Simmons the hero as Millers Women leave it late
With 11 goals under their belt in the past three friendlies, the Millers were on the mark again in a 3-2 win over SJR Worksop.
As full-time loomed, a free-kick for handball was given just outside the box and Simmons stepped forward to slam it past SJR keeper Olivia Walker’s right hand.
On balance, Pete Jarvis’ side just shaded a close encounter at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, in which both sides had chances to win.
Jarvis can be grateful for the two occasions Worksop forwards broke through and nudged past angle-narrowing Rotherham keeper Hannah Iguchi, only to see their shots rolling agonisingly wide, while Worksop could have levelled in stoppage time but saw a free kick sail over the bar.
Simmons had rattled the bar as she tried her luck from similar range minutes before, while striker Milly Colford also hit the woodwork early on.
Centre half Amy Nowell (below right) weighed in with the Millers' two earlier goals from corners - one a stooping header and the other a close-range volley - with Simmons the provider on both occasions.
Wingers Halima Essa and Abbie Staples proved a constant thorn in the side for Worksop, for whom midfielder Beth Gingell was the stand-out, thumping home twice from outside the box after the Millers had carelessly squandered possession.
Jarvis made a clutch of changes at the break, giving half a dozen of Rotherham’s new reserves squad their chance to get senior matchday miles in the tank.
Midfielder Emily Ward drew plaudits from the coaching staff for her shift in the centre, while forwards Nnola Oyeka and Caitlin O’Callaghan combined well to fashion a handful of promising openings which fizzled out - before Simmons provided the perfect dramatic flourish.
Delighted skipper Lori-Anne Tart said she was unsurprised by the teenager’s powerful strike, adding: “To say she's so young, I’ve never known someone who can hit a ball like she does.
“She literally does it in training all the time.”
Turning to her defensive partner’s double strike, Tart said she was delighted for Nowell, adding: “She's been wanting to attack corners from ever since she came to us but it never worked out.
“Hopefully, now she's showing exactly what she’s capable of and she will attack those balls.
“I’m very pleased for her to get two goals.”
The Millers are back in pre-season training this week ahead of a friendly date with Barnsley FC Ladies on Sunday.
The Millers kick off their league campaign at home to Grimsby Town at Roundwood Pavilion, also home of Parkgate FC, on Sunday, September 3, with kick-off at 2pm.
Millers: Hannah Iguchi, Abbie Staples, Lori-Anne Tart, Amy Nowell, Dina Sarayreh, Georgia Harris, Sidni Simmons, Halima Essa, Lauren Winter, Milly Colford, Jessie Broadhurst.
Subs: Nnola Oyeka, Emily Evans, Madison Jones, Shayna Cameron, Emily Ward, Maddy Wilson and Caitlin O'Callaghan.