Millers go out at King Power...
Rotherham United’s youth team saw their FA Youth Cup campaign come to an end at a rain-battered King Power Stadium.
Academy Manager Garreth Barker gave a first outing in the competition to schoolboy Fabien Bailey, whilst Connor Bell took the place of Jerry Yates who started in the first round. Hero of the second round Harley Wigley captained the side once again, partnering Daniel Rowe at the heart of the defence.
The Millers started well and enjoyed a large share of the possession in the opening 15 minutes without ever getting a real sight of goal. Wigley ghosted in at the far post from a Michael Williamson free-kick, but was unfortunate to see it nicked off his head.
At the other end, the home side began to find their feet with Simonas Stankevicius curling over the bar and Eddy Samba dragging a shot wide following some fantastic play by Kyle Bailey down the left-hand side. Bailey himself would have had a clear shot at goal moments later but for Connor Bell’s magnificent last-ditch tackle.
With the swirling winds and torrential downpours midway through the half came the consequences as Foxes ‘keeper Liam Sharpe failed to hold a routine through-ball, gifting possession to Ayrton Bevins whose pass across goal was just short of Bailey. Reece Lucas, a goalscorer for the reserves last week looked to open the scoring with an ambitious effort from over 30 yards, but his dipping volley landed just wide of the backtracking Sharpe’s goal.
The conditions didn’t contribute to Stankevicius’ opening goal however, that was the Millers own doing. Ali Watson rescued possession on halfway, but his backpass came up short allowing the Lithuanian international to round Charlie Bryan and roll the ball home into an empty net.
And five minutes later that lead was doubled from a set-piece. The lively Bailey won his side a corner with a direct run down the left and when he delivered it himself, Shane Dineen was on hand to head home six yards out.
Leicester 2-0 Millers
After the break the rain persisted and so did the home team with a third goal arriving seven minutes into the half. Full-back Ben Chilwell sold Lucas with a step-over before drilling low from 18 yards beyond the despairing Bryan.
It did prompt a response from the visitors, and Bevins, a consistent performer for the youth team this season showed plenty of trickery of his own down the left before squaring for Cadman whose cut-back found Connor Bell racing into the box only to see his drilled effort deflected narrowly over the crossbar.
The torrential rain and ever-increasing winds put an end to any hopes of total football being played for the final 20 minutes, and instead it was a bit of direct play through substitute Jerry Yates that gave the Millers their next opportunity. Rowe’s searching ball was cushioned down by Yates into the path of Bell who exchanged passes with Lucas before firing in a shot on the turn that was comfortably held. Unlike a free-kick powered in by Williamson minutes later which Sharpe could only parry before gathering at the second attempt.
Despite the number of openings created by Barker’s men it should have been a fourth goal for City when Bryan raced out of his goal but only got the minimum contact on the ball; with the stopper stranded, Daniel Rowe, namesake of the Millers defender had an empty goal to aim for but couldn’t find the target from distance.
In a fitting end to match the conditions the game was seen out as a bit of a damp squib with the home side seeing out the encounter and setting up a fourth round tie with Manchester United.
Leicester 3 - 0 Millers
Leicester: Sharpe, King, Chilwell, Jones, Pepe-Ngoma, Dineen, Bailey, Samba, Stankevicius, Rowe (Miles 85), Fox.
Unused: Moore, Smith, Downes, Alukamani
Millers: Bryan, Lucas, Johnson, Watson (Wiles 62), Wigley, Rowe, Bailey (Yates HT), Cadman, Bell, Williamson, Bevins.
Unused: Wickstead, Hallat, Gibson.