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Match Reports

REPORT | Reserves 3 v 0 Hartlepool

21 February 2017

The Reserves...

Rotherham United Reserves recorded an impressive 3-0 victory over Hartlepool United at Roundwood.

Substitute Suleman Naeem netted a second-half brace after Alex Bray had given the hosts the lead in the first-half, as the Millers secured what was a comfortable victory at their club training headquarters. 

With a side that included a smattering of senior professionals, Bray looked to take the opportunity to impress the watching staff ahead of the weekend trip to Brentford.

The Millers created the first opening when Mason Warren whipped in a dangerous cross from the left, which deflected just behind off a Hartlepool jersey.

The hosts were to suffer a blow when the returning Darnell Fisher left the field on 16 minutes with what looked like an injury, with Fabian Bailey introduced in his place.

Loan signing Bray enjoyed some success when his run down the left resulted in a pass for striker Kuda Muskwe who saw his effort blocked. 

Shortly after the Millers threatened down the right when Chris Dawson’s centre was again met by Muskwe, but he failed to generate the necessary power to trouble the Hartlepool goal.

Bray looked a threat for the Millers and he forced Ben Dudzinski into a save low down after cutting in onto his right foot. 

Two minutes later and the Swansea loanee got his reward. After he latched onto a ball over the top he cleverly lofted the ball beyond Dudzinski to put the Millers in front.

It was all Rotherham with striker Akeel Francis the next to be denied after being found by Bray as the Millers went in search of a second goal.

Warren and Francis both went close before the break, whilst Bray again showed his ability, this time in the air, with a header that went just past the post.

In the second half Hartlepool threatened briefly through Dylan Elliott, but Rotherham would put themselves in a strong position through one of their substitiutes.

Scholar Naeem replaced Francis on 49 minutes and he bagged the Millers second when Warren picked him out inside the area, before the youngster calmly slotted the ball beyond Dudzinski.

Goalkeeper Laurence Bilboe was called into action soon after when he denied Kieran Green with a smart save to preserve the two goal advantage.

The Millers made the game safe when Naeem bagged his second after Muskwe showed great awareness to tee him up at the far post for 3-0.

Rotherham: Bilboe; Fisher (Bailey 16), Wilson (Trae Adeyemi 60), Belaïd (Johnson 60), Rose; Francis (Naeem 49), Wiles, Warren, Bray (Murr 60); Dawson; Muskwe.

Hartlepool: Dudzinski; Nearney, Pollock, Assenso, Turnbull, J. Orrell, Green, Skidmore (Simpson 73), Blackford, Rodney, Elliott.

Subs not used: Fielding, Moloney, Wood, Simpson, L. Orrell.

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