain to climb, Rotherham responded with a Richie Barker snap-shot which was well gathered by Kelvin Davis but they lacked the killer ball into the penalty area to seriously trouble Ipswich's well-drilled back-four.

Moore introduced playmaker Paolo Vernazza in a bid to get back in the game, but the former Watford midfielder hardly had a kick as Town played out the remainder of the match with the minimum of fuss.

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