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Match Reports

REPORT | Reserves 1 v 4 Sheffield United

4 January 2017

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Rotherham United Reserves were defeated in their first game of 2017 after losing 4-1 at home to Sheffield United in the Central League Cup.

A Jake Wright brace was added to by a David Brooks free-kick and a late Harvey Gilmour strike to ensure victory for the Blades, with the Millers goal coming from the returning Kelvin Wilson.

Wilson wasn’t the only senior figure to feature for the Millers, who again produced a side with a blend of youth and experience. The likes of Will Vaulks, Peter Odemwingie, Dexter Blackstock and Jon Taylor were all given starts in front of the watching interim manager Paul Warne.

The Blades made the early running at a freezing cold Roundwood, with Brooks going close twice in the opening 12 minutes. After blazing over at the back post the young winger was then denied by Laurence Bilboe who made a low save on the angle.

The visitors took the lead on 21 minutes when Jake Bennett provided the ammunition for Wright to fire in his first of the afternoon.

The Millers repelled more pressure before going close to an equaliser on 37 minutes. Fabian Bailey’s free-kick gave Jerry Yates a chance but ‘keeper George Long beat the striker to the ball after sprinting off his line.

Bailey then fired wide from fully 30 yards before Odemwingie was denied after good work by Taylor with a shot from the angle.

Just after the break the Millers doubled their advantage when after a quick counter-attack, Wright finished well to put the Blades in command.

The Millers then missed their best chance of the half when Yates found Blackstock who was foiled by Long at the near post.

On 50 minutes it was 3-0 when Brooks curled in a sublime free-kick to give the visitors a comfortable cushion.

The Millers gave themselves a chance when they pulled one back just four minutes later. Wilson, making his return from injury and illness, finished like a striker when he converted an awkward bouncing ball to reduce the deficit.

Bilboe kept the home side in the game after making a good stop to deny Jordan Hallam, and he denied the same player just past the hour with an even better stop.

A Vaulks strike was saved by Long as the Blades looked to see out the game. They made it safe with six minutes remaining when Gilmour converted for 1-4.

Rotherham: Bilboe; Bailey, Convery, K Wilson (Francis 68), Rose; Taylor (M. Wilson 68), Vaulks (Wiles 77), Warren, Odemwingie (Muskwe 68); Yates, Blackstock (Sterling 68).

Sheffield United: Long; Bennett, Graham, Kelly, Mallon, Semple, Reed (Gilmour 81), Graham, Hallam (Hirst 77), Wright, Brooks.

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