Having filled in for the reserves earlier in the week, it was business as usual for the Rotherham United Academy when they returned to league action against Burton Albion.
The Millers youngsters went into the match on the crest of a wave having seen off Gateshead in the Final Third Development League but struggled to emulate that form in the early stages of the game against the Brewers.
“The lads had had a full on week with the reserve game against Gateshead,” Academy Manager Garreth Barker admitted.
“I’m not sure whether we had a bit of a fatigue hangover from the reserve game.”
However, the Millers battled on and got their reward for doing so as they came from behind to overcome Burton and record a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from Luke Gibson and Brandon Potts.
“I have to say it was a scrappy game and we weren’t at our best for the first 45 minutes
“We changed things a bit and put two up top and Luke Gibson got us a goal back before Kuda Muskwe got us the winner.”
“Kuda’s claiming it was a clean header but the consensus in the dressing room is that its hit him in the face but either way, he’s got it up and across the keeper and put it in.”
A tactical change after the restart sparked the Millers resurgence, with Barker pleased with his team’s reaction to the change in style at the break.
“They learned how to play a different way in the second period and the different conditions and the pitch. They found a way of affecting the opponent to win the game and that’s really important.”
The Millers’ Academy signed off their regular season with victory over the Brewers but Barker insists that there is still plenty left on the agenda before the close season.
“That was the last league game so we’re into the closing period now. The boys will be filling in some reserve fixtures and we’ve got friendlies against the likes of Hull City and Doncaster and then in the wind down there will be things like fitness testing too.”