TOWN dominated against Championship opposition at Millmoor last night to suggest all is well with just 10 days to the big League kick-off.
Manager Peter Jackson watched his senior side pass Rotherham off the park for significant spells and, while they triumphed with two own goals from John Mullin, there was more than enough in an impressive performance to delight around 400 travelling fans.
Solid at the back, creative in midfield and dangerous up front, it will be a major surprise if Jackson's starting line-up on opening day at Stockport differs much from this.
Certainly Andy Booth and Junior Mendes are getting to know each other up front, the midfield is still settled from last season and at the back, the only choices are between Steve Yates and Nathan Clarke in the centre and Rob Edwards and Anthony Lloyd on the left.
Experience got the nod last night in a possible pointer for Edgeley Park, although Clarke's long throw caused problems for Rotherham last night when he replaced Yates.
A crowd of 1,720 saw Town go ahead in only the eighth minute when a Tony Carss corner eluded keeper Mike Pollitt and hit the unfortunate Mullin near the line.
Town and Mendes, in fact, had been unlucky not to score in the previous attack, Booth nodding on a long clearance from captain Ian Gray (against his old club) for the former Mansfield striker to lash a vicious shot which Pollitt did well to tip around his lefthand post.
With Andy Holdsworth pressing forward well and midfield linking effectively - Mendes looked in prime form - Town seized control and it took Rotherham 27 minutes to bring Gray into the action with an excellent save from Mullin's close-range header.
Edwards was keen in the tackle, suggesting he's fired up to hold the No3 slot, and with Worthington covering solidly, Town were troubled only by a Darren Garner volley for the rest of the half.
Schofield went close again for Town before they took complete charge in the second half, when Ronnie Moore's side didn't have a single shot on target.
A Booth nod-back from Holdsworth's raking cross was turned just wide of target by Schofield, while Mendes forced Pollitt into a strong near-post save on 55 minutes with a low drive.
Town extended their lead when Mullin headed into his own net from eight yards from a probing Clarke throw on 61 minutes, while Mendes again went hunting his first goal in blue and white stripes with another cracking low shot smartly saved.
With Rotherham struggling to find any possession or rhythm, Town were desperately unlucky not to grab a third six minutes from time when, following neat approach play from Clarke, Worthington and Schofield combined to tee up Carss for a curling drive tipped one-handed over the bar by Pollitt.
From the resulting Carss corner, substitute Nat Brown had a header tipped over the top and the Town fans behind that goal showed their appreciation for the whole performance in a warm ovation for the team repeated at the final whistle.
The only late scare for Town was a right ankle injury to Mendes, but he returned later for the warm-down looking fine, not surprisingly after his most dangerous display so far.
Rotherham United - Pollitt, Stockdale, Minto, Mullin, Swailes, Gilchrist, Sedgwick (Scott 70), Garner, R Barker, Hoskins (Warne 63), Vernazza (S Barker 63). Subs not used: Proctor, Montgomery, Hurst, Daws.
Town - Gray, Holdsworth, Edwards, Worthington, Yates (Clarke HT), Sodje, Carss, Mirfin, Booth (Brown 80), Mendes (Abbott 87), Schofield. Subs not used: Lloyd, Senior, Ahmed, Brandon.
Referee - Darren Drysdale.