THE Millers handed first starts to new signings Jake Forster-Caskey and Will Vaulks as they lost 2-1 to League One Scunthorpe United in their latest pre-season friendly.
Kevin van Veen opened the scoring for the Iron but the home side’s lead lasted just six minutes as Richard Wood notched a rare goal for the Millers as he tapped home from close range.
Ex-Miller Josh Morris came back to haunt his former club with the winner with four minutes remaining.
The hosts had the first sight of goal when Hakeeb Adelakun tried his luck from distance but his daisycutter was straight down the throat of Lee Camp before Anthony Forde had a glimpse of goal, at the other end, but his clipped effort was blocked en-route to goal by Charlie Goode.
Minutes later, Joe Mattock superbly brought a long ball under his spell to get on the wrong side of Scott Wiseman before bearing down on goal but Joe Anyon produced a superb save to deny the ex-Leicester defender.
At the other end, Camp made a sprawling save at the feet of Goode before Iron skipper Murray Wallace rose highest from the resultant corner but the Rotherham stopper was well stationed to snuff out the danger.
However, the home side made the breakthrough on 17 minutes when Mattock’s half clearance fell kindly for Adelakun, who dragged a snap shot from the edge of the box into the path of van Veen, who kept his nerve to drill the ball into the bottom cotner of the net.
The Millers responded positively to the setback and Vaulks’ deft flick paved the way for Jerry Yates, to fire a dipping effort from distance which whistled narrowly past the upright.
However, the Millers got themselves back on level terms within six minutes when fine build-up involving Lee Frecklington and Yates presented Kirk Broadfoot with the opportunity of swiping towards goal and with the home defence at sixes and sevens, the ball fell kindly for Wood, who had the simple task of tapping into the unguarded net.
Just before the half hour, the Millers had a scare when Adelakun’s goalbound shot was blocked by van Veen before Vaulks fired a rasping drive from distance, at the other end, which shaved the home upright.
Minutes later, Camp was called into action with a fingertip save as a bobbling cross from the left flank caused havoc in the Millers box before Forster-Caskey’s lay-off gave Yates the opportunity to strike a fierce effort which was smartly tipped around the post by Anyon.
Half-time: Scunthorpe United 1 Rotherham United 1
The home side came within a whisker of regaining the lead when Tom Hopper got the better of Broadfoot before playing a delightful ball into the path of Kyle Wootton, who looked to steer the ball towards goal but fortunately for the Millers, the ball fizzed past the upright.
At the other end, Danny Ward was the grateful recipient of a fortunate ricochet as he powered a point-blank effort which brought the best out of Anyon before the Millers had Mattock to thank for denying Wootton with a timely tackle, just yards out.
Minutes later, Duane Holmes stung the palms of Camp with a long range effort before Vaulks fired a low effort which was parried around the post by Anyon.
From the resultant corner, Forde’s centre saw Broadfoot jump highest to loop a header which was cleared from the Iron line before Scunthorpe had a goal chalked off when Hopper had an aerial duel with Camp, which saw the home striker head into the roof of the net but the referee blew for an infringement.
In the dying minutes, Ward almost broke clear from Yates’ lay-off but the ex-Huddersfield striker was twice denied by Anyon and a retreating defender before Scunthorpe scored the decisive winner with four minutes to go when Adelakun’s slide-rule pass saw Morris break clear to fire a rasping effort which smashed into the roof of the Millers net.
Full-time: Scunthorpe United 2 Rotherham United 1
Scunthorpe United 2
Rotherham United 1
Teams:- Scunthorpe- Anyon, Wiseman, Laird, Wallace (Clarke 59), van Veen (Hopper 27), Bishop (Sutton 83), Adelakun, Holmes (Williams 70), Goode, Ness (Dawson 75), Wootton (Morris 70) . Unused- Daniels, King, Townsend, Dyche,
Rotherham- Camp, Kelly, Mattock, Forster-Caskey (Bailey-King 77), Broadfoot, Wood, Forde, Frecklington, Ward, Yates, Vaulks (Smallwood 78). Unused- Price, Thorpe, Muskwe, Dawson.
Referee- D Drysdale