The Millers in pre-season action at Alfreton...MATT Derbyshire struck his second goal in as many games as his close-range effort helped the Millers' to a morale boosting pre-season victory over Alfreton Town.
The ex-Olympiakos striker gave the travelling Millers’ fans a glimpse of his striking prowess as he pounced on a defensive mistake to give Rotherham the lead before sub Jerry Yates put the icing on the cake with a cool finish in the last kick of the game.
With their game at Stocksbridge running concurrently, the Millers’ split their first-team squad for the dual clashes.
For the visit to Conference Premier outfit, Scotland international Kirk Broadfoot was given an opportunity to impress at the heart of the Rotherham rearguard while flying winger Ryan Hall was expected to provide the ammunition for strike pair Alex Revell and Derbyshire, who were coming into the clash after goalscoring performances at Parkgate at the weekend.
Under the watchful eye of assistant Paul Raynor, the home side had the first sight of goal when Kari Arnason was penalised for climbing over Paul Clayton.
From the resultant free-kick, Lee Stevenson floated a tantalising delivery which forced Adam Collin into punching the ball clear under pressure from home runners.
At the other end, Hall almost latched onto a flick-on from Revell but Chris Smith won the tussle with the ex-Leeds winger to snuff out the danger.
On the quarter, hour, Anthony Howell got on the wrongside of his marker to skip to the byline before fizzing a cross which forced Collin into a reflex save with Stevenson lerking menacingly.
Minutes later, Derbyshire rose highest from Hall’s inswinging corner but he couldn’t control his header as it blazed over the bar.
The visitors were looking the most likely and after Lee Frecklington was hauled down, Hall fired a free-kick which took a wicked deflection which almost deceived Jon Stewart as it whistled narrowly past the upright.
Moments later, Hall again tormented the home side with another pinpoint delivery paving the way for Derbyshire, to power a downward header which was arrowing towards the bottom corner until Stewart’s late intervention.
In the next phase of play, Broadfoot headed wide of the target before Derbyshire fired a speculative effort from distance which failed to trouble Stewart as the first half drew to a close.
Half-time:- Alfreton Town 0 Rotherham United 0
Following a slow start by both sides to the second half, Rotherham took the initiative by grabbing the breakthrough on 56 minutes.
A long punt forward was not dealt with decisively by the home rearguard and Derbyshire pounced on the hesitancy by Stewart to toe-poke the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.
Just past the hour mark, the Millers were almost undone by Bradley Wood’s hanging cross which had Collin backtracking nervously but the ex-Carlisle stopper managed to clear the ball from just below his own crossbar.
Moments later, sub Jake Sheridan ghosted past Danny Rowe and Michael Tidser before unleashing an effort from distance which stung the palms of Collin.
At the other end, Derbyshire was proving a thorn in the side of the home team as he showed fleet of foot on the edge of the box to work a shooting position before firing a rasping effort which narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Minutes later, Hall required extra treatment following a clash of heads with Wood before Revell had a sight of goal but he was crowded out by Stewart from an acute angle.
With time running out, Sheridan fired a dipping effort which had Collin at full stretch before Rowe had to be on his guard to snuff out a dangerous home attack in the next phase of play.
The final act of the game saw the Millers' double their lead when Mitchell Rose's threaded ball saw sub Yates ghost in between the home defence before calmly slottin the ball past the advancing home 'keeper.
Full-time:- Alfreton Town 0 Rotherham United 2
Teams:- Alfreton- Stewart, Wood, Courtney (Sheridan 44), Graham, Stevenson (Hicks 67), Keane (Rowe-Turner 46), Gray (Shaw 46), Smith, Bradley (Trialist 77), Howell (Trialist 77), Clayton (Trialist 67)
Rotherham- Collin, Broadfoot, Skarz, Arnason, Rowe, Tidser, Rose, Frecklington, Revell, Derbyshire (Yates 75), Hall. Unused:- Thompson, Lucas, Johnson, Norfolk.
Referee:- Richard Wigglesworth