Ben Pringle set the Millers on their way to a convincing 3-0 victory over Notts County at Meadow Lane, booking their place in the third round and a trip to face Aldershot. Mark Bradley doubled the lead before Daniel Nardiello tapped in from close range to seal the tie at the end of the first-half against the 10 men of County.
Manager Steve Evans mades two changes to the side that claimed a 1-0 victory at the weekend, giving a first professional start to Jack O’Connell, and recalling Mark Bradley in place of the unavailable duo Ian Sharps and Liam Ridehalgh.
There was less than a minute on the clock when a neat flick from Alex Revell was followed up by neat interplay at the feet of Ben Pringle and Lee Frecklington, and when the ball finally fell to Daniel Nardiello he was denied by Liam Mitchell and the linesman’s flag.
County tried to hit back without ever really getting a meaningful ball into the box, and in the fifth minute, Mitchell was called upon again; this time stretching low to his right to just tip Michael O’Connor’s shot from distance around the post. O’Connor also took the resulting corner which was swung under the crossbar forcing Mitchell to punch clear this time.
As the clock ticked over to nine minutes, Mitchel was called into action once more, although this time all he could do was pick the ball out the back of the net. Pringle picked up possession 35 yards from goal, and after moving forward unopposed, curled an effort left footed beyond the goalkeeper.
There was little action of note that followed until 20 minutes in when Bradley earned his side a corner after an excellent turn in the box. Pringle swung the set-piece in and after the goalkeeper failed to clear, it was Bradley himself who volleyed home at the far post.
Alan Sheehan and Julian Kelly both put balls in at the other end which the Millers defended stoutly, but the first time Andy Warrington was called into action was from Neal Bishop’s tame header from close range. Less than a minute later and O’Connor continued his personal battle with Mitchell, but his 30 yard free-kick was marginally over the crossbar.
However, the game swung further in the Millers’ favour on the half hour mark when a ball forward was being chased by Revell, defender Damion Stewart raised an arm into the striker’s face, receiving his marching orders immediately. It could almost have been 3-0, but Lee Frecklington’s lofted effort was parried away by Mitchell. The immediate response was a shot by former Miller Jamal Campbell-Ryce which floated harmlessly wide.
With County behind in the game and in numbers they went all out to get back in the game, and it soon backfired. On 40 minutes a ball forward was won by Frecklington who then raced clear of the County defence before rounding the goalkeeper and squaring to Nardiello who tapped in from close range.
Three minutes were indicated at the end of what was an excellent half for the visitors who almost added a fourth goal; O’Connor again trying his luck from distance, and again forcing Mitchell to just tip wide of the post.
Notts County 0-3 Millers
The hosts made three changes at the break and it was one of those, Joss Labadie who had the first opportunity of the half, five minutes in. Kelly’s run down the right led to a cross which was deflected and only half cleared as far as the midfielder whose shot curled just over Warrington’s crossbar.
The second period failed to match the first in terms of goalmouth action, but there were chances. On the hour mark, Revell flicked a delightful ball inside for Frecklington to run onto but the midfielder’s left-footed effort just passed the post. At the other end Campbell-Ryce raced onto Alan Judge’s through ball, but the Bradley was on hand to clear the danger.
What was reignited in the second period was O’Connor’s appetite for a long-range goal, and after being denied in the first period by Mitchell tried with his left-foot on 67 minutes only to see his old foe in the County goal palm the ball clear once again.
Sheehan tried his luck with two set pieces for County that failed to trouble Rotherham, before Pringle pounced on a loose ball on the right and set himself up for a curler into the far corner that Mitchell once again managed to just tip wide. Courtney Cameron replaced the impressive O’Connell on 75 minutes and the Millers came close to a goal just a minute later as Revell went close with a thunderbolt that was tipped just over by Mitchell.
Alan Judge earned his side a free-kick 25 yards out which he took himself, and despite slipping did hit the target, although it was a simple collection for Warrington.
The final chance of the game for the home side fell to half-time substitute Francois Zoko who met a cross from the right by spurned his header well wide, allowing Revell to counter at the other end, and as he went for the near post met the same fate as many others on the night, seeing Mitchell knock the ball wide for a corner.
Notts County 0-3 Millers
Notts County: Mitchell, Kelly, Sheehan, Bishop, Liddle, Judge, Hughes (Zoko HT), Arquin (Showumni HT), Campbell-Ryce, Boucaud (Labadie HT), Stewart.
Unused: Pilkington, Mahon, Bencherif, Regan
Millers: Warrington, Bradley, Mullins, Arnason, O’Connell (Cameron 74), Pringle, Taylor (Rose 86), O’Connor, Frecklington, Nardiello (Walker 90), Revell.
Subs: Thompson, Denton, Odejayi, Agard.
Att: 2990 (812)