Millers add three points to reserve league tally...
Rotherham United reignited their surge for the top of The Central League table with a 4-1 home win over Notts County on Tuesday.
A Joshua Kayode brace added to goals from Ben Wiles and Jerry Yates ensured the hosts secured maximum points from the second string outing, with Remaye Campbell on target from the penalty spot for the Magpies.
The Millers contingent saw a number of first team players handed the opportunity to get some minutes under their belt ahead of the weekend’s South Yorkshire derby at Sheffield United.
Amongst those selected were club captain Richard Wood, Wiles and Ryan Williams, who made impressive appearances as substitutes in the win over Blackburn Rovers, with the likes of Matt Palmer, Matt Crooks and Yates also involved.
A strong Millers side made their intentions clear early on as Kayode rose to head a third minute corner narrowly wide of the upright but that was the only early warning sign that the youngster would issue.
It was just four minutes later when the Irishman strode in behind the Notts County defence to latch onto a ball from midfield, before he steadied himself on the angle in the box and stroked an effort inside the near post to give the hosts the early advantage.
Goalmouth action was hard to come by following the early breakthrough and neither Lewis Price nor Ross Fitzsimmons in their side’s goals were troubled for a good 20 minute spell.
The visitors forged a half chance on the half-hour mark when Alex Howes teed up Will Patching following a cross, but he was thwarted by a well-positioned Jake Southern-Cooper, who headed his effort off the line with relative ease.
Notts County came within inches of levelling moments later again, when Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dart down the right took him to the byline, where a pull back across the box would have made for a tap in for Remaye Campbell, who was inches off making contact as he slid in two yards from goal.
The Millers resumed control of the fixture later in the half, but were unable to build on their advantage despite a couple of decent opportunities. Ben Wiles, skippering the side for the afternoon, and Ryan Williams had those chances, but they were thwarted by smart saves and deflections respectively from their strikes from the edge of the area.
Half-time | Reserves 1 v 0 Notts County
Chances remained at a premium for 10 minutes after the restart and it took the referee to point to the penalty spot for the first time a goalkeeper would have to face a shot. Notts County were the benefactors of that decision after Will Patching’s jinking run saw him slide a pass into Campbell, who was felled as he looked to shoot.
The Notts County striker picked himself up, dusted himself off and coolly despatched the resultant spot kick to restore parity at 1-1 at Roundwood.
The Millers re-established their advantage less than five minutes later though after a deadly counter-attack. Crooks picked the ball up inside his own half before setting Yates away down the right, the forward was left with plenty to do, but obliged as he broke for the byline before cutting inside to pick out Wiles at the back post, who obliged with a cool header to make it 2-1.
That lead was then doubled with less than 20 minutes left on the clock. The Millers had begun to assert their dominance on the fixture and were rewarded from seemingly nothing. Ryan Williams’ hopeful ball into Yates was bouncing awkwardly 20 yards from goal, but the forward expertly used his body to hold off his man before working a yard for a shot in the box, which he calmly guided beyond Fitzsimmons.
Ciaran Toner’s side put themselves out of sight soon after when persistence paid off for Kayode, who netted his second of the afternoon following a determined assault on the Magpies’ defence. Matt Palmer’s precise pass found him on the edge of the area, before he looked to be dispossessed, only to pinch it back from a defender and drive a ball home from inside the area.
Full-time | Reserves 4 v 1 Notts County
Reserves | Price; Vyner, Southern-Cooper, Wood, Hinds; Williams, Crooks, Wiles, Palmer, Kayode; Yates.