Millers come out on top in nine goal thriller...
Rotherham United Academy manager Garreth Barker’s side took a step closer to a top three finish as they prevailed as 5-4 victors at Chesterfield. The young Millers came from behind twice in a nine-goal thriller with the Spireites.
Goals from Prince Mamboti, Lewis Murr, Tom Maguire and a Tyrone Lewthwaite brace kept the Millers amongst the league’s frontrunners after Barker set his sights on the title. Despite trailing 4-2 at the break, Barker praised the character shown by his players in the final 45 minutes.
“The first half was not a particularly solid performance in terms of defending; the midfielders and defenders were naïve, and individual errors cost us,” he levelled to www.themillers.co.uk.
“But the boys showed their mental fortitude, their game understanding and bravery. The second half was a tour de force performance in terms of group cohesion and desire. In any football game to be 4-2 down at half time and come back and win at 5-4 is a fantastic achievement but especially for young lads who are 16 and 17 years old, to do that is a measure of will and determination.”
The Academy left it late to clinch all three points in a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ afternoon in Derbyshire, and the victory owed much to some chopping and changing during the interval.
“We expect a tough game every week but we went into the game feeling confident,” Garreth continued.
“We were losing 1-0 then equalised to 1-1, took the lead at 2-1, conceded a penalty, a goal from an individual error and another from an individual error and poor defending.
“I made a couple of changes at half time and made some slight tactical adjustments, not huge, on the same principles that we want the players to play and said to them if they did that then they could get a goal in the first 20 minutes which they did.
“We were really playing well and got the equaliser and continued to pressure them and got the winning goal in the 87th minute.”
However, there is still room for improvement in the Academy boss’ eyes ahead of a cup clash away at Bradford City, who was able to overlook the four goals conceded, in favour of the five the Academy notched.
“I was happy with how we took our chances but not happy with how we defended,” Garreth conceded.
“They deserved to win in the end and we had a discussion about it in training about what we thought and the boys watched the game and reviewed it. We go through it with them and make sure they learn from it which will take us to our game on Saturday in the cup.”