RUFC - View from the Stands
Rotherham United travelled to Aldershot Town yesterday with, probably, not much confidence after losing two on the trot - and, to be honest, the fans I travelled down with felt the same. Unfortunately, we were right.
Not having the luxury of an overnight stop in a posh hotel, like the team, we set off on a dull morning, the twenty of us and made the long journey down to Aldershot.
We were sat having our first pints, at the pub at the top of the hill, by 1.15 and, after staggering at the prices (£3.10 a pint - JT was still talking about that on the way home! - and I was told the beer was 'poor' - though you can swap the last three letters of poor for the impolite word!) we got down to discussing the team. We were all in agreement that Bell-Baggie should start and that Pope should partner Alfie up front.
Well, Bell-Baggie did start but Pope was left, kicking his heels on the bench, while Ronnie decided that McAllister was the man to partner our top goal scorer. We started brightly and, for the first fifteen minutes, the home side never got a look in. Charles was booked in the opening minute for a lunge at Bell-Baggie and, in my opinion, and I`m sure a lot of others` too, Bell-Baggie should have stayed where he was and gone 'at` Charles, who daren`t make another challenge for fear of seeing a second yellow. But, for some reason, the youngster was pushed on the other wing with Marshall taking his place. Then, on sixteen minutes, Pablo Mills and Gavin Gunning got themselves in a right tangle, with Gunning hitting the ball against Mills. Dean Morgan took advantage, took the ball on, and shot, giving Andy Warrington no chance, into the back of the net. Millers` heads went down and in the stands we feared the worst. Though, around the half hour mark, Bell-Baggie, got a good ball through to Josh Walker, but his poor touch wasn`t good enough and Charles was on hand to clear. Before half-time Alfie clipped the cross-bar and straight from that, 'Shot came close to doubling their lead when a Charles shot was well tipped round the post by Warrington.
Walking round at half-time, the Millers` faces were looking resigned - yes, it was only 1-0 but, we`d seen it all before.
In the opening minute of the second half Jamie Young, in the 'Shots goal, did well to save from Alfie but, really, the Millers never looked like getting an equaliser. Aldershot had a few chances to get a second but seemed reluctant to have a shot at goal and, it was when the Millers looked like they might be getting on top again, and pushing everyone forward that Marvin Morgan capitalised as he walked past Mills and slid the ball underneath Warrington. The Millers just gave up then and for the third, Morgan was allowed to hold the ball up, while defenders looked on, and pass it to Howell who slammed it into the back of the net.
Disgruntled fans made their way through the park to their cars and coaches. We all looked at one another and shrugged - what on earth was going on out there? The murmurs of 'he`s got to go` became louder and louder on the way home - and, it was a long way home.