RESERVES: STAGS 5-2 ROTHERHAM / MILLER HAT-TRICK
Reserves Report: Stags 5-2 Rotherham United Reserves
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 03 Apr 2018
Mansfield Town reserves were in action today, running out 5-2 winners over Rotherham United reserves, with striker Ricky Miller scoring a hat-trick in a strong Stags lineup.
Stags finished the game with ten men after Lewis Gibbens was sent off in the 71st minute, but were the stronger side throughout and earned a deserved victory.
The amber and blue fielded a strong outfit for the game, featuring the likes of Miller, Krystian Pearce, Alfie Potter and Paul Anderson.
Stags started the game immediately on the front foot, with Potter finding joy on the right-wing. He picked up the ball in space, and flashed the ball across the face of goal.
Miller, who featured in the 2-1 loss to Luton Town on Monday, broke through in the 13th minute of the game, but his dinked effort was scooped off the line.
Bobby Olejnik was called into action for the first time five minutes later, but he reacted well to save a Rotherham free-kick at his near post.
Stags then created a flurry of chances, with the first falling to Potter. He danced through the Rotherham defence, before seeing his effort well saved by Laurence Bilboe.
Moments later, Miller tried his luck from range, but could not keep his shot down. Adam King had the next chance of the affair as the ball bounced towards him in the box, yet his connection with the ball was not clean and failed to trouble Bilboe.
However, Stags did not have to wait much longer for their breakthrough goal. Anderson and Miller linked up superbly on the left-hand side of the pitch, before the former broke through and finished neatly to put Mansfield ahead.
The half came to a close soon after, with Anderson’s goal standing as the difference between the two sides.
Stags started the second-half as the more dominant side once more, but found themselves level with Rotherham in the 49th minute. The visitors found space on the break, and Joshua Kayode reached the resulting cross first to head home.
Rotherham were not level for long, though, as Miller scored his first of the afternoon in the 56th minute. After a scrappy period in the Rotherham box, the ball fell to Miller who fired home to give Stags the lead.
Ten minutes later Rotherham equalised again, this time through Jerry Yates. He pounced on a loose ball and slid his finish under the onrushing Olejnik.
It then got worse for Stags as Gibbens was shown a straight red card. As Kayode closed in on goal, the Stags' defender pulled him back, giving the referee no choice but to produce the red for preventing a goal-scoring opportunity.
Despite playing 20 minutes with ten men, Stags finished the game strongly. Miller found the back of the net again soon after to give the home side the lead. Paul Digby tried tackling his way to goal inside the six-yard box, but the ball ended up falling kindly for Miller who poked home from close range.
Miller then nearly scored a competitor for goal of the season. He brought the ball down well before spinning his marker with ease, then clipped the underside of the bar with a chipped effort from 20-yards.
It would have been a superb way to get his hat-trick, but thankfully the striker bagged his third of the afternoon soon after. He drove into the Rotherham penalty area and slid the ball under Bilboe to put the game to bed for Stags.
Stags further compounded the misery on Rotherham in the last minute, though, as Jason Law scored his second goal in as many games. Jordan Graham’s drilled cross from the right-wing was inch perfect and found Law at the back post who had the simple task of slotting home into an empty net.
STAGS’ XI: Olejnik; Thomas, Digby, Pearce (Gibbens 45'), Benning; Potter (Graham 45'), Ward (Smith 63'), King, Byrom; Anderson (Law 70'); Miller.
UNUSED SUBS: Xavier Sundby
Post-match interviews with hat-trick hero Ricky Miller and academy coach Richard Cooper will be available to view for iFollow Stags subscribers later today. Log in to iFollow here.
REPORT - Mansfield 5 v 2 Reserves
Rotherham United Reserves were beaten 5-2 at Mansfield Town in the Central League.
An inexperienced second-string levelled the scores at 2-2 in the second-half, but a strong Mansfield side ran away with proceedings after a late surge saw Ricky Miller complete a hat-trick for the experienced Stags.
Matt Hamshaw oversaw a youthful Millers side, with Jerry Yates and Mason Warren the most senior of the group which was made up of young professionals and first and second year scholars.
Mansfield took the lead in the first-half when former Liverpool and Hull winger Paul Anderson combined with Miller to give the Stags the advantage.
Rotherham levelled through Joshua Kayode but the hosts were quickly back in front when Miller struck his first to put Mansfield 2-1 up at the break.
Yates equalised a second time for the Millers when he latched onto a loose ball in the area to fire beyond the ‘keeper, and going into the final quarter the Millers were well placed for a notable result.
Mansfield though went into overdrive, and despite losing Lewis Gibbens to a red card, went in front when great work from ex-Barnsley and Ipswich ace Paul Digby allowed Miller a second goal.
The game was made safe inside the final 10 minutes when Miller completed his hat-trick, and Jason Law rounded off the scoring in injury time.
ROTHERHAM - Bilboe, Osborne, Southern-Cooper, Atherton, Hinds, Maguire, Murr, Warren, McGinley, Wiles, Yates.
SUBS - McMahon, James, Martin, Kayode, Lewthwaite.
Hat-trick hero Miller impressed by young Stags
Striker Ricky Miller was impressed with how the younger Stags' players performed in the reserves' 5-2 win over Rotherham on Tuesday.
Miller scored a hat-trick in the game, but was quick to point out the contributions that the younger players made to an emphatic victory.
Keaton Ward started the game, with the likes of Alistair Smith, Lewis Gibbens, Jason Law and Jordan Graham all coming off the bench to feature.
Miller said that it was good on a personal level to get some playing time before Saturday's game against Crewe, and that the experience on the whole was a good one for the under-21 players.
"It was good to get a run out and get some minutes under my belt," he said. "It was good for the kids to play against some experience and I thought they did really well, so it was a good exercise.
"I think it's the best way for them to learn - to play with senior players. The sooner they can start doing that the better and I think they all played superbly today, they can all be proud of themselves."
The forward also looked ahead to this weekend's match, as Crewe Alexandra are set to visit One Call Stadium on Saturday.
"We'll get back in tomorrow and train hard, and just work towards three points," he added.
"We'll get in and the gaffer will tell us what he needs from us - then hopefully we can make a good impression at home."
Tickets for the game against Crewe are still available to buy via http://www.stagstickets.co.uk, or at the ticket office on Quarry Lane. The office is open from Monday to Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm, and up until 3.00pm on matchday.
Supporters can purchase home match tickets up until kick-off on home matchdays - fans can therefore buy tickets up until 3.00pm.