A superb hat-trick from striker Georgie Kelly fired the Millers to a 4-2 pre-season victory against Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium.
Matt Taylor once again opted to shuffle the pack for the friendly against the Sky Bet League Two Stags, with two trialists given the opportunity to impress in Nottinghamshire, alongside youngsters Curtis Durose and Ciaran McGuckin, with Sean Morrison also named in the starting XI.
The Millers made a dream start to the game when Trialist notched them in front after just 90 seconds. Georgie Kelly used his frame well to shield off his Mansfield marker, before laying it down for trialist who rocketed the ball into the top corner from close range.
The hosts hit back instantly and were level just two minutes later when Stephen Quinn converted from close range, following good work from Rhys Oates down the right flank to restore parity.
The Stags went close again in the 11th minute when Lucas Akins found a pocket of space before driving towards goal, but his run was tracked by Morrison, who forced him wide. The attacker still managed to get his shot away from a tight angle, but Phillips was there to make the save.
The hosts had another opportunity six minutes later when Boateng received Johnson’s pass before finding the gloves of Phillips with a curling effort. The lively Akins was again proving to be a menace inside the box, with McCart at full stretch to prevent Oates’ inviting low cross from presenting him with a tap-in on 21 minutes.
The home team would be made to rue their missed chances when Georgie Kelly – back in the side after sitting out the midweek outing to Middlesbrough – latched onto Trialist’s flick on before applying a clinical finish past the outstretched arm of Christy Pym.
With 34 minutes on the clock, Cafu looked to catch Pym off his line with a powerful free kick from range, but the keeper was alert to the danger and made the claim.
The hosts levelled for a second time four minutes before half time, as Oates’ 40th minute header crept over the line despite the best efforts of Curtis Durose to clear.
HALF TIME | Mansfield Town 2 v 2 Rotherham
The Millers started the second period on the front foot and were rewarded 10 minutes into it when Trialist picked out Kelly, who placed a powerful header into the bottom corner. Just two minutes later, Rathbone found the striker again, who made no mistake, meeting the delivery with another well executed header to make it 4-2.
The home side looked to get a foothold in the game and had a chance on 65 minutes when substitute George Maris leapt well to head over from Boateng’s right-wing cross. Then, with 17 minutes remaining, Oates fired over from range.
Another second half substitute, Josh Ayres, looked to add his name to the scoresheet and was unfortunate to see his effort from a tight angle flash across the goalmouth and wide. Seconds before the referee called full time, the Millers would have one more chance to extend their lead, with Jake Hull guiding Ollie Rathbone’s delivery over the bar.
FULL TIME | Mansfield Town 2 v 4 Rotherham
Mansfield Town: Pym (Flinders 73), Johnson, Kilgour (Cooper 73), Cargill (Lewis 52), Macdonald, Boateng, Reed (Hartigan 73), Quinn (Maris 49), Keillor-Dunn, Oates (Gale 81), Akins (Bowery 73)
Rotherham United: Phillips, Peltier (Bramall 58’), Morrison (Blackett 64’), McCart (Humphreys 64’), Bola (Seisay 73’) , McGuckin (Abraham 73’), Durose (Hall 73’), Cafu (Rathbone 46’), Trialist A (Hull 64’), Kelly (Wiles 64’), Trialist B (Ayres 68’).
Referee: Declan Bourne
Assistants: Steve Meredith & Mark Jones
Fourth official: Corey Green
Attendance: 2,154 (437 away)