Rotherham withstand Port Vale fightback to progress in Carabao Cup
Rotherham survived a late Port Vale fightback to secure a 2-1 Carabao Cup win thanks to first-half goals from Oliver Rathbone and Chiedozie Ogbene.
Substitute Mal Benning gave Darrell Clarke’s League One underdogs hope with an 81st-minute strike.
But Rotherham, without a win at Vale Park since 2013, held on for victory.
The Millers were quickly into their stride against opponents they beat via penalties en route to lifting last season’s EFL Trophy.
Rathbone was credited with the goal after goalkeeper Aidan Stone’s attempted clearance, under pressure from George Kelly, rebounded off him.
Last season’s League Two play-off winners made seven changes after last Saturday’s 4-0 humbling at Exeter. There was no change, however, in their fortunes.
Conor Washington forced a save from Stone and then delivered a perfect cross for Kelly who headed wide instead of making it 2-0.
Even game-ending injuries in quick succession to Peter Kioso and Washington failed to disrupt the visitors’ rhythm.
And it was Washington’s replacement, Ogbene, who rounded off a fine passing move in first-half stoppage time.
Kelly might have killed off the tie on the hour, only for Stone to keep out his close-range header.
And Benning’s sweet strike was only consolation for the hosts.
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