Football League Youth Association (North East)
at Roundwood Pavilion, Parkgate FC
Rotherham United (1) 2
Muskwe Kudakwashe 34, 85
Bradford City (0) 2
Tom Windle 57, Danny Devine 60
Admission free. Attendance 70+
Spent £2 on raffle and as a consequence 'our lass' has got a big box of Marks & Spencer Swiss chocolates waiting for her when she finishes work tonight. I'm so damn generous!
Laurence Bilboe, Fabian Bailey (C), Dan Smalley, Brandon Potts (Lewis Murr 79), Bradley Peace-McDonald, Thomas Rose, Darnelle Bailey-King, Trae Adeyemi (James Reuarnelle 29), Muskwe Kudakwashe, Ben Wiles, Alaster Redmayne
George Kenworthy, Luca Mellor (C), Jack Waters, Kwame Boateng, Kesi Omolokun, Oran Thompson (Omed Gardezi 73), Ellis Hudson, Danny Devine, Neil Patience (Tom Windle HT), Reece Powell (Christian Farrar 76), Niall Payne
A lively contest ensued, with input from all three teams, namely Rotherham United, Bradford City and the match officials (Justin Carpenter, Alan Hull & Mehdi Najefi), who were all dedicated to putting on an open and entertaining game, played in the right spirit, that could have gone either way, with goal scoring opportunities in abundance at both ends, continuing unabated deep into stoppage time.
Over 70 spectators had made their way to the Roundwood Pavilion for this 2pm kick off, which kind of begs the question... doesn't anyone in this country actually work anymore?
But those who had 'skived off' were treated to a decent and evenly balanced game of football.
Trae Adeyemi was buzzing around the perimeter of Bradford's area, but the visitors were defending well, with Kesi Omolokun looking like a tower of strength, as per usual.
Brandon Potts was working well as a go between, linking up the home sides defence and attack, with his willingness to run unselfishly off the ball and an impressive range of passing when he was in possession. At times Rotherham tend to bypass the midfield with their eagerness to get the ball forward to their two main attackers... it's effective, as their two goals today showed, but the likes of Potts and Thomas Rose and Darnelle Bailey-King still managed to stand out and catch the eye.
It is that time of year when the people running academy sides are having to be unsentimental about culling their numbers, with some make or break decisions about which players they are keeping on and who to release, which will spell heartache for some lads at the end of their time, but there were a good few scouts from other clubs secreted discreetly around the ground to day, who will know which lads will be coming available soon and reporting back to their own clubs.
Kwame Boateng and Reece Powell, attacked through the left channel but the Millers captain Fabain Bailey, took no risks and put the ball out for a corner.
Ellis Hudson planted the flag kick at the feet of Danny Devine, whose first shot was blocked by Rose and his second, from the rebound was saved by Laurence Bilboe.
Bradford showed traces of the sort of form that had seen them leading the table for a while earlier in the season and they threaded together 14 (fourteen) passes before Hudson shot straight at Bilboe.
On 34 minutes, Kudakwashe, who recently signed first team forms with Rotherham, got onto the end of a cross from the left wing and scored at the second attempt, after Kenworthy had blocked his original effort.
The Millers attacked down the right as they looked to build on their lead, but Fabian Bailey was stopped in full flight by a well timed tackle from Jack Waters.
Neither team was here to merely go through the motions as the end of the season approaches over the horizon, which was good to see... and the Millers had just about warranted their single goal lead as the half time whistle sounded.
HT: Millers Youth 1 v Bantams Youth 1
Kudakwashe almost doubled his sides lead straight from the restart as Rotherham broke forward quickly and Kenworthy saved from the big Millers striker from close range and he cleared the crossbar with his second stab at the ball.
Tom Windle had come on from the bench at half time and his strong running and battling attributes, gave the Bradford attack several new options as he began to create problems for the Millers defence.
The visitors captain Luca Mellor aimed a cross to the far post that was cleared back towards him by his opposite number Bailey, having continued his run towards goal, Mellor opted to shoot with his second bite of the apple and Peace-McDonald did well to divert the ball away for a corner.
The Millers cleared up at the back, but City were soon on the attack again again, with Hudson crossing to Powell whose first time shot was blocked, but the ball fell straight into the path of Windle who smashed it past Bilboe from ten yards to level the scores.
Rotherham made hard work of clearing the ball and Danny Devine knocked it into the back of the net through a crowded goal area.
The Bantams upped the ante and went in search of another goal to kill the game off and it very nearly came when Hudson combined with Niall Payne to find Devine ten yards from goal, and Rotherham had Bilboe to thank for keeping them in the game, as he made a great reflex stop with his outstretched leg.
With just seven minutes remaining Kudakwashe put the ball over from just a few feet out, but he didn't let it get inside his head or affect his self belief and inside the final five minutes he latched onto a great cross from Smalley who was up on the left flank helping out his attack again, made a yard for himself and buried the ball past Kenworthy to make it 2-2 right at the death.
In stoppage time, Devine played the ball forward to Windle who picked out Payne with a neat chip, but his last gasp 'goal' was ruled out because he had strayed offside.
FT: Rotherham United U18 2 v Bradford City U18 2