Late goal seals it for Millers...
Harley Wigley’s late header was enough to earn the Millers a place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup, as they overcame Bury in a tight encounter that ended 3-2 at New York Stadium.
A resilient performance from Garreth Barker’s side saw them come from behind on two occasions to eventually book themselves a trip to Leicester City in the next round of the competition.
Goals from Michael Williamson and Ayrton Bevins cancelled out Navid Nasseri’s brace, before captain Wigley powered home a header to win it for the hosts.
The Millers started brightly and caught sight of the Bury goal inside the first minute when James Cadman’s square pass from the byline found Williamson on the penalty spot, who fired his volley just over the crossbar.
However, the visitors also stated their intentions early on when Scott Burgess came close to replicating Williamson’s shot at the other end, only to see the same outcome as the ball flew high into the stand behind the goal.
Both sides looked to settle into the game following the early warnings and seemed to do so, until Alex Wiles tried to upset the balance once again with a thunderous effort from 30 yards which went just wide of Jonathan Barber’s near post.
Anthony Duddley then tested Charlie Bryan’s alertness on 13 minutes when he fired an effort at the back post from the edge of the area, which the Millers’ stopper watched wide.
The hosts then built up some momentum and tested Barber in the Bury goal on two occasions. First a neat passing move down the right flank saw Reece Lucas burst forward into the box, before being denied by the Bury ‘keeper who made a good save at his back post.
Bevins then raced onto a lofted through ball in the centre of the pitch before trying to stab the ball beyond Barber, who stood up well to make a solid save and keep the game level.
The breakthrough came on 16 minutes when Navid Nasseri received the ball on the edge of the six yard box following a low delivery from the left, before applying a composed finish to edge Bury ahead.
Moments later, Williamson almost got fortunate with his inswinging corner which looked to have caught Barber off-guard, but the Bury ‘keeper recovered well to punch clear and ensure the visitors preserved their lead.
However, the Millers midfielder did have the ball in the net moments later and there was no element of luck involved when he did. Lucas once again charged down the right wing before delivering a powerful centre which Williamson expertly turned in on the half volley to make it 1-1.
Bury almost snatched the lead back as half-time approached when Nasseri teased Lucas into a tackle down the left, before delivering a floated cross to the back post which Scott Burgess headed against the upright.
The hosts were desperately unlucky not to get their noses in front following Alex Wiles’ pinpoint forward pass, which Bevins brought under his spell before rounding Barber, only to have his shot stopped on its route to goal by a covering Bury defender.
Half-time: Millers 1 v 1 Bury
The hosts picked up where they left off before the break and threatened the Bury goal soon after the restart when Bevins combined with Williamson in the box, who was denied his second of the game by a flying save from Barber.
Nasseri had proven himself useful for the visitors in the opening 45 minutes and conjured a moment of individual brilliance ten minutes into the second period when he picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, before crashing an effort into the top corner of the goal leaving Bryan rooted to the spot.
The Bury winger then went in search of a hat-trick and would have got it had it not been for the intervention of Bryan in the Millers’ goal who made a splendid save from point blank range to keep his side in the game.
This seemed to spur the home side on and Connor Johnson almost found an equaliser just after the hour mark when he latched onto Daniel Rowe’s centre, only to have his effort smothered by Barber in the middle of his goal.
Second half substitute Ally Watson looked lively following his introduction and almost provided the impact manager Garreth Barker was looking for when he curled an effort at goal from 25 yards out, only to see it just evade the crossbar as it dipped over Barber’s head.
The Millers continued to press for the equaliser and started to dominate the game as it entered the final 20 minutes. A clever turn from Bevins on the left saw him release Jerry Yates down the left-hand side, which saw the Millers’ frontman deliver a good ball into the box, only to see it cut out on it’s path to the far post.
The hosts were then denied a certain leveller by Marcus Poscha’s saving challenge to deflect an otherwise unmarked Bevins effort on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Millers finally got their reward for their persistence on 83 minutes when James Cadman slid Bevins in behind the Bury defence, which allowed the winger time to settle and calmly tuck the ball into the far corner of the goal.
It appeared the two teams would have to be separated by extra-time, until two minutes from the end when Harley Wigley rose highest in the box to head home a dramatic injury-time winner which to send the Millers into the third round.
Full-time: Millers 3 v 2 Bury
Millers: Bryan, Lucas, Rowe, Wigley, Johnson, Gibson, Wiles, Williamson, Cadman, Bevins, Yates.
Subs: Ramsdale, Hallatt, Bell, Watson, Warren.
Bury: Barber, Cook, Gibson, Cliffe, Poscha, Potter, Burgess, Dickinson ©, Duddley, Walker, Nasseri.
Subs: Shaw, Keane, Willis, Bickett, Brown.