Ex-Portsmouth striker's double helps extend Rotherham's lead at top while Ipswich thrashed at home by Peterborough

Michael Smith fired a double to help Rotherham extend their lead at the top of League One after defeating Burton 3-2.

Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 12:59 pm

The former Pompey striker bagged either side of half-time, while summer target Freddie Ladapo struck the match-winner at the New York Stadium.

The Millers are now three points clear at the summit following Wycombe’s 2-0 loss at MK Dons.

But despite Rotherham stretching their advantage in the race for promotion, Paul Warne wasn’t all that impressed with his side’s display.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Millers boss told his club’s website: ‘I can come up with all sorts of clichés about how good teams win when they play poorly, but I didn’t think we were very good.

‘We looked jaded. It’s on me, I probably should have made changes but they were so good Tuesday night. It’s difficult to change after a great performance. We just looked a bit emotionally drained, I think. I wasn’t best pleased with it but to come out with three points is testament to the lads.

‘We created enough opportunities to win the game but we conceded enough opportunities to lose the game. If you’re a neutral you’d have loved it. On another day, we could have won comfortably or took a good beating. I’m pleased we’ve won when we’ve played bad and it’s always easy to learn after a victory.’

Meanwhile, Darren Ferguson lauded his Peterborough troops after they thrashed fellow Championship hopefuls Ipswich 4-1 at Portman Road.

Michael Smith scored twice for Rotherham against Burton. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

A Sammie Szmodics brace and efforts from Siriki Dembele and Ivan Toney ensured the Posh leapfrogged the Tractor Boys into third place and move to within one point outside the automatic promotion places.

Ferguson told the Peterborough Telegraph: ‘All credit to the players as not many teams will come to Ipswich and score four goals.

‘And it was a real team effort. The front three were a handful and the back three were very strong. We played well throughout the team and it’s obvious we have a lot of confidence and momentum at the moment.

‘You learn a lot about players in the tough times and we had a bad time only recently, but the desire to work through it and to come out of the other side so strongly is a credit to them. To beat three teams in the top is some achievement.’

Mark Robins hailed a ‘magnificent three points’ as fifth-placed Coventry battled from behind to win 2-1 at Bristol Rovers.

The Sky Blues manager told Coventry Live: ‘It’s always a hard-earned three points against Bristol Rovers.

‘The conditions were poor and I think all the players found it tough again as they did at Fleetwood on Tuesday night. It’s hard on the fans as well because they are watching a game that wasn’t great.

‘We didn’t start very well but we had a three hour coach journey down and it has an impact. It just took us a long time to get going and the first passing sequence we had we scored.

‘But we had already given them opportunities. We defended poorly, there was no communication. There were a lot of things going wrong but, ultimately, if you are not playing well and win, there’s something going OK.

‘I’m just pleased to have got the game out of the way and go the win because it’s a magnificent three points.’

Ex-Fratton Park skipper Sol Campbell was full of pride after Southend recorded their maiden home win of the season.

The struggling Shrimpers beat Lincoln 2-1, with Elvis Bwomono the stoppage-time hero at Roots Hall.

‘It’s a fantastic result with the situation we’ve had this week and where we are now as well,’ said Campbell to the Southend Echo.

‘You start off the day with several youngsters and academy guys and you’re just hoping they gel together and give a good account of themselves, which they did.

‘They stuck to the plan and played some really good football.

‘Elvis had a fantastic game and there were a lot heroic performances out there but we have to keep it going.’

Other results

Accrington 2-1 AFC Wimbledon, Bolton 2-0 Tranmere, Fleetwood 2-1 Doncaster, Oxford 2-1 Blackpool, Rochdale 1-0 Shrewsbury.