Rotherham United 3 Wigan Athletic 1: Proctor celebrates comeback with two goals for Millers

Rotherham's manager Paul Warne.
Rotherham's manager Paul Warne.
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Rotherham United, and particularly their striker Jamie Proctor, enjoyed a prosperous night’s work as they progressed into the second round of the League Cup.

The Millers’ hitman returned to the first-team fold almost exactly 12 months after his last appearance for the club,

Proctor had been on the sidelines since last August, owing to a cruciate ligament injury, but he was back with a bang against the Latics as he grabbed a brace.

His two goals were sandwiched between Semi Ajayi’s first-half header to seal the win for Paul Warne’s side.

The biggest cheer of the night came when Proctor chested a ball in the box and thumped a half-volley into the net with aplomb on 36 minutes.

It was just rewards for a hard-working display from the former Fleetwood man and he duly added to his tally with a cool headed finished just after the hour mark.

In perhaps a sign of the importance of this competition, the two sides had made 17 changes combined. Therefore it was understandable that the game felt more accustomed to a training session.

Every cough and splutter of the players and management reverberated around the sparsely-populated New York Stadium, but thankfully Proctor was on hand in the 36th minute to drag this game out of its slumber with a fine finish.

Up until that point there had not been a single shot on target.

Callum McManaman, formerly of Sheffield Wednesday, almost restored parity just before the interval only to be kept out by another erstwhile Owl and home stopper Lewis Price.

And that save proved vital when Ajayi marked a fine set-piece routine and planted a header past goalkeeper Jamie Jones to make it 2-0 just before the break.

Even then Wigan threatened when Gary Roberts’s speculative attempt came back off the woodwork.

Rotherham soaked up pressure after the restart before Proctor added gloss with a cute header to make it 3-0.

Price in the home goal still had to be alert to keep out Callum Connolly’s speculative long-range effort on 70 minutes.

That pressure eventually paid off on 74 minutes when James Vaughan reduced the arrears by heading past Price. Vaughan 
had a chance to make the final throes even more interesting but instead of notching his second, 
he saw a free header go wide of goal.

Rotherham: Price, Vyner, Robertson, Raggett, Jones, Forde, Ajayi (Palmer 69), Wiles, Williams (Taylor 75), Ball, Proctor (Vassell 82) Unused substitutes: Bilboe, McGinley, Hinds, Newell

Wigan: Jones, Naismith, Kipre, Bruce, Lopes, Connolly (Weir 89), MacDonald, Walker (Gelhardt 73), McManaman (Cole 63), Roberts, Vaughan Unused substitutes: Evans, Merrie, Golden, Long

Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside)