A young Pools Reserve side were beaten 3-0 by a strong Rotherham United line-up in their Central League outing at Roundwood Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the hosts who were quicker out of the blocks and created several decent opportunities in the opening period of the game.
They made good on their dominance on 27 minutes when a ball over the top freed the dangerous Alex Bray and he lobbed a nice finish over Ben Dudzinski to put Rotherham 1-0 up.
Pools rallied after half time and were the better side in the opening minutes of the second half; Dylan Elliott fired just wide from twenty yards before Kieran Green drew a good save from Millers keeper Laurence Bilboe.
However, just as it looked as though Pools were going to find a route back in to the game, they conceded a second goal as Mason Warren picked out substitute Suleman Naeem in the box and he converted from close range to make it 2-0.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Ian McGuckin’s young line-up and Rotherham took advantage by adding a third goal with fifteen minutes remaining, Naeem scoring again after good work from Kuda Muskwe.
Pools substitute Connor Simpson had a couple of chances to reduce the arrears late on but headed over the bar after finding good positions inside the area.
“We didn’t really get going in the first half or get a foothold in the game,” admitted McGuckin afterwards.
“Rotherham had quite a strong side out with some First Team players included so we knew we would be up against it but we came out fighting in the second half and looked better.
“If we had managed to put one of our chances away it could have been different but we were done by a sucker punch to make it 2-0 and that killed us off really.
“We battled hard and we aren’t too disappointed with the lads but Rotherham just showed that little bit of extra quality on the day and that was the difference.”
Full Time: Rotherham United 3 Pools 0
Pools: Dudzinski, Nearney, Turnbull, Green, Pollock, Assenso, J Orrell, Skidmore (Simpson 70), Rodney, Elliott (L Orrell 80), Blackford.
Moloney, Fielding, Wood.Subs: