Rotherham United 3 Wigan Athletic 1
Jamie Proctor’s first competitive game since August last year saw him score twice as Rotherham United eased past Wigan Athletic to the next round of the Caraboa Cup at the New York Stadium this evening.
It looked like it was going to be a dull game with both sides testing the water for the first ten minutes or so before Kal Naismith missed a chance to put the visitors ahead on thirteen minutes. At the other end Ben Wiles did well to keep the ball in and with his cross heading towards Proctor the Wigan defence did their job and cleared to safety. Wiles was the target on twenty minutes with a good cross in from David Ball but a visiting defender did well to clear. The first booking of the net went to Alex Bruce who stopped Ryan Williams in his track when the Australian was bearing down on goal, the resulting free-kick saved by Jamie Jones in the Latics goal. On the half-hour mark Millers’ ‘keeper Lewis Price did well to pluck a Gary Roberts cross out of the air followed by Roberts seeing a shot go just wide five minutes later. On the thirty-seventh minute Proctor won a free-kick which Anthony Forde took finding Sean Raggett who in turn found Proctor who stuck the ball into the corner of the net which saw the two thousand eight hundred Millers fans stand as one to cheer and applaud him. Two minutes later Wigan could have been level but a good strike from Jamie Walker went inches wide followed by a good save from Price to deny Callum McManaman. Some good work from Ball saw Bruce put the ball behind for a corner which Forde swung in and found the head of Semi Ajayi who planted it into the back of the net to give the Millers a two-nil lead going into the break. As the half was ending Wigan might have pulled one back when a shot from Roberts rebounded to safety off the underside of the crossbar.
In the opening minutes of the second half Wigan’s winger Jamie Walker brought off a superb save from Lewis Price. A Wigan free-kick was put behind for a corner which Gary Roberts put into the area only to see Jamie Proctor there to head it away to safety. The first substitution of the night was for Wigan with Devante Cole replacing Callum McManaman. On sixty-five minutes the Millers went further ahead after Billy Jones did well to get by his marker and put the ball high into the area which found Proctor who headed in to make it three-nil. A minute later Proctor became the provider when he nodded down into the path of David Ball but Jamie Jones did well to keep the ball out. Matty Palmer came on for semi Ajayi with twenty minutes to go. Price was brought into action again when he did well to turn a Callum Connolly shot round the post. On seventy-four minutes a lovely ball from Roberts found James Vaughan who headed past Price to make it three-one. The Millers brought on on Taylor for Ryan Williams while Jamie Walker made way for Joe Gelhardt for the visitors. With ten minutes to go Vaughan headed just wide. The Millers fans rose as one when Jamie Proctor was replaced by Kyle Vassell on eighty-two mintues. Zac Vyner and Raggett did well between them to get in the way of Cole getting a shot away before Vassell went down the other end, did all the hard work of beating a couple of Wigan defenders but his cross into the box was poor and easily cleared. Ben Wiles, who had an excellent game, was unlucky in the final minute of the game when he got his head to a super cross from Jon Taylor only for Jones to catch it. As the board went up for four minutes of time added on Wigan brought on Jensen Weir for Callum Connolly.
A three-one win for the Millers sees them in the hat on Thursday evening for the second round of the cup – but really, it was all about Jamie Proctor coming back from a terrible injury to repay the faith his Manager has in him and score twice.
Referee – Peter Bankes
Crowd – 3,017 (222 Wigan Fans)