The Millers seal a good win at the Proact...
ROTHERHAM United eased to a comfortable friendly victory over near neighbours Chesterfield thanks to goals from David Ball, Jon Taylor and Ryan Williams.
In a whirlwind opening by the Millers, the home goal was leading a charmed life until Ball struck before Taylor doubled the visitors lead following a misunderstanding in the home defence.
Following their narrow friendly defeat at the hands of Sheffield United on Friday, Millers chief Paul Warne made just one change to the starting line-up for the short
hop to the Proact Stadium.
Joe Newell was given a chance to impress on the left-hand side of midfield as Will Vaulks had to settle for a substitutes berth.
Australian Williams was back in the fray after not being risked against the Blades while former Millers Scott Wiseman and Chris O’Grady were named in the home line-up.
The Millers had the first sight of goal within the first minute when Kieffer Moore latched onto the loose ball to play a slide-rule pass into the advancing run of Taylor, who raced away to drill an effort across the face of goal with home ‘keeper Joe Anyon seemingly getting a touch to turn the ball behind.
From the resultant corner, Moore rose highest from Taylor’s corner to plant a header over the bar before Newell’s corner, in the next phase of play, was only half-cleared by the Chesterfield defence into the path of Lee Frecklington, who calmly stroked the ball narrowly wide of the target from the edge of the box.
Following a fast opening by the visitors, the Millers came within a whisker of the opener when David Ball’s measured cross to the far post found Michael Ihiekwe, in space, and the ex-Tranmere defender got the ball from under his feet to stroke the ball past Anyon but fortunately for the home side, Sam Hird was on-hand to hack the ball clear from near his own line.
A lovely move from the Millers almost paid dividends when a switch of play saw David Ball ghost in from the flank and after the ex-Fleetwood striker decided not to shoot, Frecklington was on-hand on the edge of the box, to curl a delightful effort which had Anyon scrambling across goal as it shaved the home upright.
Moments later, Josh Emmanuel showed the home defence a clean pair of heels to race away before floating a cross which saw David Ball balloon a header harmlessly over the bar before Moore headed straight at Anyon after latching onto Darren Potter’s ball over the top, but any goal would have been chalked off for offside.
However, the Millers were deservedly rewarded for their pressure on 17 minutes when Taylor showed great awareness following a throw-in award to send Moore away, who got on the wrong side of Laurence Maguire to waltz ominously into home box before superbly taking his time to pick out the onrushing David Ball, who scuffed the ball goalwards and despite his initial effort seemingly hitting the upright, he managed to bundle the ball home at the second attempt.
The Millers were threatening the home side at every opportunity and they doubled their advantage four minutes later when Joe Mattock’s opportunistic ball into the box caught Anyon and a retreating defender all at sea and with no-one taking charge, Taylor pounced on the indecision to loop a header from the edge of the box into the unguarded net.
The home side almost grabbed a foothold in the clash when firstly Connor Dimaio’s delicious centre saw Ian Evatt rise highest to plant a point-blank header goalwards and a combination of Richard O’Donnell and the foot of the post kept the ball out before O’Grady turned Ihiekwe smartly to fire a daisycutter from distance which stung the palms of O’Donnell, who gathered at the second attempt.
Just past the half-hour mark, Newell curled a free-kick over the Chesterfield wall which sailed narrowly over the home bar before Moore almost latched onto an errant pass from the home side but he was tackled by a retreating defender before he could race clear.
Half-time- Chesterfield 0 Rotherham United 2
Following the interval, Chesterfield had the first effort of note when Hird’s sweeping ball was superbly taken in his stride by O’Grady, who unleashed a rasping effort which whistled over the Millers bar.
Moments later, Gibraltar international Wiseman blazed an effort harmlessly wide of the target from an acute angle before the Millers defence was split open giving sub Gozie Ugwe the opportunity to drill a low effort which was saved by the legs of O’Donnell.
In the next home attack, Ian Evatt hoicked an effort harmlessly over the bar before sub Louis Reed started and finished a move which involved Ugwu’s centre but the Sheffield United loanee fluffed his lines when he blazed over with the goal at his mercy.
The Millers were struggling to recreate their first half form but were keeping the home side at an arms length before Warne reshuffled the pack with a flurry of substitutions after the hour mark.
The move paid dividends when Rotherham added a third goal when they turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye with a marauding run from sub Anthony Forde down the left flank and the ex-Walsall winger showed great composure to pick out the unmarked Williams, who calmly swept an effort over Anyon into the roof of the home net.
In the dying minutes, Rotherham were denied a clean sheet when Ugwu got clear to drill a cross which was only half-cleared into the path of O’Grady, who struck home despite the best efforts of O’Donnell in the visitors goal.
Full-time- Chesterfield 1 Rotherham United 3
Rotherham United 3
Teams:- Chesterfield- Anyon, Wakefield (Donohue 67), Hird, Evatt, Barry (McCourt 46), Wiseman (McGinn 70), Dimaio (Reed 46), Latour (Mitchell 80), Brewster (Ugwu 46), Maguire (Plummer 25), O’Grady. Unused- Lee.
Rotherham- O’Donnell, Emmanuel, Ajayi, Ihiekwe, Mattock (Purrington 53), Taylor (Williams 71), Potter (Forde 65), Frecklington (Dominic Ball 74), Newell (Vaulks 65), Moore (Clarke-Harris 71), David Ball (Yates 71). Unused- Price, Wood, Fisher, Belaid.
Referee- J Adcock
Attendance- 2498 (650)