Rotherham United win at Bradford Park Avenue but where was Semi Ajayi?

Semi Ajayi did not feature for Rotherham in their friendly with Bradford Park Avenue amid reported interest from West Brom.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 10:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 11:30 pm
Kyle Vassell scored a hat-trick as Rotherham United beat Bradford park Avenue 5-1

The Nigeria international is one of the star assets in the Millers squad and has already attracted an offer from Barnsley this summer.

Boss Paul Warne has said two Championship clubs have made a bid for Ajayi, though neither have been accepted, and said earlier this week that losing him would be the “last thing he wanted to happen”.

Sources in the Black Country report that the 25-year-old is of interest to the Baggies and Ajayi was not involved in a friendly where all other fit first-team players were present.

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The Millers did not miss Ajayi much as they made up for lost time.

The trip to the National League North outfit was supposed to be their second game in 24 hours after a planned match against Farsley Celtic on Tuesday.

However, that game was cancelled little more than an hour before kick-off after the League One side deemed the pitch unsafe to play.

There were no such issues at the Horsfall Stadium and the Millers ran riot in the first half, Kyle Vassell firing a hat-trick in a 5-1 win.

Vassell suffered a disappointing second half of last season, with injury ruining a fine start to his Millers career which had seen him win a maiden international call-up for Northern Ireland.

The 26-year-old, who was used predominantly as a wide man last term, prefers to play as a striker and has seen Freddie Ladapo and Carlton Morris come in this summer.

And he is using his opportunity to show Warne he means business.

Ladapo, the club's record buy, notched his first goal in a Millers shirt when he fired home with just two minutes on the clock after Ben Wiles had set him up.

Vassell's first goal was a simple tap-in, as he was in the right place at the right time after Wiles had hit the post when racing through one-on-one.

Vassell brought a good stop out of the Bradford goalkeeper, but he was not to be denied a second in the 28th minute when he headed home from close range after the hosts could not defend a set-piece.

Dan Barlasermade it four 11 minutes later with another goal fom close range before Vassell signed off for the evening in style when he thundered an effort into the top corner from Matthew Olosunde's pass.

A host of changes at half-time affected the Millers' dominance and they were denied a clean sheet in the 76th minute when Shaun Gardner bagged, but it was nothing more than a consolation.

The Millers continue their build-up to the League One campaign when they visit Chesterfield on Saturday.