Rotherham United’s Academy returned to winning ways on Saturday as they triumphed 2-0 over Scunthorpe United in the Youth Alliance League, before the first team followed suit with victory over Queens Park Rangers later in the day.
Garreth Barker’s youngsters set the winning ball rolling with goals from the in-form Joshua Kayode and Northern Ireland international Reece McGinley ensuring a comprehensive victory over the Iron.
The Millers went into the game knowing it would be their final outing in preparation for a tricky away tie at Middlesbrough in the third round of the FA Youth Cup and Barker was delighted to see his players hitting form ahead of the clash at Bishop Auckland on Tuesday 13th December.
"We have had a little blip in form so that was an important win for us,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“It was important to get a result with the FA Youth Cup game on the horizon, and we go into that game full of confidence.
“I thought it was a professional performance. It was important to get a clean sheet because I do always believe with the players that we have at our disposal that we have a goal in us. We have a good blend of pace, power and match craft which all came to the fore against Scunthorpe.”
Barker opted to hand an opportunities to young stopper George McMahon and trialist Akeel Francis, both of whom impressed at Roundwood on Saturday and there was also special praise reserved for the red hot form of Kayode, who found himself on the scoresheet again.
"George McMahon made his first start. He is only 16 but I thought he was outstanding - a word that I don't use too lightly,” he explained.
“We also finally got a central defender back fit because that is an area where we have struggled through injury. The partnership of a second year scholar and a 15 year old prospect worked really well.
"I thought that spine was good, the front line performed well too. Our trialist Akeel Francis was very good. He was robust, he was a willing runner and he created a goal out of pure work rate when he challenged the 'keeper to win a header, and then cleverly turned to square the ball to Reece McGinley to score.
"The second goal came from JJ. That`'s three goals in two games, he has eight or nine for the season. It has been a good return, but again another good all round display."