Millers defeated by Wigan on Tuesday afternoon...
Rotherham quest to secure The Central League title suffered a blow as they were beaten 4-0 by Wigan Athletic at Roundwood on Tuesday.
An Ollie Crankshaw double added to strikes from Tylor Golden and Joe Piggott ensured that the Latics returned to Lancashire with maximum points from the second string fixture.
With the senior side in action against Hull later in the evening, Ciaran Toner was charged with leading a predominantly young team into the Central League clash with the Latics, while first team manager Paul Warne and his coaching staff watched on as spectators.
It was the leading senior professional in the side, Matt Palmer, who was first to set his sights on goal for the hosts after 12 minutes. A free kick in a central position, just over 20 yards from goal left the midfielder with little option but to shoot and he obliged, but was unfortunate to see his bending effort hit the upper end of the wall before being cleared at the second attempt.
The Latics took the early initiative in the game though, and opened the scoring after just 19 minutes. After a Millers’ trialist was dispossessed in the heart of the midfield, the visitors burst forward with Luke Bugress the driving force, before a neatly threaded pass left Crankshaw with a fairly routine finish, which he applied to beat Laurence Bilboe and give Wigan the advantage.
Despite the scoreline, the Millers had by no means been outplayed in the early exchanges and came close to restoring parity just two minutes later. A burst up the right from Travon Wenham saw him cut a lovely ball back to Jacob Gratton in the box, who stepped free of his marker with an excellent first touch, only to see goalkeeper Jordan Perrin deny him with a good save as he pulled the trigger on his right-footed strike.
Wigan had threatened to double their advantage when Luke Burgess crashed a low effort against the post with Bilboe beaten in the Millers’ goal, and did just that 10 minutes before the interval. After a spell of pressure down the Wigan left, Joe Piggott knocked down a Ryan Galvin cross, leaving Golden with the task of smashing the ball home.
Half-time | Reserves 0 v 2 Wigan Athletic
Chances were harder to come by for both sides following the restart, with both limited to long-range efforts. Despite failing to continue to threaten the Millers’ goal as they had successfully done in the first half, Wigan found themselves further in front on 55 minutes.
The Latics once again executed a break down the wing before Piggott’s low cross found the feet of Crankshaw, who was left to tap home for his second goal of the game, and Wigan’s third.
The visitors inflicted further damage on the Millers moments after the hour-mark, as the scoreline began to look a little harsh on the hosts, who were arguably further behind than their efforts deserved.
Piggott went from provider to goalscorer this time, showing a lethal nature in the box as he spun on the ball with his first touch before lashing an effort low into the bottom corner with his second to make it 4-0.
The Millers almost found a late consolation goal in the dying embers of the game when Trialist found some room for a shot from the edge of the area, only to find himself denied by a smart save from Perrin in the Wigan goal.
Full-time | Reserves 0 v 4 Wigan Athletic
MILLERS | Bilboe; Beeden, Southern-Cooper, Hull, Hinds; Wenham (Trialist 45), Trialist (Peel-Evans 72), Palmer (Johnson 82), Carlton (Etia 45), Gratton (Etia); Kayode (Lewthwaite 50).