RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - March
March was another busy month for the Millers and started with news that Adam Le Fondre, who had limped out of the game on Saturday at Burton, had a calf strain and might not be fit for the Tuesday game at Spotland.
As it happened, Alfie did play but, whether he was fully fit wasn`t really sure although, with the Millers going down to a four-nil beating, it`s presumed he wasn`t. Chris Dagnell scored on nine minutes with their first real shot of the game. Andy Warrington then managed to keep the home side out until the sixty-fourth minute when Gavin Gunning, trying to keep Dagnell out, sliced a clearance, it hit Jamie Green (who had come on for an injured Ian Sharps) and went into his own net. Five minutes later Craig Dawson got the third and former Miller, Chris O`Grady put in number four to send the Millers fans home very disgruntled.
Before the next game against Bradford City, it transpired that Ronnie Moore had tried to bring in two strikers, but both had opted to go elsewhere. Also, the Millers` Manager, who had complained about the Don Valley pitch since he arrived, went on record as saying that 'we` had to stop grumbling about the state of the pitch!
Bradford City came to Don Valley and the game began with a minutes` applause for Keith Alexander, who had sadly died the previous Tuesday. The visitors went ahead from a Flynn goal on the hour mark but Rotherham thought they`d got out of jail and gained a point when the same player handled the ball in the penalty area in time added on. Up stepped Le Fondre to put the ball into the net from the spot. But, more drama, after City fans were cleared from the running track that surrounds the Don Valley pitch when, in the fourth minute of three added on (hmm), the Bantams got a corner and James Hanson got his head to it and put the ball into the net. After the game, Ronnie Moore said it was 'rank defending` that gave the three points away.
The next game for the Millers was away at Dagenham but, before this yet another striker opted not to come and join the Millers when Richard Offiong decided to stay at Carlisle. Although there was some good news when Exeter City allowed Craig McAllister to join on a month`s loan followed a day afterwards by Abdulai Bell-Baggie from Reading.
The Millers got their first points of the month when an Adam Le Fondre goal on sixty-one minutes gave them the win at Dagenham.
The next game was at the Fraser Eagle Stadium against Accrington Stanley. The home side took the lead on eighteen minutes with a goal from Michael Symes but the Millers equalised on fifty-six minutes when Josh Walker ran half the length of the pitch and scored into the top of the net from a twenty-five yard strike. Unfortunately the Millers couldn`t hold on and ten minutes from time Jimmy Ryan got the winner and all three points for Stanley.
The Millers returned to winning ways the following Saturday when a second goal in two games from loanee Josh Walker gave Rotherham the three points at Don Valley against Alan Knill`s Bury. After the game, Ronnie Moore said he thought the tam played well and had special praise for Marcus Marshall as well as scorer Walker.
Don Valley also hosted the next game, when Macclesfield were the visitors. Danny Harrison put the Millers in the lead on twelve minutes only for Ben Wright to equalise halfway through the first half. But the Millers came out battling in the second half and two goals in two minutes gave the Millers a victory. Adam Le Fondre was bundled over on eighty-one minutes and scored the resulting penalty and just afterwards Drewe Broughton, back from his loan spell with Lincoln, reacted quickly and slipped the ball into the net to make it a three-one victory and put the Millers into the last automatic place.
The final game of the month was at Meadow Lane. Marcus Marshall had a goal disallowed because Adam Le Fondre was stood in an off-side position, mid-way through the second half and, with it looking like the Millers would get a well earned point, Luke Rodgers scored in the final minute of the game to see the Millers come away with nothing.
The first poll of the month, we asked, How many points will the Millers get in March? - 21% of voters were right when they said between seven and twelve - the Millers actually got nine points.
We also asked Will the Millers go up this season?. The result was:
Not a chance - 80%
Yes via the Play-Offs - 14%
Yes in the Top Three - 6%
Another Poll was When will Alfie get his first Millers hat-trick?
Well, 76% of voters were correct when they said, he won`t!
Vital Rotherham Man of the Month for March was Marcus Marshall who was voted man of the match for the games against Dagenham and Redbridge, Bury and Notts County.