Newcastle struggled for the bulk of the first half at Rotherham who at times bullied the Magpies. The Millers took an early lead while Newcastle struggled to create anything of note. The lads did finish the half strongly creating some chances in the final ten minutes.
Newcastle were set up in the 5-3-2 once again. Freddie Woodman manned the goal behind a back three of Fernandez, Lascelles, and Clark. Ritchie and Lewis were the wingbacks with Ritchie on the right. Hayden was behind Sean Longstaff and Fraser in the midfield with Wilson and Gayle as the strikeforce.
Rotherham took the lead in the 8th minute through the Wallsend-born Michael Smith with an assist by Mikel Miller. The 6’3″ striker barreled over Ciaran Clark to bury his header past a vulnerable Freddie Woodman for the 1-0 lead.
— Newcastle Fans TV (@NewcastleFansTV) July 27, 2021
Twenty-five minutes in and it was Rotherham bossing the game. The hosts almost added to their lead but Ciaran Clark blocked a shot from Freddie Ladapo after another superb pass from Miller. Just a few minutes later, Clark blocked another shot out for a corner.
Newcastle started to turn the tables as the half wore on. In the 34th minute, Dwight Gayle won a free-kick just outside the area. Fraser played a short pass to Sean Longstaff but he blasted his shot into the stands.
The Magpies had two golden chances to level the match late in the half. Ritchie found Longstaff in the area but he again couldn’t hit the target. In the 41st minute, Callum Wilson pounced on a poor clearance in the box but fired his shot wide of the far post.
Newcastle were very poor in the first 30 or so minutes. However, the boys showed signs of life as the match progressed and can hopefully build on that in the second half.