Rotherham United 2 Leicester City 2
Morris (38) Iheanacho (12, 72)
Rotherham United’s last pre-season of the summer saw them twice come back to get a well earned draw against a Leicester City side at very wet New York Stadium this afternoon.
The Foxes were out of the blocks the quicker and only some nice defending from Shaun MacDonald stopped a Demarai Gray pass finding Harvey Barnes who was in a good position to shoot. A few minutes later Adrien Silva put a ball over the top towards Andy King but Daniel Iversen in the Millers goal playing against his parent club was there to scoop the ball up. Rotherham had a chance when a back pass from Nampalys Mendy went out for a corner which Dan Barlaser took finding Matt Crooks but his effort was saved by Danny Ward in the Leicester goal. A one-two between Matt Olosunde and Michael Smith saw the latter have a shot at goal which was cleared to safety. As the Millers were just getting some momentum up the visitors took the lead when Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho hit the ball past Iversen to give the eight hundred visitors something to cheer about. Minutes later Iversen had to be alert to stop Iheanacho making it two when he managed to get his right shin to the shot and put it wide. On twenty-five minutes Leicester had another chance when Barnes found himself free to run towards goal and finding Iheanacho looked like it would be two but between Iversen and Clark Robertson the ball stayed out followed by Iversen doing well to keep out a shot from Gray. Despite City having the upper hand the Millers got back into the game and after a Kyle Vassell shot from some twenty-five yards out was well defended nobody could do anything on the thirty-eighth minute after Vassell sent Carlton Morris on his way and the striker on loan from Norwich City, slotted the ball past Ward to make it one-all. The visitors went straight down the other end and only another superb save from Iversen kept a Barnes shot from hitting the net and minutes later the Millers’ ‘keeper saved again from the same player saving a close range shot with his feet. Morris did well to keep a pass down from Barlaser and send the ball to Vassell who saw his shot blocked and go to safety.
The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Nampalys Mendy was replaced by Daniel Amartey due to injury. Iversen came to the Millers rescue again after a ball in wasn’t cleared and fell to Harvey Barnes whose shot the Millers shot-stopper parried away to safety. Matt Olosunde was getting room down the right and sent a super cross for Michael Smith whose shot was punched away by Danny Ward. The Millers first substitute was Carlton Morris make way for Freddie Ladapo just before the hour mark and the Foxes brought on Rachid Ghezzal for Adrien Silva. The Millers thought they’d gone in front on fifty-eight minutes but Kyle Vassell’s goal was ruled out for offside. A number of Millers changes saw Ben Wiles, Jamie Lindsay and Jamie Proctor, Richard Wood and Lewis Price on for Matt Crooks, Dan Barlaser, Michael Smith, Joe Mattock and Daniel Iversen. Michael Ihiekwe did well to clear from under his own crossbar from a Demarai Gray shot and Joshua Kayode came on for Kyle Vassell. Some good work from Gray saw him find Kelechi Iheanacho at the far post but Price did well to tip the ball round the post with the resulting corner coming to nothing. But the Millers defence seemed to have gone to sleep on seventy-two minutes when despite having two defenders close to him Iheanacho evaded them, rounded Price and put the ball into the net to give the Foxes back the lead. A late challenge on James Justin saw Clark Robertson get the first yellow of the game. With ten minutes to go the Millers got a free-kick which was taken by Ben Wiles who found Michael Ihiekwe whose initial header smashed against the upright but came back out to him and he stuck it in the back of the net to make it two-all. This was Ihiekwe’s last action of the game as he and Clark Robertson were replaced by Akeem Hinds and Jake Cooper while City brought on Admirel Muskwe for Harvey Barnes. Some lovely work from Osolunde saw him ease past a defender before he appeared to be dragged down in the area by Muskwe which everyone in the ground except for referee Cox thought was a spot-kick. At the other end Muskwe at a shot at goal which Price did well to get down too and smother.
A good performance from the Millers and although it might not have been Leicester’s first team there were some very good players for the visitors today. I was impressed with most of our new boys and think Iversen is a really good ‘keeper. I also think Olosunde is going to be a good asset for us and was impressed with Ladapo when he came on, though I do like the fancy footwork I do think it has a time and a place! My Man of the Match? I thought MacDonald had an excellent game, as did Morris, but my vote would go to KYLE VASSELL.
ROTHERHAM – Iversen (Price 65), Mattock (Wood 65), MacDonald, Barlaser (Lindsay 60), Morris (Ladapo 56), Robertson (Hinds 81), Crooks (Wiles 60), Vassell (Kayode 71), Ihiekwe (Cooper 81), Olosunde, Smith (Proctor 60).
LEICESTER – Ward, Justin, Souuncu, Morgan, Gray, Iheanacho, Barnes (Muskwe 85), Silva (Ghezzal 57), Mendy (Amartey 50), Fuchs, King. Unused- Jakupovic, Ughelumba, Moore.
Attendance – 3,818 – 811 Foxes