Rotherham United slipped to their second successive pre-season defeat the New York Stadium tonight, losing 3-2 to Middlesbrough.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring through Ben Gibson on the quarter of an hour mark as the defender rose highest in the six-yard box to nod home Richard Smallwood’s free-kick from the left.
But Middlesbrough’s joy was short-lived as the Millers, without the services of Lee Frecklington (hip) and Daniel Nardiello (hamstring), equalised in the 18th minute from the penalty spot after referee Howard Webb penalised Smallwood for pulling Claude Davis back at a corner. Michael O’Connor stepped up to coolly slot in the resulting spot-kick low to the goalkeeper’s left.
The hosts then completed a remarkable turnaround a minute later when Alex Revell neatly despatched a left foot shot from the edge of the area past Middlesbrough trialist Ross Turnbull after Christian Burgess had sloppily conceded possession.
Rotherham winger David Worrall, one of their new signings, went off injured after 34 minutes. He had stayed down after a run down the right and he walked slowly away with physio Denis Circuit. Kieran Agard went on.
Faris Haroun made it 2-2 on 40 minutes when running onto through ball and rounding goalkeeper Adam Collin.
On the hour mark, Middlesbrough substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz beat the offside trap, latched on to a lovely pass from Cameron Park and rounded Collin before tapping into an unguarded net.
Agard’s industry caused Middlesbrough’s defence problems in the second period. With 12 minutes remaining, he was fouled on the edge of the area and David Noble curled the resulting free kick just over the top.
Moments later, Alex Revell met Ben Pringle’s pin-point cross with a firm header but Jason Steele was equal to it.
Rotherham continued to pile on the pressure in the latter stages and the dangerous Agard saw his low shot kept out by Steele while Joe Skarz just failed to steer in Danny Hylton’s centre.
Rotherham United: Collin; Brindley (Bradley 65), Morgan, Davis, Skarz; Worrall (Agard 34), O’Connor (Noble 57), Arnason (Tidser 57), Milsom (Rose 65); Pringle, Revell (Hylton 80). Substitutes: Thompson.
Middlesbrough: Turnbull (Steele HT); Bennett, Gibson (Williams HT), Burgess, Halliday; Dolan, Smallwood, Park; Haroun (Jutkiewicz HT), Ledesma, Reach. Substitutes: Leadbitter, Emnes, Carayol, Morris, Brobbel, Whitehead, Parnaby, Varga.
Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)