Rotherham 0, City 2

It was the only time that Rhys Evans was caught in two minds.

The goalkeeper was never in doubt that the second-half wonder save from Drewe Broughton was the best of his life.

Nor that the rebound crossed the City line as it came back down off the bar.

No, the keeper’s dilemma after the game was what to do next. He was stuck between immediately pushing Stuart McCall for a new contract – or hanging up his gloves for good there and then!

Evans would be quite entitled to dine out on the sensational point-blank block for many years to come. It certainly warranted a far bigger stage than a freezing, wind-swept athletics stadium.

His own comparison with David Seaman’s save that denied Paul Peschisolido in the FA Cup semi-final five years ago was a fair one; even if his manager, who’d played in that Old Trafford game, was deliberately down-playing it.

“I thought it was an okay save that helped us win the game,” said McCall, with tongue firmly in cheek.

“It’s hard to comment because it happened in such a blur but it was a fantastic effort from Rhys.

“I looked at the linesman straight away to see if it had crossed the line. I didn’t look at the reaction of their players but after the game I didn’t see anyone have a go at the ref, which you would have done if you thought it was a goal.”

The home crowd – what there was of it in the only stand – certainly thought it was in. But Matt Clarke hooked the ball clear from the melee of bodies and City went straight down the other end to net their result-clinching second goal.

Instead of being pegged back at 1-1, City were 2-0 up and assured of a fifth league away win. It was Aldershot all over again; only this time in City’s favour. What’s that McCall is always saying about thin margins?

Not that the boss will let a decent result cloud what was a pretty patchy performance. The 1,600 magnificent away fans revelled in victory in their only Yorkshire derby but City took a long time to get going.

Certainly for the first half, there was little to distract the supporters from the more pressing concern of trying to keep warm in the wintry wind.

City were certainly caught cold by the surprise formation sprung by Mark Robins. McCall’s midweek homework went out of the window as the Millers made six changes, including the axe for Alex Rhodes.

They also lined up with two wing backs and two up front. City had based the previous day’s tactics in training on dealing with a 4-3-3.

So for the first 20 minutes, nobody appeared to know who to pick up and where. Rotherham, desperate for a pick-me-up from their current slump, made hay.

But for all their early control, the Millers couldn’t find a goal. Evans saved superbly from Broughton in the first minute – a sign of things to come for the big striker – and numerous good opportunities were wasted.

Broughton and Ryan Taylor were causing all sorts of trouble for Graeme Lee and Matt Clarke and City were grateful for the cool presence of Evans behind them.

Claret and amber heads thankfully cleared as the half wore on and Nicky Law and Paul McLaren started to turn the tide against Rotherham’s central midfield three. But there was little coming from the widemen, with youngster Leon Osborne looking out of place.

The biggest attacking threat was posed by Luke O’Brien, who took advantage of the space left by the absence of an orthodox Rotherham right back.

The young full back, who seems to get better with each week, went close to breaking the deadlock with a deflected drive which on-loan goalkeeper David Stockdale just managed to turn behind.

The half-time whistle still came as a relief on all fronts. The fans could look for somewhere to try and thaw out while McCall finally got to work with his under-performing players.

Their response to the ear-bashing was immediate. Three corners were won in as many minutes as City introduced a zip to their play that had been previously absent.

Rotherham were knocked out of their stride for a spell before coming again, with Nick Fenton and Dale Tonge both missing chances.

McCall threw on Barry Conlon for the anonymous Osborne as City chased the win – but it was not one of the front three but O’Brien who set them on the way with a goal he will cherish for just as long as Evans with his save.

The youngster roared upfield once again, received the ball just outside the box and let fly into the far corner of Stockdale’s net. Cue mayhem at that end, with the more excitable City fans spilling on to the race track.

Rotherham looked for a response and everyone, except for Evans, thought they had it when Broughton side-footed towards a beckoning net from two yards out.

The keeper had dived past the ball but managed to fling out a hand and hook it up against the woodwork. Time stood still as the crowd waited for a goal to be signalled but the rebound came down on the line before Clarke’s size 12 could remove any doubts.

Play instantly switched to the home half, where Law appeared to catch Stockdale napping with a curling cross-shot into the exact spot of the net which O’Brien’s rocket had located five minutes earlier.

It was Law’s first goal in his second spell as a City player – and he hopes not the last. His month’s loan is up after the Chesterfield game on Tuesday but the midfielder is hoping to prolong his stay.

Law said: “We haven’t done anything yet but I’m sure I’ll have a chat with the manager and we can sort something out.

“I’m enjoying it here, especially with the team doing well, and I owed us a goal after the miss against Bury which is still haunting me.

“It was important we got back to winning ways after last week. Rotherham got a lot of balls in the box but we defended well and I don’t think there will be many better saves than that one.”

Attendance: 4,586