Five Star Performance Humiliate Millers

Last updated : 18 September 2003 By @blades_mad1889

Jon Harley: Inspirational during the mauling over Rotherham and in his 2nd Blades debut.
Two goals apiece from Paul Peschisolido and Peter Ndlovu and a strike from Michael Tonge earned Sheffield United a 5-0 derby victory against Rotherham.

All the talk before the game was dominated by rumours of unrest in the Millers camp, and this seemed to be reflected on the football pitch as the visitors lacked any degree of conviction to seriously test Neil Warnock's men all evening.

Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore has harboured fears of "things not being right" in the Millers dressing-room of late following back-to-back home defeats against Wigan and Crewe.

And to that end, Guy Branston and Andy Monkhouse were left out of the squad altogether, compounding speculation about their future at the club.

Such disruption clearly had an adverse affect on the visitors, but even a Rotherham side on top of their game may have struggled against the Blades in this kind of mood.

Chief orchestrator on proceedings was Tonge. The Millers simply had no response to the 20-year-old's craft and invention and when he opened the scoring after 12 minutes, the writing was pretty much on the wall.

The midfielder was given far too much space in the penalty area and unleashed a fierce low strike that cannoned through the legs of goalkeeper Mike Pollitt and into the back of the net.

Rotherham found themselves further behind 11 minutes later. Tonge's in-swinging free-kick was not dealt with by the Rotherham rearguard and the ball spooned out to Peschisolido who had all the time in the world to pick his spot and rocket the ball into the roof of the net from the left side of the penalty box.

Moore was visibly seething, but even after the departure of Paul Morgan - who sustained a wrist injury after 33 minutes - he must have been fearing the worse when his side trudged off at the break.

However, Rotherham began the second half with purpose and Darren Byfield latched on to Martin Butler's fine delivery and bundled the ball into the back of the net with his head. However, the linesman deemed him to be in an off-side position and the goal was ruled out after 53 minutes.

United put the game out of sight four minutes later. Tonge struck a sweet ball with his left foot that Pollitt could only parry into the path of Peschisolido who was left with the easy task of dinking the ball into the unguarded net.

The Millers were in disarray and four minutes later Peter Ndlovu added a fourth. This time, Peschisolido turned provider, teeing up the Zimbabwean whose mis-hit shot bobbled past Pollitt from 10 yards.

To cap things off, Tonge had the presence of mind to pick out Ndlovu from all of 35 yards and his team-mate duly obliged with his second of the evening with a crisp header after 83 minutes.