Proctor marks comeback with a brace in Millers' cup win

STRIKER Jamie Proctor marked his long-awaited return to the Rotherham United line-up with a double in their Carabao Cup win over Wigan Athletic.

Making his first appearance in a year after a painful and slow comeback from a cruciate knee ligament injury, the popular front man was quickly back into the scoring groove with a goal in each half as the Millers came through 3-1. Skipper for the night Semi Ajayi got the other goal.

The home  line-up showed nine changes from the side that beat Ipswich on Saturday, with only Zak Vyner and Ajayi retained. Ajayi played an usual position in front of a defence that included new signings Clark Robertson, Sean Raggett and Billy Jones.

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After a forgettable opening half-hour, the tie sprang to life.

Proctor opened the scoring with a smart finish on the half-volley on 37 minutes after Raggett challenged for a free-kick. Five minutes later, Anthony Forde swung in a corner and Ajayi powered a header into the top corner.

Despite making eight changes, Wigan carried a threat and Gary Roberts hit the bar with a flighted effort from distance right on the half-time whistle.

Rotherham were forced to do a lot defending in the second period before increasing their advantage on 65 minutes from their first real foray of the half. Jones put an inviting ball in and Proctor got in to score with a glancing header.

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Few could begrudge Wigan their 73rd minute reply, nodded in by James Vaughan, and the same player missed a chance to make it more interesting when he planted another header wide from a good position. The new look home back line had to keep their concentration.

Man of the match Proctor walked off to a standing ovation before the Millers closed out the victory and a place in the second round.

Millers: Price; Vyner, Raggett, Robertson, Jones; Ajayi (Palmer 68); Forde, Wiles, Williams (Taylor 73), Ball; Proctor (Vassell 83).

Wigan: Jones; Da Silva Lopes, Bruce, Kipre, Naismith; Walker (Gelhardt 78), Connolly (Weir 90), MacDonald, McManaman (Cole 63); Vaughan, Roberts

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)

Attendance: 3,017 (222 visitors)