Rotherham United were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on penalties following a fine performance against Hull City. Lionel Ainsworth put the Millers in front with a wonder strike early in the second half, but it wasn’t to be, as Mark Bradley’s decisive spot-kick unfortunately meant they came away empty handed.
Manager Steve Evans included seven of his summer recruits for the first competitive action of the season, whilst three more appeared on the bench.
The Millers unfortunately suffered a blow just four minutes into the game when Laurence Wilson took a knock from Matty Fryatt which would lead to him being withdrawn eight minutes later.
Mark Bradley switched to left-back and was immediately tested as Cameron Stewart showed the most intent throughout the opening stages for the home side, being denied by Scott Shearer three and a half minutes into proceedings and then hitting the bar soon after Wilson was withdrawn. The Millers first attack saw Kari Arnason head just over after Ben Amos failed to clear.
Kayode Odejayi outmuscled and outpaced the Tigers’ defence in the 16th minute, beating Amos to the ball, but the former Colchester man couldn’t quite divert his header goalwards. Amos’ palms were stung not long after as Ben Pringle tried his luck from distance and Odejayi’s overhead kick from an Arnason throw was inches away from putting the Millers in front.
As the opening period drew to a close, Nardiello had two half chances which failed to materialise with one drifting high and wide, and the other floating into the arms of Amos.
David Noble tried his luck as the second period got underway only to see his effort float wide before a moment of magic brought the game’s first goal. Lionel Ainsworth, just on as a sub for Gareth Evans met Noble’s cross on the volley from 20 yards, and opened his Millers account with his first touch in spectacular fashion.
Paul McKenna tried his luck at the other end, and Ainsworth had a speculative attempt at a second, but both shots were wide of their respective goals. Shearer had to be on hand once again to make his first real save of the game on the hour mark as he tipped over from Matty Fryatt but could do nothing about the equaliser on 70 minutes. Stewart made a wonderful run from the left-hand side and when his cross took a deflection, substitute Aaron Mclean poked home at the far post.
Stewart could and should have won the game for the home side with moments left as he was fed on goal but stroked his effort wide, and two minutes from time was denied by Shearer after another run from down the left.
With the game heading into extra-time and both sides having used all three substitutes it really was to prove a survival of the fittest. Mclean headed over at the far post from Koren’s corner before Agard was denied four yards out by a wonderful tackle when he looked the favourite to score.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes Robert Koren and Ben Pringle both fired over from the edge of the area, leaving the game to be decided on penalties.
Fryatt – Low to the keeper’s left. – goal – 1-0
Noble – Goalkeeper’s left, medium height – goal – 1-1
Koren – Bottom right, past Shearer who went the right way – goal – 2-1
Mullins – Casually placed into the top corner – goal – 2-2
Mclean– Bottom left past Shearer who went the right way again – goal – 3-2
Agard – Bottom left easily beating Amos – goal – 3-3
Proschwitz – Smashed the ball into the top right hand corner – goal - 4-3
Arnason – Calmly rolled the ball past Amos who went the right way – goal - 4-4
Chester– Bottom left past Shearer – goal 5-4
Pringle – Fired down the middle high into the goal – goal - 5-5
Stewart – Left-hand side of the goal – goal – 6-5
Taylor– Fired low down the middle – goal - 6-6
Cairney – Bottom left sending Shearer the wrong way – goal – 7-6
Bradley – Out off the crossbar – miss – 7-6
Hull:Amos, Rosenior (Bruce 82), Faye (McShane 74), Chester, Dudgeon, Stewart, McKenna (Mclean 66), Cairney, Koren, Fryatt, Proschwitz
Unused:Oxley, Simpson, Devitt, Townsend
Millers:Shearer, Bradley, Sharps, Mullins, Wilson (Taylor 12), Evans (Ainsworth 50), Arnason, Noble, Pringle, Odejayi, Nardiello (Agard 77)
Unused:Warrington, Revell, O’Connor, Rose