A brace from Georgie Kelly and a goal from Conor Washington helped the Reserves continue their 100% record in the Central League Cup as they overcame Bolton Wanderers 3-1 at Roundwood.
Kelly – returning to action following an injury he picked up just before the World Cup break – had two to his name in the first half, with his first goal coming inside the first minute and the other from the penalty spot, either side of Connor Stanley’s equaliser.
Having beaten Huddersfield Town in their opening encounter in the competition, the Millers made it two wins from two when Conor Washington scored in the second half to wrap up the points.
Matt Taylor again used the competition to again opportunities to players on the periphery of the side, with Academy graduates Jake Hull, Will Jenkinson and Curtis Durose named in the starting lineup.
The Reserves made a dream start to their encounter when they took the lead in just under a minute through Kelly who converted Conor Washington’s cross at the far post to make it 1-0.
10 minutes later, the forward thought he’d added his second, but he was denied by the linesman’s flag, after he slotted Scott High’s clever pass home from an offside position.
The visitors pressed for a way back into the game and had their reward four minutes later, when Stanley curled in a stunning free kick from the edge of the box to equalise.
Parity did not last long however, as the home side regained the lead three minutes later, when Tolaji Bola was tripped inside the penalty box on 18 minutes, with Kelly stepping up to add his second from the spot.
Kelly was proving to be a real thorn in the side of the Wanderers defenders and he went close again on 27 minutes. Durose flashed a low cross along the box which was met by the striker, who forced a strong save from Hutchinson. He was called into action again just eight minutes later, with High once again the architect of the move, playing Washington through, but he too was denied by the stopper.
HALF TIME | RESERVES 3 V 1 BOLTON
The reserves started the second period with the same impetuous as they had in the first, with Durose denied twice by the impressive Hutchinson two minutes into the second half. Rotherham continued to turn the screw but were finding the Wanderers’ stopper in inspired form. The keeper rose highest after Bola had on a set-piece to collect High’s teasing cross ahead of a number of red shirts.
Rotherham had a third just two minutes later when Odoffin cushioned High’s corner into the path of Washington who applied an impressive finish on the turn from close-range to make it 3-1. The home side continued to play on the front foot and following a classy turn and pass from Jenkinson into the feet of Norton-Cuffy, the wing-back slipped in Odoffin. The midfielder powered through the middle before dragging a low effort just wide.
The dangerous Kelly was again in the thick of the action when Washington and Norton-Cuffy combined well down the right to fashion a chance for the forward, who met the former’s cross with a header which was just wide.
Odoffin was doing a good job of breaking up the play in the middle of the park and did so again in the 65th minute, intercepting the ball and driving forward before driving a rasping effort just over the bar, before Kelly couldn’t quite turn Norton-Cuffy’s inviting cross towards goal.
Hutchinson was again called into action with 15 minutes remaining when he turned High’s effort around the post to prevent the Reserves adding a fourth. Bolton continued to carry a threat and Jones was unfortunate to see his long range effort whistle narrowly wide of the post form 25 yards.
FULL TIME | RESERVES 3 v 1 BOLTON
RESERVES | Vickers; Jenkinson, Hull, McCart; Norton-Cuffy (Holvey 80’), High, Odoffin, Durose (Warne 68’), Bola; Washington (Nisbett 80’), Kelly (Day 83’).
UNUSED | Hemfrey.