Rotherham United match report: Gornik Zabrze 0 Millers 0

Joe Mattock in action against Gornik Zabrze
Joe Mattock in action against Gornik Zabrze

Rotherham United maintained their unbeaten start to pre-season with a goalless draw in their final game of their tour of Poland, against Gornik Zabrze.

After victory over Miedz Legnica on Tuesday night, the Millers were held by an organised Gornik outfit as boss Alan Stubbs gave some valuable game-time to a number of his first-team squad.

The Millers end their pre-season training camp when they fly back to the UK on Sunday, when Stubbs will look to accelerate his recruitment drive ahead of the season opener on August 6.

Stubbs started with his strongest possible team with the returning Danny Ward, Joe Mattock and Lee Frecklington all passed fit to play against a side that were relegated from the Polish top flight only last season.

In a game of few chances the Millers enjoyed the lion’s share of possession whilst creating the better of the openings.

hey came closest in the first half when Jerry Yates latched on to a knockdown in the area, but he lofted his shot on the spin just over the bar.

Ward carried a threat after being rested on Tuesday night and his blistering free-kick just before the break stung the palms of Gornik stopper Mateusz Kuchta.

Stubbs made several changes at the break introducing the likes of Tom Thorpe, Chris Dawson and first-year professional Kuda Muskwe.

The Millers boss also gave a run out on a number of trialists, with a decision on their future due shortly.

Despite making several changes, Rotherham had the better of the second half.

New signing Anthony Forde showed his potential with a silky run but his cross just eluded Muskwe.

The Millers came close when a deep corner from Richie Smallwood was headed just wide by Kirk Broadfoot.

The best chance of the half fell to substitute Darnelle Bailey-King who ran in behind the Gornik defence, but his low strike from a tight angle was turned around the post.

Stubbs will now turn his attention to next weekend’s friendly with Sunderland following the postponement of the club’s midweek clash with Grimsby Town.

Rotherham: Camp (Trialist 71), Kelly, Wood (Thorpe H-T), Broadfoot, Mattock (Trilaist H-T), Forde (Trialist 66), Halford (Bailey-King 76), Smallwood, Frecklington (Dawson H-T), Yates (Trialist 71), Ward (Muskwe H-T).

Gornik: Kuchta, Kopacz, Shevelyukhin, Grendel, Nowak, Cerimagic, Plizga, Matsuszek, Danch, Wolniewicz, Urynowicz. Subs: Michalski, Kurzawa, Pawlowski, Skrzypczak, Zurkowski.

Meanwhile, The Millers are close to signing goalkeeper Lewis Price who is out of contract at Sheffield Wednesday.

A two-year deal for the 31-year-old could be announced early next week.

Price, who has also played for Ipswich Town and Derby County, was highly regarded by the Owls who wanted him to stay for another 12 months.

The Millers need back-up for No 1 Lee Camp as Adam Collin and Paddy Kenny both left at the end of last season.

Former Premier League midfielder Dean Whitehead is also on Rotherham’s radar.

The 34-year-old, who enjoyed long spells in the top flight with Sunderland and Stoke City, made 31 Championship starts for Huddersfield Town last term and has a year left on his Terriers deal.

He was once a teammate of Millers midfielder Richie Smallwood at Middlesbrough.

Smallwood topped the appearances chart for Rotherham last year, with 45, and is hoping for something similar in the next campaign.

“It was a long and successful season for myself with the amount of matches I played. I was happy with that,” he said.

“Hopefully, next season I will be able to continue playing 40-plus games.”

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