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Match Reports

REPORT | Reserves 2 v 1 Huddersfield Town

11 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Reserves 2 v 1 Huddersfield Town

11 October 2022

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Rotherham United opened their 2022/23 Central League Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town under the watchful eye of new boss Matt Taylor on Tuesday afternoon at Roundwood.

All three goals in the fixture came following the restart, but it was the Millers who prevailed thanks to Ben Hatton and Georgie Kelly who netted either side of an equaliser from Donay O’Brien-Brady.

The Central League Cup came at a good time for new boss Taylor, allowing him to cast an eye over a number of players who have been on the fringes in recent weeks and giving him the opportunity to continue his assessment of the squad that he has inherited.

With that in mind, the Millers fielded an incredibly strong second string with the likes of Jamie Lindsay, Kelly and Cameron Humphreys all selected for action, whilst it also provided returning long-term absentee Peter Kioso the chance to register some match minutes.

It was unsurprising, therefore, that is was the hosts who came flying out of the blocks against a young Huddersfield outfit and asserted their dominance on the game at Roundwood in the early stages.

Shane Ferguson was heavily-involved in the early action as he looked to slide a pass into the path of young Mackenzie Warne, who was beaten to it by the covering figure of defender Brodie Spencer.

The industrious Kelly, who has endeared himself to the Millers faithful during his short stint in South Yorkshire used those qualities and almost forced the opener on 16 minutes when his charge to hunt down goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic saw him come within a whisker of him blocking a punt downfield.

The exercise would be cut short for midfielder Jamie Lindsay, however, as the Scot picked up a facial injury with just 19 minutes on the clock, forcing him to be replaced by Adam Clark as a precaution with just 20 minutes played.

The young Terriers did get a foothold in the game as the half went on and Brahima Diarra needed to be halted on two occasions, firstly calling Humphreys into action to make the block with his second effort going narrowly wide of the target.

Ferguson and Kelly were involved again on the 30 minute-mark when the pair combined to near devastating effect, only to see the latter thwarted by onrushing goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic.

Aaron Rowe then tested the resolve of the Millers’ back line when he interchanged passes with Myles Bright before Josh Vickers produced a fine fingertip save to direct it around the post.

Ferguson continued to prove a menace in the second string encounter with his delivery proving to be a key weapon for the Millers in the opening half. His first paved the way for substitute Clark to drive an effort at goal which was deflected behind before a second picked out Kelly, who was denied by Bilokapic in the Huddersfield goal in the last act of the first 45 minutes.

Half-time | Reserves 0 v 0 Huddersfield Town

Having registered 45 minutes of competitive action, Kioso was withdrawn at the interval and replaced by another youngster in Archie Day for the second half as a still-strong Millers outfit looked to make the scoreline reflect their attacking endeavours.

There was little action of note as the action got under way following the restart and it would be Huddersfield who would try to threaten as the hour-mark came and went.

Ben Midgley positioned himself well as he looked to benefit from a ball in from a wide area, but his connection wasn’t telling enough to beat Vickers in the Millers goal.

Connor Shanks would be the next to catch sight of the Rotherham goal after Hamish Douglas had upended Cian Philpott to provide the Terriers with a shooting opportunity from the resultant set piece. Shanks’ low drive did find the target, but again, didn’t have the required power or accuracy to better Vickers.

As has been noted in this report on a number of occasions, Ferguson’s crossing ability had proven a thorn in the side of the visitors and it would be the Northern Irishman’s left foot which would deliver the ammunition for the opening goal.

After Hakeem Odoffin had spread the ball wide, Ferguson’s pinpoint low cross found the run of Academy player Hatton, who made his presence known after coming on as a substitute with a telling touch to make it 1-0 with 66 minutes played.

Huddersfield mustered a response at the other end just six minutes later though when Donay O’Brien-Brady’s long distance strike found a way beyond Vickers, who had repelled a number of previous efforts, to level it up at 1-1.

Kelly, who had been a livewire in the Millers attack all afternoon finally got his reward as the game moved into the final 10 minutes when he met Scott High’s ball into the box to power a header beyond Bilokapic to make restore the Millers lead.

Hatton had looked lively since his introduction and almost played a role in another Millers goal right at the death when his driving run took him to the byline, where he picked out Kelly in the box, only for the Irish forward to be thwarted by a Loick Ayina block in the final act of the Central League Cup fixture.

Full-time | Reserves 2 v 1 Huddersfield Town


Reserves | Vickers; Humphreys, Odoffin (Bond 90), McCart; Kioso (Day HT), Douglas, Warne (Hatton 60), Lindsay (Clark 19), Ferguson (Jenkinson 66); High; Kelly.

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