RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - August
Let's take a look back at last season - we start with the month of August
Rotherham United played two pre-season games in August, the first being against a Manchester City XI which the Millers won two-nil. Ryan Taylor scored the first goal on nineteen minutes and at the start of the second half a header from Tom Pope made it two. The next friendly was away at the Welfare Ground against Emley. Goals from David Haggerty, trialist, Jack Watts, Paul Warne and an Andy Liddell penalty gave the Millers a four-nil win.
The first league game of the season was at Don Valley where Accrington Stanley were the visitors. The game began in the sunshine with a minute`s applause in memory of Bobby Robson. The only goal of a boring game came in the final minute when Paul Warne, on from the subs bench for Ryan Taylor, was in the right place to put the ball in the back of the net after a shot from Ian Sharps had crashed against the crossbar and come out to him. The most amazing thing about this game was when the crowd was announced to be 10,254 - which, it clearly wasn`t!
After a bit of a will-he, won`t-he, saga, Adam Le Fondre joined the Millers on 10th August.
The next game was also at Don Valley when Derby County came in the first round of the Carling Cup. The game was a confident one for the Millers against the Championship opposition although it was Gary Teale who put the visitors in the lead on ten minutes. Paul Warne got the equaliser just before half-time and, after a brilliant build-up, Kevin Ellison grabbed the second and winning goal fifteen minutes from time.
Back to the league and a long trip to Bournemouth for the next game and a first loss of the season for the Millers at Dean Court. On the stroke of half-time, Ryan Garry got the only goal of the game putting a firm header beyond Andy Warrington.
The Millers next game was another away trip to Blundell Park. The Millers could have put the game to bed in the first half with Ian Sharps, Danny Harrison, Nicky Law and Paul Warne all going near but, somehow, the game was still nil-nil after forty five minutes. The Millers got a penalty in the second half, when ex Miller, Robbie Stockdale, decided to have a game of netball in the area and when the ref pointed to the spot, up stepped Adam Le Fondre to score his first Millers goal. Around ten minutes later, Peter Sweeney got an equaliser for Grimsby but it only lasted three minutes and Micky Cummins got up to head in a Nicky Law free kick to get the Millers second and winning goal.
Next up at Don Valley was the U2 concert - and I think we all know what happened after that! Walking into the ground the following Sunday afternoon, everyone was stood gobs agape looking at the two-toned pitch. Rochdale were the visitors and their manager, Keith Hill, was less than impressed with the pitch and Millers` boss, Mark Robins also said he was amazed at the mess of the pitch. But, the referee, G Sutton, said it was perfectly playable and, in all consideration, the game was quite a good one. Two minutes before half time, Le Fondre scored the opening goal against the team he`d left just a couple of weeks before although, Chris Dagnell made it one-one in time added on in the first half. But, just after the hour mark, Paul Warne gave the Millers all three points, which took them up to fifth in League Two.
A break from the league and a trip to The Hawthorns was next on the cards for the Millers as they went to play West Brom in the second round of the Carling Cup. The Millers matched the Championship side all game and it took a goal in extra time to separate the sides. The Baggies, who had ex-Miller Reuben Reid in the side, scored on ten minutes. Craig Beattie crossed for Roman Bednar, who was in an offside position but, luckily for Albion, Bednar was deemed not to have touched the ball as it rolled into the far corner of the net. Nineteen minutes later the Millers stunned the home crowd into silence when Micky Cummins got the equaliser when he powered a header past Kiely in goal. The Millers were unlucky to find themselves go behind again on fifty-one minutes, when Dorrens neatly put the home side back in the lead. But it was a lead that only lasted a minute as a Nicky Law corner found an unmarked Tom Pope who got his first goal for the Millers with a fine header. Andy Warrington kept the visitors in the game as it went into extra time. And it was Pope again who got the visiting Millers fans on their feet shouting when, on ninety-eight minutes he put Rotherham into the lead. A partial clearance from a Baggies defender fell to the tall striker and he volleyed the ball into the corner of the net. The Millers were only in the lead for a matter of minutes when, three minutes later, Beattie got his second and the home sides third of the night. With it looking like it was going to go to penalties, summer signing, Simon Cox scored his first goal for the Baggies in the 117th minute.
Ending a busy month for Rotherham, the final game of August was a visit to Macclesfield. Coming out fighting, the Millers were two-nil up in thirty-seven minutes. Le Fondre got the first on twenty-four minutes followed by a Tom Pope goal thirteen minutes later. Macclesfield pulled one back from Matthew Tipton in the final minute of the half. Not surprisingly, the Millers looked a bit jaded in the second half but three minutes before the end, Danny Harrison collected a ball from Ryan Taylor and stroked it into the back of the net to give the Millers a three-one win. Unfortunately, for the Millers, Tom Pope limped out of this game with a cracked bone in his foot.