Rotherham United maintained their impressive Central League form after coming from behind to beat Mansfield Town 3-1 at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Goals from Joe Newell, Kyle Vassell and Jacques Etia secured victory for Matt Hamshaw’s side, but the Millers had to come from a goal down at break in a fixture which was switched late in the day from the Millers’ training base at Roundwood.
The Millers fielded a mixture of youth and experience with first-team players Zak Vyner, Matt Palmer, Newell and Vassell all given game time.
It was Vassell who had the game’s first genuine opening when Tyrone Lewthwaite won possession back high up the pitch before laying the ball to the ex-Blackpool ace, but Vassell placed the ball wide with a shot from 20 yards.
A minute later and Vassell was taking aim again, this time his shot took a deflection before going wide.
Mansfield missed a good opportunity on 21 minutes when Alex MacDonald cut the ball back to Tom Fielding, but the winger sliced his shot wide at the top end.
The Millers were soon back on the front foot, as Alex Bray created half a chance with some silky footwork but his effort was saved by Wilson.
Bray was close again when he almost connected with Ben Wiles’ cross, and soon after Newell was denied by the legs of Wilson.
Just before the break Mansfield took the lead. Vyner was penalised for a high boot resulting in a penalty which Keaton Ward confidently tucked away sending Laurence Bilboe the other way.
The home side replied with an electric start to the second-half. Vassell showed good hold up play under pressure before feeding the ball to Vyner. The Bristol City loanee’s cross was picked up by Newell who lashed the ball beyond Wilson.
The turnaround was complete just before the hour mark when Newell turned provider this time by sending Vassell through on goal, and the striker took his chance by steering the ball into the bottom corner.
Newell was regularly causing problems for the Mansfield defence, and one particular mazy run could have ended in a shot before he was cut down in full stride. From the resulting free-kick, Newell’s strike was parried by Wilson.
The Millers were somehow denied a third goal when Akeem Hinds’ effort was blocked into the path of Palmer who smashed the ball towards goal, but the Mansfield defence managed to deflect the ball over.
The game was wrapped up inside the last 10 minutes when Palmer’s centre was knocked down by Jake Hull into the path of sub Jacques Etia who netted Rotherham’s third.
Rotherham: Bilboe; Vyner (Hull 80), Southern-Cooper, Beeden, Hinds; Bray (Peel-Evans 86), Wiles, Palmer, Newell (Carlton 74); Lewthwaite (Gratton 84), Vassell (Etia 68).
Mansfield: Wilson; King, Walker, Stokes, Law; MacDonald, Tomlinson, Fielding; Blake, Ward.
Referee: M. Thomas