Millers fall to defeat at Lamex Stadium in FA Youth Cup...Despite a battling performance from Garreth Barker’s Under 18's, it was a Tottenham Hotspur side containing youth internationals, which progressed from the FA Youth Cup third round as they recorded a 4-0 win at the Lamex Stadium.
A star-studded Spurs' side boasting names that featured in the England U17 international at AESSEAL New York Stadium recently meant that it was always going to be a tough task for the young Millers outfit, who made the hosts work hard victory which sees them progress into the next round of the competition.
Strikes from Keanan Bennets, Ryan Loft added to two unfortunate own goals ensured that the Premier League youngsters triumphed in Stevenage.
Marcus Edwards, an England U17 international, was a constant threat from midfield for the hosts. Whilst their captain and USA U23 player, Cameron Carter-Vickers, dealt with every ball that was hit towards the Spurs goal.
From the kick-off it was Spurs who looked to control possession, with Edwards getting into his stride early on, as his direct running and skill caused problems for the defence.
However, it was the Millers who had the first chance of the night, as Bradley Peace-McDonald got his head onto a deep cross, forcing a good save out of Alfie Whiteman in the Spurs goal after five minutes.
It was Spurs who did eventually drew first blood when Charlie Owens played an inch perfect ball to Bennetts, who, after seeing his first shot cannon back off the post, simply had to tuck home the rebound.
Barker’s men didn’t let their heads drop from this early blow and continued to get bodies behind the ball, as wave after wave of Tottenham attacks were blocked before they could cause Laurence Bilboe problems in the Rotherham net.
Darnelle Bailey-King proved a thorn in the hosts' side creating problems of his own for the Millers, as he used his pace and strength to forge numerous chances down the right.
Muskwe had a half chance for the Millers as a long ball over the top, found him in space, but his half volley went wide of the post.
Half time: Tottenham 1 v 0 Rotherham
The second half saw the Millers start brightly, with Daniel Smalley doing a good job of containing the dangerous Bennetts, and he was desperately unfortunate to see Sterling's shot take a wicked deflection off him and double the hosts' advantage.
Spurs continued to press and create opportunities, Charlie Owens sent a free kick just over the bar, before Redmayne sent a Millers free kick just wide of the post at the other end.
However, the tide couldn’t be kept back and Spurs added their third, when Loft stroked home into the bottom right corner after a magnificent through ball from Edwards.
The fourth came not long after, Shashoua had caused problems all night and when he beat a handful of Millers defenders, his shot from range took a deflection off Thomas Rose to leave Laurence Bilboe wrong footed in the Millers goal.
Speaking after the game, Garreth Barker was still proud of his players despite the defeat and believes Tottenham's clinical edge proved the difference on the night.
“I know it’s an old adage, but I don’t think four represents the score line, I’m disappointed we didn’t capitalise on a couple of chances we created early on
“It was expected to be tough though, we’re coming here against a Premier League football club, with a multi-million pound training ground and they have internationals in that team.
"Going away from this, we need to focus on what we did right, focus on the experience that the boys will gain from it, and take a step forwards in their careers."