Second string start with a win...
Rotherham United’s reserves got their campaign off to a winning start thanks to goals from Rob Milsom, Michael Tidser and Danny Hylton. Pablo Mills started the game at the heart of the Millers’ defence, although Paul Raynor later explained that it’s not with a view to signing the former Crawley captain.
Despite the home side holding the advantage in terms of age and experience, it was Hartlepool, under the guidance of Craig Hignett who had the brighter start and goalkeeper Adam Collin was called into action on a number of occasions, saving well from Greg Rutherford and Nialle Rodney. Within three minutes Milsom was forced to kick clear off the line.
At the other end, Hylton got ahead of his man at the near post to poke goalwards, but Andy Rafferty was equal to it, and the former Aldershot man then turned provider heading down in the box for Nicky Walker, but the youngster volleyed against the post whilst off balance.
Tidser was also guilty of missing the target after finding space in the area, and again Collin had to be alert to prevent the home side heading in front.
With half time less than 10 minutes away, the breakthrough finally came, and from a very good goal; Mills put in a trademark crunching tackle on halfway to release Milsom who beat two men into the box and fired low from the angle beyond Rafferty. Only David Worrall stabbing over from Richard Brindley’s lay off was of note as the half drew to a close.
Millers 1-0 Hartlepool United
The second half began slowly, although the home side were very much holding the advantage. David Noble began dictating play from the centre of midfield he rolled a reverse pass into Tidser on the edge of the box who was tripped, awarding the Millers a free kick. He dusted himself off and stepped up to bend his free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner, doubling the lead.
Within two minutes, the winning start had been confirmed, again with a helping hand from a young Hartlepool defence. Hylton, who was by now bullying the Pools’ backline chased a ball into the box before being brought down on the right-hand side. There was no arguments about who would take the spot kick, and the striker stepped up to fire his penalty into the top corner and claim his first goal in a Millers shirt.
The striker then did well to outmuscle and outpace the backline once more but after hesitating in the area, his shot was deflected wide, and from the resulting corner his spectacular overhead attempt looped high and wide.
A slight blemish next for the Millers after Tidser had seen a shot from distance tipped just wide, the former Greenock Morton man limped off with a suspected twisted ankle.
Millers 3-0 Hartlepool United
Millers: Collin, Brindley, Milsom, Mills, Rowe, Noble (Johnson 56), Rose, Tidser (Cadman 70), Hylton, Walker (Lucas 85), Worrall.
Unused: Thompson, Ainsworth.
Hartlepool: Rafferty, Richards, Jones, Rowbotham, Collins, Nearney, Duckworth, Boagey, Rodney, Rutherford, Wignall.
Subs: Halpin, Foden, Wood, Smith, Green.