Hartlepool 2 - Millers 2 - 4-5 on pens

Last updated : 10 March 2022 By Millersmad

Rotherham booked their spot in the 2021/22 Papa John's Trophy final by beating Hartlepool 5-4 on penalties after an initial 2-2 draw at the Suit Direct Stadium.

Joe Grey helped David Ferguson's free-kick in via the right-hand post to give Pools the lead against the current League One leaders with 29 minutes gone.

And they almost doubled it in similar circumstances before the break when Millers goalkeeper Viktor Johansson denied Luke Molyneux with a brilliant stop after he had connected with a teasing ball over the top from Nicky Featherstone.

Rotherham came out refreshed for the second half and levelled when talismanic frontman Michael Smith leapt to head in Dan Barlaser's free-kick from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

But the hosts rallied and Molyneux restored their advantage with a cool finish from just inside the box after Grey had led a counter-attack and charged forward from midfield and dropped the ball off to his team-mate.

A wicked cross from Chiedozie Ogbene allowed Smith to assert his dominance in the air once more and power in his second of the night - and with neither side able to force a winner in a tense final half-hour, the match went to penalties.

It was 3-3 in the shootout after the first six penalties had been taken, and after Molyneux and Ritherham's Ben Wiles were denied by saves from Johansson and Ben Killip respectively, Omar Bogle and Angus MacDonald scored to send it to sudden death.