By Jamie Larsson
A fixture which has been the scene of excitement and passion at senior level was equally matched when we hosted Rotherham United this Saturday in what was a freezing, wet morning at Rawdon Meadows. However, the 4-0 score line was little harsh on our young side, who can take positives from the game.
Despite shading more of the possession in the opening few minutes we were unfortunate to be caught off guard with the visitors taking an early lead with their first chance of the game. The match settled in to a tight, well fought affair with our centre halves Alex Laird and Kesi Omolokun looking solid and composed as they played the ball out from the back comfortably under high pressure from Rotherham.
Our first real chance came after 20 minutes, Niah Payne linked up well with Ellis Hudson cutting inside to beat the defender but had his shot was saved. Xander Burnie had an adventurous volley caught by the keeper, shortly followed by Ellis Hudson attack-the winger caused trouble for Rotherham all morning and had a couple of decent efforts saved. Rotherham countered after a half decent spell of possession and keeper George Kenworthy was forced to make an excellent save tipping a powerful header over the crossbar.
Our best chance of the game came on 31 minutes. Right back Jack Lazenby’s neat first touch pass found Summali Cissa who showed good strength and a smart turn to beat the left back before rushing in to the box. His shot was blocked at the near post and was quickly followed up with a Jack Lazenby shot which was well saved by the keeper and a fine effort from Kwame Boateng clattered against the near post. The Millers countered as they eventually tucked a good cross home.
The second half was also a close battle as we looked to seek to our way back in to the match. Five minutes in, a neat through ball from Neil Patience found a surging run from Summali Cissa who unfortunately lost his footing before he was able to get the shot away. A similar passage of play saw Ellis Hudson and Niah Payne combine but the striker had his effort blocked.
We appeared the better side after the interval, George Kenworthy had to be on his toes as he showed rapid reactions to get a foot to the ball and clear just before the Rotherham striker could nip in. Xander McBurnie showed good movement and energy in midfield and Omed Gardezi looked a handful for the opposition when he came on. The visitors nicked a third goal and a late glancing header from Kesi Omolokun was the closest we came to a consolation goal. Rotherham clinched a fourth goal in the dying minutes from a thunderous long shot to round off a disappointing morning for us.
Next week, we are away to Grimsby Town – Cheapside Training Ground, DN37 0HT – 11.00am k/o