Soccer

Kieran McKenna takes positives from ‘mixed’ night against Rotherham

Kieran McKenna applauds the Ipswich fans after the game (Simon Marper/PA)
Kieran McKenna applauds the Ipswich fans after the game (Simon Marper/PA) Kieran McKenna applauds the Ipswich fans after the game (Simon Marper/PA)

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna endured ‘a mixed night’ after his side conceded a late leveller in a 2-2 draw with Rotherham.

Christ Tiehi’s injury-time strike ensured the points were shared just minutes after it looked like the Tractor Boys had nicked them through substitute Jack Taylor.

The Millers had led through Sam Nombe’s early strike, before Sam Morsy and Taylor turned the game around, and McKenna said: “I think there’s a lot of positives to take from where we were to where we ended up.

“You don’t want to concede early in the game against a team like Rotherham. It gave them momentum and atmosphere and something to hang on to. It made the challenge even bigger.

“We gradually took control of the game.

“There are frustrations at the end. We did not quite stick to our principles. It’s a situation we usually defend well from.

“It’s a mixed night. But I am sure it is something we will learn really quickly from.”

The result still leaves Ipswich in the top two, eight points clear of Leeds United and on an 11-game unbeaten streak.

“It’s much, much too early to think about gaps,” added McKenna.

“A point away from home on a Tuesday night after a tough game on Saturday and having conceded early is something you can take positives from.”

Rotherham ripped up the form book to go ahead in just the fourth minute when record signing Nombe slid in to tuck away Fred Onyedinma’s cross.

Ipswich responded on 19 minutes when Morsy was picked out by Leif Davis in plenty of space and had the time and ability to curl an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

It looked as though the points would be going back to Suffolk when Taylor diverted Sean Morrison’s attempted clearance into the net with just three minutes left to play.

But Tiehi’s late curler a minute into added time earned Rotherham the draw.

Millers manager Matt Taylor said: “I was so pleased we got something out of the game for the effort the players put in. We started the game really well and on the front foot.

“We were so naive to allow the space for the equaliser and at times we had to hold on against a very attacking team.

“Their second goal was a ricochet. For that to go against us was almost heartbreaking. Then you’re hoping for the ball to fall to someone and for them to keep their composure and Christ certainly did that.

“In the last couple of games we have shown character. We need to start picking up points but in terms of what we are showing, I am pleased.”