Millers pegged back late in the game...
Rotherham United’s penultimate Youth Alliance game of the season ended all square as the Millers and Bradford City shared eight goals in West Yorkshire.
Connor Bell hit two goals, Jerry Yates added to his brace in the reserves with one and there was the benefit of an own goal which saw Garreth Barker’s men 4-2 ahead with around 15 minutes to play.
However, with an inexperienced backline made up of several Under 16s and a 15 year-old goalkeeper, the Bantams, led by former Millers youth team boss Steve Thornber drew level in stoppage time.
Despite finding the net four times, Head of Academy Coaching Mike Sheron was left a little disappointed at having to share the points, but took plenty of positives.
“We’re pretty disappointed in the end, we played ever so well and thought we could have got more out of it. It was a fantastic performance though and it’s just a shame we only managed to draw,” Mike told www.themillers.co.uk.
Four of the current second-years took to the field, catching the eye of Sheron, but it was midfielder Alex Wiles, a standout performer in the FA Youth Cup first round victory over Fleetwood Town who put in an excellent performance in the midfield.
“Connor Bell scored two goals and put in probably his best performance of the season. James Cadman and Ayrton Bevins also played well and it was good to see Alex Wiles put in a performance we know he’s capable of. Alex has had an up and down season as he gets used to playing at this level but he’s definitely got talent and he’s someone who we’ll be hoping can really push on next year and get some reserve team games under his belt. He’s a talent and we’re trying to make sure he’s mentally prepared for the challenge ahead of him.
“Ayrton set up the first two goals with good build-up play, the third was a good through ball that Belly got onto and chipped the goalkeeper but the fourth was great combination play between Belly who played a reverse pass into Jerry Yates who put it in the stantion from the angle. It would have been nice to hold on but the performance in general left us happy.”
Yates’ goal at the weekend added to two he scored for the reserves last Monday, and fellow goal-getter Sheron believes the ability to find the net has always been there, it’s just finding the opportunities to showcase his finishing that was lacking.
“Jerry has been solid and reliable all season but before Christmas he wasn’t really scoring goals, but he’s getting himself in the right positions now. I’ve thought since the first time I saw him he’s a good finisher and now he’s doing the work that allows him to get into those positions and get the goals he’s capable of.”