Millers win at Gainsborough Trinity...
The Millers’ 1-0 triumph over Gainsborough Trinity at Northolme meant it was double success on Tuesday night, with the remainder of the split squad also recording victory at AlfretonTown.
Jamie Proctor’s fourth goal in Millers’ colours proved enough to ensure his new club’s winning record remained at 100% following wins in Austria and at Parkgate.
Rotherham United manager Warne took charge of the side at Gainsborough Trinity alongside first team/development coach Matt Hamshaw, where he fielded a strong starting 11 backed up by a number of young professionals and scholars.
The visitors were issued a couple of early warning signs from their non-league counterparts, with manager Dave Frecklington, uncle of Millers skipper Lee, having his side fired up and energetic in typical Frecklington fashion.
Their first chance of note came after just three minutes when some high intensity pressing saw Bradley Wells’ challenge on Michael Ihiekwe cannon off his foot and whizz just wide of the near post with Richard O’Donnell at full stretch.
There was no element of luck in their second chance just moments later which came from a set piece. A floated delivery to the back post was headed back across goal by Craig King, but Wells couldn’t apply the crucial touch to finish at the back post.
Young forward Jerry Yates, deployed in a role on the left hand side of midfield, conjured up the Millers best chance of note just before the 20-minute mark. There looked to be little danger when the hosts hoisted Joe Newell’s corner away to the edge of the area, but Yates picked it up and unleashed a thunderbolt of an effort which had the goalkeeper beaten before flashing inches wide of the target.
The hosts defended resiliently with Warne’s side struggling to find a way to break them down in the early exchanges, but came close with an aerial attempt. A dangerous delivery from the left found the towering presence of Moore in the middle, but he couldn’t keep his effort the right side of the upright.
The breakthrough did come for the Millers just after 30 minutes had elapsed as Proctor found the net for the fourth time in his new side’s colours. A burst down the right flank by Yates saw him latch onto a ball in the channel, before the former Bolton forward lashed an effort goalwards, which ended up in the back of the net at the second attempt after a block from the initial attempt.
The goal seemed to allow the visitors to grow into the game further and they threatened a second before the break after arguably their best move of the evening. A deeply positioned Proctor picked the ball up, before setting Anthony Forde free down the left. After galloping into space, Forde picked out Proctor again in the box and it would eventually fall for the onrushing Will Vaulks, who thundered a low effort across the face of goal.
Half-time | Gainsborough Trinity 0 v 1 Rotherham
Millers boss Warne opted to hold back on the half time changes and the decision to do so almost paid dividends just seconds after the restart. A bright move straight from the kick off set Josh Emmanuel away into the box, but he was denied by a timely challenge as he embarked on his break towards goal.
A similar chance presented itself to Moore moments later, with the Ipswich loanee given room to charge at goal but with the goalkeeper rushing out, his angles narrowed and he stalled his shot, which was cleared by a retreating defender.
Things slowed down in the way of goalmouth action until the hour-mark had passed but the Millers had continued to grow into the game, enjoying the lion’s share of possession. Newell was next to catch sight of the Gainsborough goal and came close after turning inside following a Yates pass from the left, before curling an effort from 20 yards over the far corner.
With Newell’s deliveries yielding two goals from set pieces in Austria, it was unsurprising to see him take on a similar role at Gainsborough. His devilish inswinger from the right flank just evaded the heads of his awaiting teammates, but almost crept in at the far post, where the Trinity keeper made a superb last minute intervention to tip the ball around the post and keep the scores at 1-0.
Frecklington’s men threatened to end the Millers’ 100% winning run in pre-season with an equaliser 10 minutes from the end, but ultimately couldn’t beat O’Donnell who had been largely untroubled in the second half. After stealing possession high up the pitch, it paved the way for a Trinity striker to turn and shoot in the area, but the former Sheffield Wednesday stopper showed good alertness to get down to his near post and gather.
However, the Millers would have doubled their lead had it not been for the offside flag ruling out substitute Joshua Kayode's follow-in goal, which meant the visitors would have to settle for a 1-0 scoreline.
Full-time | Gainsborough Trinity 0 v1 Rotherham.
Gainsborough Trinity | Walton, Lacey, Davie, Williams, Jacklin, Gatter, King, Clarke ©, Wells, Richards, Simmons.
Subs | Jarman, Evans, McGovern, Wafula, Storey, Wiles, Stainfield, Salt, Dixon.
Millers | O’Donnell; Emmanuel, Ihiekwe, Wood, Purrington; Forde (Warren 63), Vaulks, Newell (McGinley 85), Yates; Proctor (Kayode 82), Moore (Bailey-King 69).
Unused | Francis, Southern-Cooper, McMahon.