Rotherham 2 v 1 Morecambe
Steve Evans continued his 100% record since returning to the touchline after his six game ban as his side came back from behind to beat Morecambe 2-1.
Daniel Nardiello scored two goals in as many minutes after former Millers winger Kevin Ellison had given the visitors the lead after half an hour.
The Millers boss named an unchanged side after their 3-0 victory over Aldershot Town at the weekend.
Ellison was the first to threaten the Millers’ goal when he found room in the area to flash a shot across the face of Andy Warrington’s goal, only to see the assistants flag rule him offside as his effort whistled past the far post.
The home side dominated the early exchanges with Peterborough loanee Lee Frecklington dictating the tempo of the game in the middle of the park and came close to breaking the deadlock, when Kari Arnason unleashed a ferocious effort on goal which Barry Roche did well to turn behind for a corner.
Frecklington managed a debut goal at the EBB Stadium and almost added to his tally when he raced onto Nardiello’s cross at the back post, only to see Roche get down well to parry his lunging effort.
Bob Harris was another name on the score sheet at the weekend and was close to adding his second for the club after an intricate passing move with Arnason allowed him room for a shot which Roche expertly turned over the crossbar.
The visitors had struggled to get a foothold on the game in the opening half an hour, but Jim Bentley’s side took the lead despite the home team’s dominance. Jack Redshaw’s break away and pass after a Millers corner paved the way for Ellison to run in on goal and the former Millers midfielder made no mistake as he thundered his shot past Andy Warrington.
Evans’ men regrouped and continued to press for the equaliser before the break. The lively Alex Revell came close on a number of occasions, the most notable coming after a neat one-two with Lionel Ainsworth.
Half Time: Millers 0 – 1 Morecambe.
The Millers came out in search of the elusive goal but were unable to pose any real threat on the Morecambe goal. Long range efforts from Arnason and Frecklington sailed well over Roche’s crossbar causing no problems for the Morecambe stopper.
The home side’s persistent approach finally paid dividends on 60 minutes when Arnason’s shot from inside the area kindly ricocheted into the path of Nardiello, who gratefully smashed home from close range to put the Millers back on level terms.
The Millers’ fans had barely taken their seats before they were on their feet again. Harris found room down the left before lashing a ball into the area, only for Nardiello to pop up in the area before putting his side back ahead with a smart finish.
The deficit encouraged Bentley’s side to make a press for an equaliser and this allowed the Millers to search for another goal.
Nardiello almost sealed a second-half hat-trick as he exploited the open Morecambe defence before putting his one-on-one with Roche wide of the far post.
Stewart Drummond should have put his side level as he found himself totally unmarked in the area, only to direct his headed effort wide of the Millers’ goal.
Frecklington came close to putting the game to bed as he pivoted on Revell’s cross but his effort was smothered by a Morecambe defender who put the ball behind for a corner.
Full Time: Millers 2 – 1 Morecambe.
Millers: Warrington, Tonge, Sharps, Morgan, Harris, Ainsworth, Arnason, Frecklington, Pringle (Agard 90), Revell, Nardiello (Odejayi 88).
Unused Subs: Thompson, Taylor, O’Connor, Evans, Bradley.
Morecambe: Roche, Fenton, Mustoe, Haining, Wright, Ellison, McCready (Reid 75), Drummond, Fleming, McDonald, Redshaw (Burrow 70).
Unused Subs: Arestidou, Parkinson, McGee, Parrish, Doyle.