Rotherham United’s Academy enjoyed success over Hartlepool United last weekend as they ran out 3-1 winners at Roundwood.
Garreth Barker’s youngsters had endured a lay-off from Youth Alliance fixtures after the game with Burton Albion was postponed due to a waterlogged, but showed no signs of being out of practice as they returned to action with a convincing win over Pools at the weekend.
The victory came courtesy of goals from the in-form Akeel Francis and Reece McGinley before Lewis Murr added a third from the penalty spot. The Millers’ clean sheet slipped away from their grasp in the dying seconds though, as the visitors registered a late consolation.
Following defeat in the reverse fixture, the Millers started brightly and took the lead through Francis, whose services the club acquired from Huddersfield Town in January.
It was Northern Ireland international McGinley who was the architect for the goal, swinging in a tantalising delivery which the towering frontman powered home with his head in the area to give the Millers the lead.
McGinley got his reward for his creativity with a goal of his own later in the game, which came with an element of fortune it would be hard to deny him. Following some neat interplay on the wing, he checked inside from the left and powered an effort at goal which looked to take a deflection en-route to doubling his side’s advantage.
Their third came from the penalty spot with Francis proving a thorn in the side of the Hartlepool United defence once again. When he was upended in the box Murr was the man charged with taking the spot kick and duly obliged, converting it to make it 3-0.
With the game in added time, the visitors grabbed a consolation and took away the Millers’ clean sheet after they were quickest to respond to a 40-yard hit and apply a finish.
Millers | McMahon, Atherton, Abraham, Saxton, Hinds, Martin, Murr, Wiles, McGinley (Naeem 88), Francis (Leuthwaite 88), Adeyemi (Johnson 73).
Unused | Fidler, Osborne.