Rotherham United’s U18s claimed victory in a five-goal thriller in their first away trip of 2023/24 in the Youth Alliance League at Lincoln City on Saturday.
Recently appointed Professional Development Phase Coach Gavin Atherton took charge of the Millers who came out on top against the Imps courtesy of goals from Reece Wilson, Harry Roddis and Ben Hatton.
The visitors made a flying start in Lincolnshire and took the lead after 20 minutes had elapsed when Wilson received the ball on the edge of the penalty area before turning his man and burying the ball in the bottom corner on the angle 15 yards out.
The Millers would have to wait until after the restart for the standard of their performance to be rewarded again but were on 50 minutes when Roddis doubled their advantage.
This time a perfectly-executed set piece routine saw Tom Shepherd’s delivery pick out Roddis at the back post and he made no mistake as he turned his effort beyond the ‘keeper to make it 2-0.
A third would follow quarter of an hour later when the lively Hatton robbed Lincoln of possession high up the pitch before dancing beyond two markers and into the box, where his feigned cross allowed him the space to apply a tidy finish from a tight angle.
A spirited Imps fightback would see them conjure up a quickfire reply against the run of play with two goals making the final minutes much more of a contest at 3-2.
However, despite the lead being reduced from comfortable to narrow in respect of the scoreline, the visitors continued to assert their dominance and were unlucky to see Wilson denied a second when his goal was disallowed, before Hatton almost doubled his tally for the afternoon, only to see his effort cleared off the line.
Academy | Hamilton, Paisley, Shepherd, Roddis, Seisay (Hibbard 70), Mare, Abraham, Grove, Wilson, Hatton, Giwa (Clarke 75).
Unused | Prior, Hibbard, Niewiem, Gordan.