Result - Alfreton Town 3 Rotherham United 2: Alfreton blast back to beat Millers

Rotherham's Danny Ward gets past keeper, Lewis King, only to see his attempt cleared off the line. Photo: Anne Shelley
Rotherham's Danny Ward gets past keeper, Lewis King, only to see his attempt cleared off the line. Photo: Anne Shelley
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Rotherham slipped to their first pre-season defeat despite a Grant Ward double as non-League Alfreton twice hit back from behind.

Alfreton Town: King, Moyo, Heaton, Jordan, Allan, Jones, Bradley, Thanoj, Wilson, Leesley, Smith. Subs: Draper, Johnston, Ironside, Berry, Galinski, Palin.

Millers 1st half: Collin; Richardson, Collins, Wood, Halford; G Ward, Frecklington, Smallwood, Trialist; Bowery, D Ward. Subs: Bilboe, Clarke-Harris, Green, Thorpe, Yates, Warren, Bailey-King, Dickinson, Rose, Redmayne.

Millers 2nd half: Collin, Richardson, Thorpe, Wood, Collins; G Ward, Green, Frecklington, Trialist; Clarke-Harris, Bowery.

Richard Wood went close in the third and 14th minute with headers for the Millers following corners.

The Millers had a great chance in the 15th minute when Collins lofted a ball into the path of Danny Ward who lashed an effort over the crossbar.

Alfreton went close as Leesley raced in behind the defence only to be denied by Collin.

The hosts went close again but Jones blasted an effort wide after getting in between Collin and Collins.

Grant Ward made it three in three games, converting a cross from the left flank to give the Millers a 26th minute lead.

But Alfreton equalised with a cracker after 40 minutes, Jones firing into the top corner from 25 yards.

Alfreton made one change for the second half, Draper replacing King in goal. And they made a triple substitution in the 55th minute, Leesley, Heaton and Smith making way for Galinski, Palin and Johnston.

Clarke-Harris threatened for Rotherham, firing over from the edge of the area before the visitors made two changes, Dickinson and Rose coming on in place of Richardson and Collins.

The hosts came close twice within a minute before falling behind. Bradley teed up Johnston whose effort hit the post, before Bradley’s header was well saved by Collin.

But in the 62nd minute Grant Ward hit his second of the evening, smashing home on the angle in the box.

Bowery should have made it three seconds later as he broke into the box only to have his effort saved by Draper.

Alfreton rallied and Johnston did brilliantly on the byline to beat his man but was denied by Collin as he attempted to fire home from an acute angle.

Two-goal Grant Ward was given a warm reception by the visiting fans as he was replaced by Yates.

A Frecklington rocket from the edge of the area flew narrowly over.

Palin came on for Wilson for the hosts.

Frecklington’s deflected cross fell kindly for Green who hit a volley just over.

A stunning effort from range saw Collin tip over a dipping volley to deny Alfreton an equaliser but they did level matters in the 79th minute when Johnston applied a classy finish to a cutback in the box.

The hosts had been playing brilliantly and went ahead at the death, Ironside heading home from close range after Dickinson’s block on the line in the 89th minute.

* Attendance: 452.