ROTHERHAM UNITED wrapped up their pre-season tour of Scotland in some style after a brace from striker Alex Revell helped them to a convincing 4-1 win at Ayr United.
Last season’s player of the year picked up where he left off with two well taken headed goals to ensure Steve Evans’ side finished their week north of the border unbeaten, after a goalless draw at Greenock Morton and a 2-0 victory over Livingston.
The Millers, who gradually upped their performances as the week progressed, saved their best for last in front of a healthy Millers contingent who made the four-and-a-half hour pilgrimage to the rustic Somerset Park from South Yorkshire.
More importantly for the Millers they concluded their tour with no injuries as they prepare for four home games against Championship opposition, starting with Bolton Wanderers tomorrow night at New York Stadium, kick off 7.45pm.
“The fitness levels are really good and the pleasing thing is that bar one or two little knocks we have come through this unscathed,” beamed assistant manager Paul Raynor after the game.
“The lads have done well, it has been a good week of training, we have had some tough competitive games and an enjoyable week. Three games in seven days is tough which is why we have tried to limit everyone to 45 minutes in each game, and we have done that on the whole, so fitness levels are looking healthy at the moment.”
It proved to be a comfortable afternoon for Steve Evans’ side who looked a class above their Scottish Second Division opponents, but they had to wait until the second half before they broke down Ayr’s stubborn resistance.
After 11 half-time changes it took only seven minutes for the tinkering to take effect when a routine Michael O’Connor corner bamboozled Ayr ‘keeper David Hutton, and Revell nodded into the net from close range.
The Millers stepped up the pressure, clearing enjoying the much cooler conditions after the sweltering Scottish sun earlier in the week. After Kieran Agard had gone close they extended their lead in the 68th minute with almost a carbon copy of the first goal. A short corner by O’Connor allowed Ben Pringle to deliver and his outswinger was glanced into the net by the diving Revell from six yards out.
The game was put to bed with 14 minutes remaining when Pringle’s deflected cross rebounded perfectly into the path of the onrushing Mitch Rose, and he calmly stroked the ball beyond Hutton from 20 yards, his second goal in as many games.
The home side did have something to cheer late on when Johnny Mullins tripped Michael Moffat in the area, and the same player stepped forward to dispatch the penalty, sending ‘keeper Adam Collin the wrong way.
However, the Millers re-stamped their superiority on the game in style when O’Connor was upended 22 yards from goal.
Pringle then curled a perfect strike into the top corner leaving Hutton grasping at thin air, as the Millers sealed a comfortable victory in some style.
Ayr: Hutton, Hunter, Pope, McLaughlin, Lithgow, Crawford, McGowan (Forrest 68), Marenghi, Moffat, Malcolm, Donald. Subs:- Muir, Shankland, Wardrope, Longridge, McGill, Wylie.
Rotherham: Shearer (Collin HT), Brindley (Bradley HT), Skarz (Rowe HT), Morgan (Arnason HT), Davis (Mullins HT), Noble (Rose HT), Worrall (O’Connor HT, Walker 85), Tidser (Frecklington HT), Hylton (Pringle HT), Nardiello (Revell HT), Milsom (Agard HT).
Referee: Kelvin Graham