The Millers are defeated by Mansfield Town...
Rotherham United Reserves were defeated 2-1 in their Final Third Development Cup fixture against Mansfield Town at Roundwood.
The pitch stood up to the recent blast of wind and rain but the Millers struggled to find their rhythm in game that was bereft of clear cut chances.
Rotherham once again fielded a very strong team with senior professionals Scott Shearer, Richard Brindley, Miles Addison, Joe Skarz, Michael O’Connor, Nicky Adams, Haris Vuckic and Tom Hitchcock all starting.
It didn’t take long for the Millers to assert themselves on the game with a goal after just three minutes. Adams showed some nimble footwork on the edge of the penalty area before feeding the ball to Hitchcock who fired the ball beyond Ian Deakin in the Mansfield goal.
The visitors responded well to going behind with Oliver Palmer going close when his header from a free-kick was narrowly over Shearer’s crossbar.
It proved to be second time lucky for Palmer when the Stags front-man netted the equaliser on 14 minutes. He took aim from the angle with the ball going under Shearer before nestling into the back of net.
It was busy start to the game for Shearer when two minutes later he made a terrific save with his feet after a low drive by Lindon Meikle.
On 23 minutes it was Palmer’s turn again to test Shearer after being fed by Meikle and once again the Millers’ stopper was up to the task, keeping the scores level.
Despite a promising start the game dipped as the match approached half-time. On 38 minutes Deakin made a double save to deny Nicky Walker and Vuckic, whilst Hitchcock was denied towards half-time after a tame strike towards goal.
Rotherham United 1 v 1 Mansfield Town
The second half was another slow burner; however Adams showed some glimpses of class with two teasing crosses into the area which evaded the lurking Walker.
On 66 minutes Meikle stung the palms of Shearer with a well hit strike from the edge of the area, which the former Crawley ‘keeper did well to tip wide.
With the game ebbing away towards a stalemate, the visitors netted with just eight minutes remaining to breathe some life into what was a very tame half. Sub Craig Lynch fed the ball to Hutchinson and the Stags’ skipper smashed the ball beyond Shearer with a purposeful drive from 20 yards.
The Millers almost snatched a late equaliser at the death but Vuckic’s shot slammed against the underside of the bar and bounced to safety.
Rotherham United 1 v 2 Mansfield Town
Rotherham: Shearer; Brindley, Rowe, Addison, Skarz, Walker, O’Connor, Lucas (Williamson 76), Adams, Vuckic, Hitchcock.
Subs not used: Bryan, Yates, Bell, Johnson.
Mansfield: Deakin; Marsden, Beevers, Sutton, Black, Murray, McGuire, Hutchinson, Meikle, Palmer, Dyer.
Subs: Fell, Thomas, Koczalski, Green, Lynch.