Its Miller time! I know, I know, predictable intro, but its their own fault, it is their nickname. Anyway, Rovers continue to build their pre-season form with a third straight win, this their first over league opposition. A somewhat threadbare Rovers side, particualrly in defence, defeated League Two neighbours Rotherham United 4-0 at Don Valley Stadium.
Rovers included their three recent trialists in the fixture with John Oster and Quinton Fortune each given over an hour to impress, whilst Barrow’s Jason Walker partnered James Hayter up front in the second half. With a wide running track between the stands and the pitch Don Valley Stadium seems to lend itself to a sedate footballing atmosphere and that seemed the case in this game as neither side really threatened early on; an overhit cross from Gareth Roberts proving as close as any side came in the opening twenty minutes.
The breakthrough finally came midway through the first half. Just minutes after Paul Heffernan has a goal ruled out for offside Rovers did take the lead Sam Hird finishing well following a quick free-kick. Before the break Dean Shiels forced two saves from Rotherham keeper Jamie Annerson and the home side were almost gifted a chance to equalise through a short Adam Lockwood back-pass but Ben Smith recovered well and the half ended at 1-0 to Rovers.
Rovers made a number of changes at the interval but continued where they had left off once back on the field as they doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half. Roberts’ cross following a short corner headed home by Hayter. Trialist Jason Walker forced a good save from Annerson minutes later, but was only to be denied for a matter of minutes as the Barrow forward struck on the hour mark, nodding home the rebound after Hayter’s initial header had struck the post.
Rovers remained in control of the game and added a fourth goal ten minutes from time. Walker and Hayter found themselves in a two-on-one situation in attack and a back-heel from the former allowed the latter a simple finish to round of the scoring 4-0. Kevin Ellison wasted a couple of chances for Rotherham late on, but this was a welcome scoreline for the Rovers, particularly given the number of absentees. Next up is that fixture that is said to strike dread into top flight clubs, the wet Tuesday night in Grimsby.
Rovers 1st half line-up (4-3-1-2): Ben Smith; Mark Wilson, Sam Hird, Adam Lockwood, Gareth Roberts; John Oster, Brian Stock, Quinton Fortune; Martin Woods; Dean Shiels, Paul Heffernan
Rovers 2nd half line-up (4-3-1-2): Gary Woods; Mark Wilson, Sam Hird, Adam Lockwood, Gareth Roberts; John Oster (Robbie Clark), John Spicer, Quinton Fortune (Charles Fisher); Lewis Guy; James Hayter, Jason Walker