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Match Reports


21 March 2024

Match Reports


21 March 2024

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Rotherham United’s U18s turned in a five-star performance in their last outing in the Youth Alliance League with their efforts earning them a 5-2 victory away at Notts County on Tuesday afternoon.

Despite netting an impressive five goals on the day, it was anything but plain sailing for Joe Skarz’s youngsters, who were behind in the clash with the Magpies but showed great resolve to wrestle their way back into the game and overturn the deficit in style.

The goals continued to flow for first-year professional Josh Ayres who helped himself to two on the day and were added to by strikes from the in-form Ben Hatton, Reece Wilson and Hamid Seisay.

A bright start from the visitors saw them take the early incentive largely thanks to the craft and guile of James Clarke. It was his jinking run into the penalty area that saw him dart beyond two home defenders before being felled to leave the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.

Ayres, who has been in red-hot form in front of goal this season, confidently stepped up to despatch his penalty and make it 1-0 to the Millers.

Notts County replied when a lapse in concentration in defence allowed a home attacker the opportunity to run in-behind the visiting rearguard, where he took a handy first touch before slotting the ball home with aplomb to level the scoring.

Just after the half-time interval, the visitors would slip behind in the tie as a long throw from Notts County caused chaos in the box. The Millers were unable to clear their lines and the hosts capitalised as they squeezed the ball home amidst a crowded penalty area.

The home lead would be shortlived, however, with the Millers turning ‘Route One’ to score a direct, no-nonsense goal of their own.

A long punt upfield from Bailey Hamilston in the away goal was chased down by Hatton, who kept his cool having breached the enemy defence to beat the ‘keeper with a delicate lob one-on-one from eight yards out.

The pick of the bunch followed for the young Millers and would mark the second of the afternoon for Ayres just shy of the hour-mark.

All aspects of simple football were abandoned as the visitors linked up with five short passes before Tom Shepherd unlocked the Magpies’ defence with a splitting through ball. Hatton raced onto it and cut it back to the edge of the area, where Ayres arrived late to sweep home a scintillating finish and make it 3-2.

That would mark the start of the away dominance which was evidenced by a series of chances that came and went for the Millers before they put further daylight between themselves and their hosts in Nottinghamshire.

Some fine solo work in the final third from Wilson saw him take possession in the box where he took a neat touch before spinning his man and firing the ball into the opposite corner as he turned to face the goal.

Seisay would add gloss to the scoreline and further positivity to a good day for the Millers when he capped a training ground set piece routine with a tidy finish. His deep run to the far post from a corner allowed him the space to add a calculated side-foot to the ball in and round the game off at 5-2.


Academy | Hamilton, Gordon (Truswell 87), Holvey, Clarke, Seisay, Hatton (Renshaw 87), Ayres, K Richardson (Shepherd 44), Wilson, Roddis, Giwa.

Unused | Blow.


    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Mansfield Town U18 18 11 3 4 43 20 23 36
2 Rotherham United U18 19 10 3 6 49 41 8 33
3 Burton Albion U18 19 10 1 8 35 33 2 31
4 Grimsby Town U18 17 8 5 4 41 22 19 29
5 Hartlepool United U18 19 9 2 8 38 37 1 29
6 Lincoln City U18 18 8 2 8 44 33 11 26
7 Bradford City U18 17 8 2 7 32 28 4 26
8 Harrogate Town U18 19 7 4 8 27 30 -3 25
9 Doncaster Rovers U18 19 7 3 9 28 30 -2 24
10 Huddersfield Town U18 19 3 6 10 26 63 -37 15
11 Notts County U18 18 4 1 13 25 51 -26 13

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