RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - April
Rotherham United started the month of April in fourth place and needed that extra push to make up the six points to overtake Bournemouth and get themselves into an automatic promotion place.
With news that Dale Tonge had a cracked bone in his foot and would take no further part in the season, Port Vale came to Don Valley and along with them came referee Mark Halsey, his first game back since being diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in August. And, although Mr Halsey had a good game the Millers didn`t follow suit, losing 2-1. Two goals in a three minute spell of the second half from Craig Davies and Marc Richards gave the Millers automatic promotion hopes a severe dent although, with ten minutes to go, Josh Walker pulled one back from a free-kick some thirty yards out. After the game Manager, Ronnie Moore, had a 'pop` at the strikers saying they were trying to walk the ball in.
Easter Monday saw the Millers take the long trip to Aldershot and, unfortunately, another big defeat. Dean Morgan opened the scoring for the home side on sixteen minutes, although it has to be said it was against the run of play. The second half began with the Millers fighting and Adam Le Fondre kept Jamie Young in the 'shots goal busy. But, once again, against the run of play and due to a defensive error Marvin Morgan walked past Pablo Mills and put the ball under Andy Warrington to double the score. And, with the Millers still smarting from that goal, Dean Howell made it 3-0.
Hot on this defeat, which Ronnie Moore said was due to individual errors, came the news that Gary Roberts had had his contract terminated for 'serious breaches of club conduct.` On the back of this came the good news that Abdulai Bell-Baggie and Craig McAllister would be stopping with the Millers until the end of the season although the bad news coming from the club was that Tom Pope would be out for the rest of the season with a broken foot.
Next up for the Millers was a trip to the seaside and a last visit to Christie Park at Morecambe. Unfortunately, it wasn`t a happy visit with the Millers losing 2-0 and the natives of Rotherham were definitely getting restless. Shouts for Ronnie Moore`s head could be heard from the away stand as a fourth consecutive defeat was foisted on the faithful fans. Moore came back saying that he was being blamed for everything, 'It`s alright for the crowd moaning for me to go, fine, but the guy who picked up the man for the first goal went to sleep and he scores - and that`s Ronnie Moore`s fault. They take a free kick, which was never on, that`s Ronnie Moore`s fault. We give the ball away when Alfie turns, that`s my fault. Well, hold on a minute, give me a bit of stick when it`s warranted that`s what I`m saying and judge me when I`ve picked the team with MY players who will come and work their socks off for this club. That`s when you judge me, not today.`
The first win in April came at Don Valley against Northampton and it was a bit of an eventful game with just one goal but three sending-offs and a penalty save. On thirty-five minutes, Northampton were award a penalty which Andy Warrington managed to palm away to safety. On sixty-two minutes, Craig Hinton received his marching orders for pulling down Adam Le Fondre in the penalty area. As he does, Le Fondre picked himself up and duly put the penalty away. Twelve minutes later Danny Harrison received a red card for a two footed lunge on Luke Guttridge and in the brawl that followed, Guttridge followed Harrison down the tunnel.
The next game was again at Don Valley when Cheltenham were in town and, although they had plenty of chances, neither side could get the ball in the net and it ended in a stalemate.
A trip to Barnet was next up for Ronnie Moore`s men and they came back with all three points thanks to a Kevin Ellison free-kick.
It was announced this month that three Millers Players had made it into the League Two Team of the Year - they were, skipper Ian Sharps, midfielder/winger, Nicky Law and top scorer Adam Le Fondre. Alfie also got the Star and Green 'Un`s Rotherham United Player of the Year Award and awarded the South Yorkshire Golden Boot
The Vital Rotherham Player of the Month was awarded to Kevin Ellison after being voted Man of the Match for the games against Northampton, Cheltenham and Barnet.