Millers kick off Austria training camp with comfortable win over Floridsdorfer...
Rotherham United opened the first of their two friendly fixtures in Austria with an emphatic 7-1 triumph over Floridsdorfer at FAC-Platz.
Loan signing Kieffer Moore introduced himself to his new boss with two goals in his first outing, while David Ball added to his brace at Parkgate. Also on the scoresheet were Jon Taylor, Michael Ihiekwe, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Lee Frecklington, with a reply coming from the penalty spot for the hosts in the first half.
Boss Paul Warne’s team selection was akin to the system used in the club’s opening friendly with Parkgate at the weekend, with an 11 selected to compete against the Austrian natives prior to the 60 minute-mark, which would signal wholesale changes in attempt to get more minutes under the belts of his players.
The visitors started brightly on a sunny evening at FAC-Platz with Warne’s tough opening to the club’s pre-season training camp in Austria showing no signs of affecting his squad’s energy levels in the early exchanges against the hosts, who were issued a warning after just three minutes.
Anthony Forde’s industry up the right flank saw him steal possession after a lapse in concentration from the Floridsdorfer left back, who managed to make a recovery challenge just in time to deny the Millers an early opportunity.
Moments later, the Millers displayed good energy levels again as they turned defence into a swift counter attack after a free kick to the hosts. Lewis Price’s parry was enough to set Warne’s men on the attack which ended as debutant Moore had an effort saved at the opposite end.
The visitors were rewarded for their early efforts on 12 minutes though, when a clever free kick would result in the opening goal. Joe Newell’s accurate delivery from the set piece dropped kindly for Da Ball in the area, who made sure his effort found the back of the net by applying a powerful finish on the angle.
New signing Moore, who joined up with the Millers in Austria having flown directly from Ireland, almost marked his maiden outing with a goal after 23 minutes had elapsed. His towering figure rose highest in the area to narrowly glance substitute Jon Taylor’s corner just wide.
After an impressive showing in the weekend’s clash with Parkgate, Newell looked keen to pick up where he left off and having provided the opener, almost etched his name onto the scoresheet himself. This time a good chance for the Millers went begging as the wide man struck a fierce effort with his weaker right foot just beyond the far post.
His contribution would tell once more, 10 minutes before the interval in Austria as he added a second assist to the side of his name for the clash with Floridsdorfer. This time his wicked cross from the left flank found the figure of Moore, who marked his first outing in Millers’ colours with a goal, applying a bullet header to make it 2-0.
The Ipswich Town loanee set about ensuring the Millers’ fans at home became aware of his talents aside from his aerial ability just seconds later with a goal of another kind. There was little in the way of intricate build up as Moore seized on a loose ball following a scramble in the box, but his composure to finish was admirable as he rifled home to make it 3-0 to the Millers.
A fourth followed just before half time when an error in the home defence presented Taylor with a golden opportunity, which left him with the simplest of tasks to roll the ball into the empty net to extend his side’s advantage.
Half-time | Floridsdorfer 0 v 4 Rotherham
With changes planned for the hour-mark, it was the same team that emerged following the restart and they looked intent on building on their strong end to the opening phase.
Newell’s corner from the left just moments after the restart was headed back into a dangerous area by Richard Wood, but Da Ball couldn’t replicate his first half predatory instincts as the offside flag was raised against him.
A neat combination between Ben Purrington, Newell and Da Ball forged the Millers’ next opportunity which fell to Taylor, whose effort was blocked en-route to goal.
The hosts were handed an opportunity to pull one back just four minutes after half time when Dom Ball was adjudged to have fouled in the area, meaning Floridsdorfer were awarded a penalty. Lewis Price guessed his Austrian counterpart’s direction correctly, but couldn’t reach his effort which made it 4-1.
As promised, Warne rang wholesale changes around the 60 minute mark, with Richard O’Donnell, Lee Frecklington, David Proctor, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Jerry Yates, Michael Ihiekwe, Alex Bray and Joe Mattock all introduced for the final half hour.
The new-look forward line wasted no time in trying to introduce themselves with Yates only denied by the faintest of touches from the home stopper, after being found by Proctor just seconds before, with the Millers clearly keen to build on the scoreline.
It was one of the players involved in the raft of substitutions that made it 5-1 to his side following another set piece after 63 minutes. Taylor’s cross from a corner picked out Proctor, whose flick dropped into room for Ihiekwe to hook home in the box.
With the Millers well and truly dominating proceedings they added a sixth with just over 20 minutes remaining on the clock. Again, it was a newly-introduced face that added his name to the scoresheet with Clarke-Harris positioning himself well to head home a deflected cross, to make the scoreline read 6-1 in his side’s favour.
Proctor very nearly added to his brace at Roundwood with a goal in the opener in Austria, with just the woodwork denying him on 72 minutes. After cutting in from the left flank and curling an effort beyond the reach of the ‘keeper, he could only look on in agony as the ball cannoned off the upright and away from danger.
With the end looming at FAC-Platz, the scoring slowed down but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Proctor and Clarke-Harris combined well in the final third but the latter couldn’t apply the finish to cap a nice move with just six minutes remaining on the clock.
Substitute Frecklington’s goal five minutes from time would need little other description to Millers’ fans than ‘trademark’, as the energetic midfielder arrived late in the area to fire home following an Ihiekwe pass and cap the scoreline at 7-1.
Full-time | Floridsdorfer 1 v 7 Rotherham