Rotherham United 4, Barnsley 0
Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom pulled no punches after watching his side crash to defeat at the New York Stadium this afternoon.
Speaking to the media after the game against South Yorkshire rivals who were relegated to League One at the end of last season a clearly frustrated Heckingbottom fumed: “Maybe the players will start listening to me now. We got away with murder at Rochdale on Tuesday night and I told them that. But it was the same again today – and this time we’ve been punished.
“The players have to realise that you can’t play fancy and you can’t be soft in the Championship. You have to run hard; you’ve got to head the ball; and you’ve got to want to win tackles.”
It was far from the kind of display Heckingbottom wanted to see from his side in the final warm-up match before the Championship season kicks off with a visit to Bristol City – and former Barnsley boss Lee Johnson – next Saturday.
With that in mind he remarked: “Of course we can go there and put in a good performance, but the players need to learn – and fast!”
While earlier friendlies had highlighted concerns about the Reds’ goalscoring prowess, here it was the manner in which four second half goals were leaked which had the warning lights flashing.
There was little to indicate the collapse that was to follow as exchanges were fairly even in a first half of limited opportunities. Indeed it was the Reds who had the best chance to take the lead after only ten minutes when they were awarded a penalty when Ike Ugbo was brought down in the box.
However, Adam Hammill’s spot-kick was saved by Rotherham goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell.
It was the home team’s turn to be given a penalty opportunity early in the second half and they took advantage of it, although Proctor was fortunate in that the ball rebounded to him after Adam Davies had saved his initial effort, the number nine netting at the second attempt.
Former Barnsley player Ryan Williams played a significant role in that goal, being the player who was brought down for the spot-kick. And he provided a big helping hand in the second as well, his precise through ball sending Proctor clear to add number two.
Proctor then completed a nine-minute hat-trick with a pin-point curler which went in off the bar.
Stefan Payne had a shot saved by O’Donnell as the Reds tried to salvage a little pride from the wreckage, but it was the Millers who had the last word in the dying seconds when Moore made it four.