Millers draw in South Yorkshire derby...
Rotherham United Academy were forced to share the spoils with Doncaster Rovers in a game that ended 2-2, just as the first-team were also held at a stalemate at the Keepmoat stadium.
The young Millers came from behind with a slice of luck and Academy manager Garreth Barker coined his own phrase to describe his sides equaliser.
“It was a scuffle off a set piece. From a corner, the ball was bouncing around and Deegan Atherton ‘scoofed’ it in, nothing clinical about it - that word is copyrighted by the way!”
Barker described the 2-2 draw as “a typical derby game” at the full-time whistle and it wasn’t long before someone was given their marching orders.
“We were in the ascendency and playing well. I don’t think we had a great start to the game; it was a typical derby game with lots of challenges going in. We started to play and played better football. We got a second goal which was fairly quick, something like three or four minutes which was JJ, in the box at the right place at the right time.
“There was a development in the game whereby they had a free-kick about a yard over the half-way line which flipped over George. They then had a man sent off for a couple of mistimed challenges.”
The Academy continued to press but both the bar and Rovers’ shot-stopper denied them the decider.
“We hit the woodwork twice, we had two good chances which their ‘keeper made a terrific save from one and the other was hit straight at him so it was a reflex save which meant 2-2.”
It was case of what could have been for Barker, who felt his men should have made the uneven ratio of players on the pitch count.
“We came away having not put the team away when we should have done and capitalised with the extra man which was disappointing for me.
“It should have been three points and we would have been top of the league. We want to be able to apply pressure with our front six and we think we’re capable of winning every game."
However, the Millers themselves will be a man down when it comes to the FA Youth Cup, with a casualty to Jake Southern-Cooper meaning Barker’s back-line will be wearing thin.
“We’re just waiting on injury. Unfortunately for us, Jake Cooper got kicked a couple of times in the game. One was the second yellow card for the number four to be sent off. He may have some damage to his cartilage which will rule him out of the FA Youth Cup so that was the sad side to it.”