Millers have to settle for friendly draw......
Rotherham United had another decent pre-season run-out against Sky Bet League Two opposition, in the shape of Mansfield Town, but any hopes of a morale-boosting win were dashed when sub Rhys Oates equalised for the hosts, near the end, cancelling out Joshua Kayode’s header.
Paul Warne’s side looked to be heading for victory when Kayode headed home, just minutes before he was withdrawn with injury, but Mansfield levelled matters at the death.
On a sun-baked afternoon in Nottinghamshire, the Millers travelling contingent were treated to pre-season run-outs for summer recruits Conor Washington, Cameron Humphreys and Peter Kioso.
Club skipper Richard Wood led out his team at the One Call Stadium while fan favourites Viktor Johansson, Dan Barlaser, Ben Wiles and Chiedozie Ogbene were starters.
The Millers were quick out of the blocks and they came close to breaking the deadlock in the early seconds when Barlaser got the ball from under his feet to deliver a delicious cross into the path of Wiles, who had escaped the attentions of any home player, to head goalwards but Christy Pym, in the home goal, saved at the second attempt.
Johansson was called into action, minutes later, when home skipper Ollie Clarke got the better of a tussle with Barlaser near the touchline to fire a cross-cum-shot which stung the palms of the Swedish stopper, at his near post.
The Millers had a scare when Wood found himself in a foot race with Will Swan, and he came out second best as the Forest loanee cut inside smartly to drill a low effort which fizzed past Johansson, but also the far post.
Rotherham had a few sniffs of goal when firstly Kioso threaded a lovely ball which Washington could not get under his spell on the edge of the box and the chance was lost before Barlaser clipped a lovely ball for the Northern Ireland international, who attempted to find Joshua Kayode in the six-yard box, but the cross evaded his attentions.
After a water break on the quarter hour, Jamie Lindsay was in the thick of the action when he drilled a low effort which was blocked en-route to goal, before failing to latch onto Washington’s centre, just seconds later, with a swipe at fresh air.
Either side of the half hour, both sides traded chances when Lucas Akins headed wide from Stephen McLaughlin’s cross before Kayode’s hanging cross paved the way for Kioso to head straight into the grateful hands of Pym.
With half-time approaching, Lindsay had a low shot deflected behind by a backtracking home defender before Ogbene came to the fore in the latter stages of the half, by swinging a lovely cross into the box which Lindsay could not direct goalwards.
Half-time: Mansfield Town 0 Rotherham United 0
The Millers came out in the second half with the same eleven that started the game.
The visitors produced a fine move when Ogbene showed fleet of foot and a turn of speed to evade two Mansfield defenders, before delivering a centre which was met by the head of Washington, but his glancing effort sailed narrowly wide of the target with Pym out of the game.
Former Miller Jordan Bowery made something out of nothing to emerge from a cul-de-sac to drill a low effort which brought a smothered save out of Johansson.
There was little to separate the teams but it was Rotherham, who broke the deadlock, just after the hour mark.
After forcing a corner, Barlaser caressed a perfectly-weighted set piece into the danger area and Kayode emerged from a ruck of bodies in the box to meet his centre and head home from close range.
The afternoon took a cruel twist for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, just minutes later, though, when he chased a ball into the channel before pulling up sharply – with what appeared to be a muscle injury – and he was immediately replaced by Gillingham hero Georgie Kelly.
The Stags made a trio of substitutions with former Millers loanee Stephen Quinn and one-time target George Maris introduced.
However, it was the Millers, who threatened next when sub Ollie Rathbone was scythed down by Quinn, and Barlaser’s resultant free kick was saved by Pym.
The home side had a half-chance when McLaughlin’s free-kick lay off paved the way for sub Hiram Boateng to sting the palms of Johansson with a low drive.
Boateng had a snap shot deflected over, near the end, before McLaughlin fired over from a tight angle.
The Millers, who made a raft of substitutions, in the last quarter, had lost their rhythm and Mansfield punished them with a replacement of their own, when a defensive splitting pass saw Oates get on the wrong side of Odoffin, to bare down on goal before firing a drilled effort which beat the outstretched hand of Johansson to find the far corner of the net.
Full-time: Mansfield Town 1 Rotherham United 1
Mansfield Town 1
Rotherham United 1
Teams: Mansfield- Pym, Bowery (Gordon 70), O’Toole, Hawkins, Harbottle (Law 75), McLaughlin, Clarke (Maris 64), McGeouch (Quinn 64), Lapslie (Boateng 64), Swan (Oates 75), Akins (Cooper 75). Subs: Mason, Gordon, Gale,
Rotherham- Johansson, Barlaser (Douglas 70) , Wood (Champion 76), Wiles (Rathbone 61), Ogbene (Durose 70), Washington, Lindsay (Warne 70), Kayode (Kelly 64), Odoffin, Humphreys (Hull 61), Kioso (Holvey 70). Subs: Vickers.
Referee- J Smith.
Attendance- 2440 (410)