Rhodes Strikes To Beat Tykes
Don Valley Stadium
26 July 1500
A late goal from Alex Rhodes sealed a win for the Millers in this South Yorkshire derby friendly.
With the home team playing in their new away shirts and Barnsley in their usual red and being at Don Valley and not Millmoor it was more like being at an away game today. The visitors started the brighter and 'keeper, Steve Cann was brought into action twice in the first few minutes when Rob Kozluk's low curler from twenty yards out was neatly saved by Cann and then Jon Macken pounced on a bad backpass from skipper, Graham Coughlan, but the ball bounced safely to the young 'keeper. Cann also saved a free kick from Brian Howard while Ian Sharps cut out a good run from Macken. At the other end Mark Hudson was there when Denis Souza slipped but he hit the ball straight at Darren Moore and the ball bounced to safety. Pablo Mills, who was playing in midfield, then got the better of the Tykes defence, not for the only time this afternoon, and chipped a ball to Reuben Reid whose header was offside. Cann then came back into the action when Macken barged his way past Sharps to send Kayode Odejayi clear but his shot brought off a great stop from the Millers 'keeper. Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who was booed by the Millers fans everytime he got the ball, then intercepted Peter Holmes as he looked to get a shot on goal. Barnsley then came close when Stephen Foster rose above the defenders and met Jacob Butterfield's corner only to see Cann push the ball round the post. Reid almost made himself an instant hero when single handedly he ran at the Barnsley defence and kept running until Campbell-Ryce and Foster eventually crowded him out. Then Hudson had a long range effort saved by Luke Steele in the Barnsley net. Just before half time Butterfield passed to Macken but the player hit a first time volley across the face of goal.
The Millers came out the stronger but it was Odejayi who seemed to walk past the Millers defence, bundled his way past two half hearted challenges but ran out of pitch before he got a shot in at goal. El Haimour then outpaced three defenders and knocked a challenging cross into the danger area but the Barnsley forwards were crowded out. Peter Holmes then hacked down Campbell-Ryce, much to the Millers fans delight, but the resulting free-kick didn't come to anything. Steele then came into his own as Ryan Taylor smashed the ball towards goal and the Barnsley 'keeper did well to hang on to it. It was payback time then as Campbell-Ryce hacked down Holmes and was duly booked. Then sub, Martin Devaney sent in a dangerous cross from the right which Sharps managed to slice over his own bar for a corner. At the other end, Reid left Souza flat footed, fired across the face of the goal and there was Millers sub, Rhodes to tap the ball in the net. Barnsley could perhaps have had a couple of goals before the final whistle from Jamil Adam, the first one Cann did well to come out and punch the ball away and two minutes from time Adam hit a shot from long range which Cann managed to grab before it went in the back of the net.
Mark Robins didn't tinker with the side much today, only making five substitutes in the last ten minutes and they seemed to be a bit more settled. And, to say that there had been a rugby game played on it the night before, apart from the marks left by the lines, the pitch didn't look too bad.