Milsom solo goal proves friendly highlight...
Rotherham United enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and ran out 4-0 winners at the New Manor Ground, thanks to a Nicky Walker brace, a Kieran Agard goal, and a first strike in Millers colours for Rob Milsom.
Steve Evans selected a strong 11 for his side’s trip to Ilkeston, with the side being made up entirely of players who featured in last week’s pre-season trip to Scotland. Starting with a 4-3-1-2 that has been previously utilised, Walker was handed the free role behind a strike force of Danny Hylton and Agard.
The Millers made much of the early running, with Walker showing great feet before curling just wide from 25 yards, and Michael O’Connor twice suffering the same fate from the angle. However, the best chance of the game came 10 minutes in when Hylton brought the ball under control, and fired low, only for the goalkeeper Scott Low to deflect it onto the post.
However, the early pressure finally paid off when Michael Tidser picked up another pre-season assist, this time threading a through ball to Agard who showed great strength to hold off the defender and lift the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper.
O’Connor by now seemed to be finding his range, and after Walker had stung the palms of Low, curled one just outside the left-hand post before combing with Hylton to set up Tidser whose shot was deflected just wide.
Low who had made several saves by this point was looking less convincing with the ball at his feet and for the second time in the game got caught from a backpass. He did recover well to block Agard’s shot, and when Walker found Hylton from the rebound, it took an excellent block from Elis Storey.
Half-time was approaching, but O’Connor refused to beaten in his battle with the left-hand post, and after winning the ball back he dragged a shot wide, and moments later, flashed a shot over the stand from 30 yards.
Ilkeston 0-1 Rotherham
Ilkeston made several changes at the break, but the Millers remained unchanged, and it didn’t take long for them to finally double the lead. More good work on the left led to a cross from the byline which Walker rose highest to head home and finally add his name to the scoresheet.
Tidser this time took the opportunity to strike from distance, but following in O’Connor’s footsteps saw it whistle past the post. However, the Millers soon did get a third with a very early contender for goal of the season just after the hour mark. Milsom collected the ball just inside the Robins half and beat two men into the area, before rounding the goalkeeper and threading the ball between a further two defenders into the back of the net.
With 20 minutes to go, the Millers searched for a fourth and Milsom this time turned provider as he crossed for Bradley who headed just wide. Either side of that chance Tidser and David Noble tried their luck from distance but once again were off target.
Milsom began to influence the game more and more from left-back as the game wore on, and in an almost carbon copy of the second goal, collected the ball on the left and crossed deep for Walker to slide in at the back post and strike into the top corner and seal another pre-season victory for Evans’ men.
Ilkeston 0-4 Millers
Ilkeston: Low, Kozluk (Williams HT), Baker (Maguire HT), Storey (Craven HT), Whittaker (Wilson HT), Bennett (Wafula HT), Gordon (Chettle HT), Abaumba (Cobb HT), Eden (Richardson HT), Adams (Evans HT), Watts.
Millers: Collin, Bradley, Rowe, Mullins, Milsom, O’Connor, Noble, Tidser, Walker, Hylton, Agard.
Unused: Thompson, Rose, Lucas, Cadman, Johnson.