Reserves defeated by Port Vale...
Rotherham United’s second string tasted defeat for the first time this season as Port Vale ran out 2-0 winners at Roundwood in the Central League Cup.
Joe Davis’ early goal set Vale on their way before before they were handed a slice of luck which saw a clearance ricochet off Tom Anderson to beat Lewis Price for the second.
The Millers turned in an improved second half performance with Ben Wiles and Josh Emmanuel threatening the visitors’ goal, but they couldn’t overturn the deficit and suffered their first second string defeat of 2017/18.
The hosts flew out of the traps and almost went ahead when Jerry Yates fired the first shot of the game which would have been the opener, had it not been for a valiant block in the Vale defence to turn it around the post for a corner.
The Millers came even closer on eight minutes when a Wiles corner picked out the rising figure of Emmanuel Onariase, who crashed a header against the crossbar before it cannoned agonisingly over the top.
The pendulum swung dramatically just moments later when Neil Aspin’s side’s first foray forward of note resulted in a goal. Jack Stobbs’ dangerous delivery to the back post picked out Davis, who applied a good header to put his side in front.
Their second came just 10 minutes later but this time wasn’t as precisely worked as the set piece routine that saw them take the lead. Following a cross into the box, the ball bounced in the six yard box before being hacked away by a red shirt, which inadvertently struck Anderson in front of goal, whose touch was enough to take it beyond Lewis Price and double the lead.
The Millers’ second string looked to respond immediately and came close to doing so when Jerry Yates and Mason Warren combined neatly 25 yards from goal, before the latter crashed an effort which stung the palms of the impressive Sam Hornby in goal, who collected at the second attempt.
Price was forced into two quality saves before the interval with the first coming in the form of a fingertip touch to ensure Davis didn’t double his tally for the afternoon with a header from close range. The second was more routine but ended a good Valiants’ move as the former Sheffield Wednesday stopper got down smartly to deny Dan Turner.
Half-time | Reserves 0 v 2 Port Vale
The hosts appeared rejuvenated by the interval and threatened an early reply on 48 minutes. A lovely combination between David Ball and Alex Bray paved the way for Jonson Clarke-Harris to take on an effort, which was well-saved by Hornby.
Clarke-Harris looked to initiate another Millers’ chance soon after, this time combining with Yates in the final third and his thunderous drive looked goalbound until being bravely blocked by a Vale defender.
Bray found some joy down the left wing for the hosts in the second period, using his pace to good effect on a number of occasions, but couldn’t quite make the pressure tell.
Two electric bursts down the flank saw him break into the box, with the better of the chances seeing him opt to pass when a shot may have been the better option in the area.
Ben Wiles and Josh Emmanuel both took on late shots from distance in attempt to reduce the deficit but the former went wide, while the Ipswich loanee was again denied by the impressive Hornby.
Full-time | Reserves 0 v 2 Port Vale
Millers | Price, Emmanuel, Onariase, Southern-Cooper, Murr (Maguire 80); Wiles, Warren; Yates (Francis 80), Clarke-Harris (Muskwe 71), Ball (Bailey-King 61).
Unused | Bilboe.