Millers record 2-0 win over Bantams...
Triumph over Bradford City in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup meant the Rotherham United Academy remained top of their group, with Garreth Barker hailing Lewis Murr’s opener as the best ever goal he has been party to in his time coaching the young Millers.
The skipper’s set-piece mesmerised the Academy manager, although he insisted both of his side’s goals were something of a marvel.
“Lewis Murr scored an outstanding free-kick from 25-yards out with his left foot, putting it up, over and around the wall into the top corner and beat the ‘keeper.
“Their goalkeeper is a very talented young boy but the set-piece was excellent, the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here in four-and-a-half years,” he said after the game.
“It was a tough game at Bradford as it always is; they’re a good academy with good players and good staff. We battled through to half-time and pressed a little bit higher with more urgency in the second half. JJ pinched the ball nearer to their goal, beat and outran the defenders, calmly took the ball around the ‘keeper and slotted the ball in for 2-0.”
Barker was just as thrilled with the long-awaited clean sheet his side kept against an impressive Bantams side, with the ‘building from the back’ philosophy one he is a fan of.
“I’m a bit repetitive but we have decent defenders and we’ve always got to make sure we keep a clean sheet as much as we can and we’ve got players who give us opportunities to score at the other end of the pitch.
“There were no outstanding performances as individuals but the team all operated very well on the day. Very proficient and efficient.”
The young Millers now have the opportunity to make Rotherham United Academy history as they make the trip to Fleetwood Town to find out their fate, having never before reached the national knockout stages of the competition.
“It’s a long journey to get there which the lads aren’t used to at 17 and 18. We’ve never qualified from the group so it’s a new journey for us.
“We’ve played two group games, beating Wigan and Bradford, so we need to win our last game to make sure we go into the national knockout stages. It was an important game as we now sit top of the group. One more win sees them qualify.”
Scorer Murr was one of three players called up to the club’s reserves away at neighbouring Doncaster Rovers. Joshua Kayode and Akeem Hinds joined the Academy captain in playing alongside members of the first-team in a resounding 4-0 victory.