Rotherham United’s Reserves ended 2016 with a hard fought 2-2 draw against Newcastle United in the Central League Cup.
The Millers came from behind to lead 2-1 after goals from Ben Wiles and Fabian Bailey, but were pegged back with 12 minutes remaining when Callum Roberts levelled for the Magpies.
With Academy manager Garreth Barker taking charge of the side, the Millers added a sprinkling of senior professionals against a strong looking Newcastle outfit.
Kirk Broadfoot continued his progress from long term injury with another start for the second string, whilst there were also places for the likes of Jerry Yates, Mason Warren and Laurence Bilboe.
The Millers could have been in front as early as the fourth minute. Good work from Yates saw the striker cut the ball back to the onrushing Wiles but the youngster fired wide.
Two minutes later and striker Kuda Muskwe headed just wide following a cross from Warren.
The lively Yates caused problems again on 11 minutes when he scampered after a long ball over the top, but flashed a volley across the far post.
Against the run of play the visitors then took the lead when Liam Smith showed great composure with a cool finish to put the Magpies in front.
Three minutes later and the Millers deservedly levelled. The impressive Wiles was found by Yates before picking out the bottom corner of the Newcastle net with a classy low finish from 20 yards.
This prompted a lull in proceedings with Bilboe making a comfortable save low down from a Roberts strike.
The final opportunity of the half fell to the visitors when Bliboe was forced into a much tougher stop from Liam Gibson.
After a quiet start to the second half the Millers surged ahead with just over 20 minutes remaining. Following a cross from the left, Bailey was on hand to stab home to notch his second reserve goal in as many games.
Three minutes later and the Millers came agonisingly close to securing the victory. Sub Reece McGinley showed great fleet of foot down the wing before crossing to find Yates whose header hit the post.
Muskwe missed another good chance after blazing over from six yards, before Bilboe made a wonderful save at the other end to deny Roberts.
With 12 minutes remaining the visitors pulled level when Roberts drilled a low shot left-footed inside the near post.
Rotherham: Bilboe, Trialist (Sterling 82), Rose, Wiles (Maguire 67), Convert, Broadfoot, McCarthy (McGinley 56), Warren, Yates, Muskwe, Bailey.
Subs: McMahon, Francis.
Newcastle: Harker; Cass, Hunter, Good, Gibson, Elmahanni, Findlay, Ward, Wilson, Roberts, Smith.
Subs: Spooner, Huuhtanen, Longstaff, Gallacher, Allan.