Josh Kayode's big moment ... on-the-whistle EFL Trophy report: Crewe Alexandra 2 Rotherham United 4

Josh Kayode's big moment ... on-the-whistle EFL Trophy report: Crewe Alexandra 2 Rotherham United 4

By Paul Davis | 04/01/2022

Josh Kayode's big moment ... on-the-whistle EFL Trophy report: Crewe Alexandra 2 Rotherham United 4
Hakeem Odoffin battles for possession at Crewe. Picture by Jim Brailsford

JOSH Kayode bagged his first goal for Rotherham United as the Millers moved into the last eight of the EFL Trophy at the expense of fellow League One club Crewe Alexandra tonight.

The young centre-forward, who has come through the youth ranks, climbed off the bench to head the the visitors into a 3-2 lead at Gresty Road before Freddie Ladapo killed off the contest in the dying seconds.

Kieran Sadlier and Michael Smith were the other scorers as Rotherham hit back from conceding the opening goal to triumph.

They were the first team to threaten and Jamie Lindsay, one of eight changes to the side that had beaten Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, tested Crewe goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen with a skidding effort from the edge of the area on four minutes.

It was a bitterly-cold night in Cheshire, with temperatures dipping towards zero, but around 120 hardy Millers souls had made the journey and were making themselves heard in a sparsely-populated ground.

Events in the 12th minute did nothing to warm them when Mikael Mandron ran clear and beat Josh Vickers with a low shot to put the home side into the lead.

With sleet falling heavily, neither team were dominating and there were few chances in the opening half an hour.

Smith whipped in a low 18-yard volley to bring a sharp 32nd-minute save from Jaaskelainen and Will Grigg headed over soon after as the Millers began to assert themselves.

They were level four minutes before the break when Sadlier, with time and space on the left, beautifully picked his spot from distance.

Manager Paul Warne had gone with a strong starting 11, leaving out all the youngsters who had made appearances in the group stages.

Making the first-team squad for the first time this season was centre-half Angus MacDonald, approaching full fitness after six months on the sidelines with an unspecified condition.

Six minutes after the restart, Smith had a big opportunity to put the visitors in front as he controlled the ball well and fired in a shot that was too close to Jaaskelainen.

The striker didn't have long to wait, though, for his 18th goal of the campaign as he lurked at the back post in the 57th minute to turn in Grigg's headed flick-on from Wes Harding's cross.

Regan Griffiths stung Vickers' palms as Crewe tried to respond and an equaliser came on 71 minutes when Scott Robertson drove the ball home in fine style.

Sadlier sent a free-kick over the bar, Ladapo miscued after being set up by Shane Ferguson and then came Kayode's big moment.

He got across his marker to nod home Chiedozie Ogbene's cross after good work by Ollie Rathbone.

Ladapo was thwarted by Jaaskelainen as the clock ticked down and Kayode wasted a golden chance to grab his second of the contest when he lifted Sadlier's cross too high.

Callum Ainley and Ladapo traded late saved efforts before Ladapo sealed proceedings in stoppage time.

A cold night for everyone. A big night for Kayode.

Crewe (3-5-1-1): Will Jaaskelainen; Donervon Daniels, Terrell Thomas, Connor O'Riordan; Kayne Ramsay (Luke Murphy 69), Regan Griffiths (Connor Salisbury 86), Callum Ainley, Scott Robertson, Travis Johnson; Oli Finney (Joel Tabiner 69); Mikael Mandron (Chris Porter 86). Subs not used: David Richards, Madger Gomes, Billy Sass Davies.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Josh Vickers; Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Michael Ihiekwe, Joe Mattock (Chiedozie Ogbene 78); Wes Harding, Kieran Sadlier, Hakeem Odoffin, Jamie Lindsay (Ollie Rathbone 70), Tolaji Bola (Shane Ferguson 70); Michael Smith (Josh Kayode 62), Will Grigg (Freddie Ladapo 78). Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Angus MacDonald.

Goals: Mandron 12, Robertson 71 (Crewe); Sadlier 41, Smith 57, Kayode 82, Ladapo 90+1 (Rotherham).

Referee: Rebecca Welch (Tyne and Wear).



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