Rotherham United drew a double blank yesterday at the start of their trip to Scotland.
Firstly they failed to land Falkirk striker Lyle Taylor despite having a club record £200,000 bid accepted and then their opening friendly against Greenock Morton last night finished 0-0.
Rotherham’s interest in the 29 goal striker - which was exclusively reported first in The Star last week - looked set to bear fruit when Falkirk said ‘yes’ to Rotherham’s offer but then the London-born striker, 23, failed to agree personal terms and the deal was off.
Millers boss Steve Evans said their interest in Taylor - named Scottish First Division’s Player of the Year last season - was over and they would not be pursuing it any further.
Certainly Rotherham had no one able to put the ball in the net on their first ever visit to Cappielow as Morton, runners-up in the First Division last season, held them to a goalless 90 minutes.
Watched by Sheffield United manager David Weir and his assistant Lee Carsley, Rotherham dominated early on and Alex Revell had an angled shot well blocked.
Their first meaningful opportunity saw Mitchell Rose fire into the midriff of ‘keeper Derek Gatson. Then, David Worrall, one of the new recruits, drilled a shot into the side-netting from 18 yards after latching onto Ben Pringle’s lovely pass.
Morton, under the cosh for most of the first period, threatened just before the interval but Scott Shearer palmed away Joe McKee’s free-kick. A superb last ditch tackle from McLaughlin stopped Danny Hylton before Shearer brilliantly kept out Archie Campbell’s low shot with his feet on the stroke of half-time.
Rotherham freshened things up after the break, making 10 changes and Mark Bradley, after charging down a defensive clearance, was denied by Gatson.
The best chance of all saw youngster Nicky Walker win possession and race into the area before squaring an inch-perfect pass to Daniel Nardiello but last season’s top scorer sidefooted wide from eight yards.
Moments later, the lively Agard burst forward with purpose before cutting in from the right and firing straight at Gatson.
With 20 minutes left from a short free-kick, David Noble saw his attempt deflected on to the bar and over and Michael O’Connor had a late effort saved.
Michael Tidser got a standing ovation from his former fans when going on for Mitchell Rose late on.
n Rotherham United (first-half): Shearer, Brindley, Rowe, Mullins, Milsom; Worrall, Rose, Frecklington, Pringle; Hylton, Revell.
n Second half: Collin; Bradley, Arnason, Morgan, Skarz; Walker, Noble, O’Connor, Rose (Tidser 76); Agard, Nardiello.
n Greenock Morton: Gatson; Taggart, Fitzpatrick, Bachirou, Page, McLaughlin, trialist, trialist, Campbell, McKee, O’Brien.
n Attendance: 667.
Tonight the Millers are at Livingston who were fourth in the First Division.