Back to back pre-season victories for the Millers...
Rotherham United made it back-to-back pre-season victories after a 3-0 success over Stocksbridge Park Steels at the Look Local Stadium.
The Millers were given another stern test by local non-league opposition, but thanks to goals from Richie Smallwood, Grant Ward and Jonson Clarke-Harris they secured the victory with the vast majority of the squad getting a run out.
Manager Steve Evans fielded another strong side which included several new signings and trialists for the visit to the Northern Premier League Division One South outfit.
One of those new signings Greg Halford showed some elegant touches in the opening 10 minutes and came close to opening the scoring when his goal-bound shot was blocked; then Aidy White’s cross-cum-shot found Jordan Bowery whose close range effort was saved.
Halford was denied again on 17 minutes when White burst forward before laying the ball to Bowery. His low cross picked out Halford just inside the area but his low drive was tipped onto the post by Sam Andrew.
The Millers opened the scoring on 18 minutes when the impressive White won the ball in midfield before driving into the box. He squared the ball towards Bowery who allowed the ball to run past him for the onrushing Smallwood, who stroked the ball beyond Andrew.
Just before the half hour mark Rory Coleman almost turned Mason Warren’s cross past his own ‘keeper, but Steels managed to scramble the ball off the line.
Warren then struck a low angled shot towards goal which was held at the near post by Andrew.
With 10 minutes remaining until the interval the Millers doubled their advantage. Smallwood’s corner found Halford whose effort was blocked, but the re-bound was emphatically rifled into the net by Grant Ward, his second in as many games.
White was the star of the show and another lightning break from halfway created an opportunity for Halford, but his scuffed effort was smothered by Andrew.
Ward was also keen to make an impression and another long range effort was deflected just wide of the post.
Stocksbridge Park Steels 0 v 2 Rotherham United
After a raft of changes at the break, the Millers made a lightning start to the second half when Danny Ward’s cross was eased into the net via the head of Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Adam Collin was called into action for the first time on 56 minutes when Jack Lever sprinted clear, but the Millers’ custodian saved low to his right.
Danny Ward showed his sharpness in his cameo at Parkgate on Saturday, and he looked in the mood again when he hit a bullet of a shot which was tipped round the post by Andrew.
Andrew was called into action again when Lee Frecklington was tripped 25 yards from goal. Clarke-Harris rifled his free-kick over the wall but the Steels’ stopper punched the ball to safety.
Andrew was enjoying a terrific afternoon and he made the pick of the saves when Clarke-Harris crossed for Ward, and his shot on the turn was saved from point blank range.
Inside the final 10 minutes and Andrew was again in inspired form, saving well after a stinging strike from Jerry Yates.
The Millers travel to Alfreton Town for their third pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.
Stocksbridge: Andrew; Scully, Cardwell, McFadyen (Reay ht), Coleman, Biggins, Hinchcliffe (Shaw 67), Haigh (Thompson 58), Lever (Turner 72), Garside (Stirrup 67), Critchlow
Rotherham: Collin; Richardson (Dickinson ht), Collins (Wood ht), Thorpe (Peace-McDonald 63), Warren, G. Ward (Green ht), Smallwood (Frecklington ht), A.Trialist (Rose 71), White (Yates ht), Halford, Bowery (D. Ward ht).