Swift brace helps Millers to succes...
Rotherham United took victory in their Final Third Development League fixture this afternoon thanks to a John Swift brace, and goals apiece for Jonson Clarke-Harris and Luciano Becchio.
The Millers fielded a strong XI for the game including Saturday’s starters Scott Loach, Craig Morgan and Anthony Wordsworth.
Against their younger opponents it was the Millers who quickly took the initiative and when Kirk Broadfoot provided an excellent through-ball, John Swift finished magnificently with a precise lob over the onrushing Jim Provett.
However, rather than push for a second they were pegged-back to level terms within a minute as Connor Smith broke down the right and lifted a ball into the middle where Jordan Jewson headed beyond the despairing Loach. Six minutes played and it was all square.
And the exuberant visitors could have lead as Jewson, in search of a second goal, robbed Ryan Hall in the middle of the park before seeing his shot from distance palmed clear by Loach, and moments later Lewis Hawkins shot over from similar range.
Matt Derbyshire got on the end of Ben Pringle’s angled through ball but after taking the ball around the ‘keeper found the angle against him; nonetheless he shaped an effort goalwards with the outside of his booth but it was headed clear from under the crossbar to deny him an exquisite finish.
As the first period reached the midway point Smith again crossed for Jewson to head home, only for the referee to pull things back for handball in the build-up. 10 minutes later and Becchio had a header from a similar position only to be crowded out and watch his header bounce wide.
As the minutes ticked down at the end of the half, a corner from the left was helped goalwards by Swift, and when Provett fumbled, Becchio was on hand with his predatory instincts to head into the roof of the net.
But still the Millers didn’t take a lead into the break as Michael Duckworth twisted and turned inside the area carving an opening before sliding to the edge of the area where Darren Holden beat Loach with a low shot into the bottom corner.
Millers 2-2 Hartlepool Utd
The second-half started much the same as the first and within two minutes the net was rippling once again; Pringle swung a set-piece into the area which wasn’t dealt with and Jonson Clarke-Harris smashed home from 12 yards his first goal in Millers red.
This spurred on the more experienced Millers who saw John Swift fire at Provett from distance, and six minutes later create an opening for himself from the left-hand side before putting this attempt high over the bar.
He would eventually find the back of the net for a second time when again, a set piece wasn’t defended and he was in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net in added time and seal the points.
However, it wasn’t before being denied by Provett who pulled off two spectacular saves in as many minutes, first with an acrobatic stop of Matt Derbyshire’s shot and then stretching low from Swift’s header.
Millers 4-2 Hartlepool Utd
Millers: Loach, Brindley, Morgan, Broadfoot, Wordsworth, Hall, Pringle (Wiles 74), Swift, Derbyshire, Becchio (Yates 74), Clarke-Harris.
Unused: Denton, Peace-McDonald, Warren.
Hartlepool: Provett, Rowbotham, Jones, Duckworth (Carr 61), Turnbull, Nearney, Hawkins, Green, Smith, Jewson (Armstrong 84), Holden.
Unused: Mitchinson, Blackford, Wood.