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Stocksbridge 1 v 3 Millers - Report

2 August 2012

Paul Raynor took charge of the Millers for their trip to Stocksbridge

Paul Raynor took charge of the Millers for the trip to Stocksbridge as they ran out 3-1 victors against the Evo-Stik Premier League outfit.

An own-goal and a Kieran Agard header added to Michael O'Connor's penalty to overturn an early deficit.

A smattering of first-team players were included in the side, with Alex Revell partnering recent signing Agard up front against the northern Sheffield-based side. For Stocksbridge, former Miller Grant Darley was named on the bench.

The visitors were in the ascendency for much of the early period with Agard getting on the end of a pinpoint Gareth Evans cross within two minutes, only to see his header bounce the wrong side of the post.

When the deadline was finally broken 23 minutes in, it took a fine strike from Kevin Sanasay. The Steels striker, picked up Ben Turner's pass 25 yards from goal before letting go with a fine strike that beat Andy Warrington into the bottom corner. Alex Revell almost levelled moments later, but his bullet header was just over Adam Billard's goal.

The Millers continued the search for an equaliser, and Agard tested Billard with a low shot on the turn before the game finally appeared to swing in the Millers favour. Revell threaded Agard who raced clear of the Steels defence before being brought down by the onrushing Billard. O'Connor stepped up to smash the ball home off the underside of the crossbar and equalise for Rotherham.

When the Millers did finally get their noses in front, it came from a fine solo run from Gareth Evans whose cross found Agard in the area. The former Everton youngster made up for his earlier miss by burying the ball in the corner with a diving header. The striker had the ball in the net again five minutes before half-time after Billard had parried Danny Schofield's shot, but the referee's assistant had already flagged for offside.

Half-time
Millers 2-1 Steels

Alec Denton was the Millers' only change at half-time, but it was strike partner Revell who saw the majority of the early action. First, the striker fired over from the edge of the area before seeing his header forced over the line by Steels' Turner.

It should have been four, but for a fine save by Billard. An excellent run by Denton down the right led to him crossing deep to the far post for Agard to centre, allowing Evans a shot from close range that just couldn't beat the former Frickley goalkeeper. Denton himself then had chance to extend the lead but after racing on to Revell's through ball couldn't make the right contact and saw his shot drift wide.

Darley did well to break free in the midfield after being introduced as a second-half substitute and found Scott Hogan with an excellent ball over the top, but the shot trickled wide of captain Warrington's goal.

Substitute Cole Payne burst clear of Johnson down Stocksbridge's right with only four minutes on the clock, and after making his way into the area was denied only by a fine save from Warrington.

Full-time
Stocksbridge 1-3 Millers

Millers: Warrington, Trialist, Taylor, Lucas (Rowe 86), Johnson, Evans, O'Connor (Woods 74), Rose, Schofield (Denton HT), Revell, Agard.
Unused: Beedham, Travis, Thompson

Stocksbridge: Billard, Darker, Turner, Bockarie, Adams, Weston, Booker, Fish, Sanasay, McDonald, Hunter.
Subs: Carr, Whitehouse, Darley, Hogan, Stirrup, Payne, Rowbottom.

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