RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - May
The 1st of May brought a downpour at Don Valley Stadium making the pitch against Crewe Alexandra almost unplayable and ended in a goalless, soulless draw but, because of results in other games, it did mean that the Millers definitely confirmed their place in the League Two Play-Offs.
The final game of the 'proper` season was a long away trip to Hereford and, looking like their minds were on other things, the game was doomed, for the Millers, from the start. It was a dismal performance by the weary looking Rotherham players and, ever-present all season, Andy Warrington, could do little to stop the Bulls winning their final game 3-0. Over six hundred Millers fans made the trip down to Herefordshire and went away very disillusioned after the players couldn`t even be bothered to come over and acknowledge the following. After the display, Manager, Ronnie Moore, in his post-match interview, apologised to the fans.
Finishing in fifth place meant that the Millers played Aldershot in the play-offs and the next few days were spent with fans getting tickets for both the game at Don Valley and the away game.
The first game was at the EEB Stadium and it was a carnival atmosphere in the sun with the TV Camera`s there for the 6.00pm kick off and before the game began there was a minutes` applause in appreciation of the British serving troops. As to be expected the home side started the better but, it was the Millers who started to take charge before half-time but, with neither side looking like putting the ball into the net, a careless back pass two minutes from time let in Adam Le Fondre, who after taking his time and slotting the ball into the back of the net, ran to the Rotherham following to celebrate.
Over seven thousand were at Don Valley for the second leg against Aldershot and, it seemed only fitting that a thirtieth goal of the season for Adam Le Fondre just before half-time should get the Millers fans jumping out of their seats. And, twenty-two minutes from time, the fans knew that they were on their way to Wembley when Kevin Ellison ran onto the back post to receive a perfect ball in from Nicky Law and put the ball into the back of the net. At the final whistle, despite all the notices and warnings about running on the pitch, within seconds of the final whistle the Millers players were mobbed by delirious fans all singing 'we`re on our way to Wembley`.
Only one team could now stop the Millers getting into League One - Dagenham and Redbridge.
The next ten days were spent in a whirlwind of buying Wembley merchandise, sorting tickets out, sorting transport out but, on Sunday, 30th May it seemed like all of Rotherham were heading for London. The atmosphere was fantastic and party time for the Millers had begun and the fans were up for it. The red and white section of the crowd were silenced on thirty-eight minutes when Paul Benson put the Daggers one-up. But, it was all back to the singing and shouting and dancing a minute later when Ryan Taylor got his first goal of the season by heading a Kevin Ellison cross into the back of the net. On fifty-six minutes Danny Green put Dagenham back into the lead, only for Ryan Taylor to equalise again five minutes later. Unfortunately, when Jon Nurse got a third for the Daggers on seventy minutes the Millers didn`t have any comeback. Losing at Wembley must be the worst experience of a footballers` time and, at the final whistle, the Millers players all fell to their knees in despair.
It was sad to lose at Wembley but, even so, it was a fantastic day out and one for the memory banks.
The Vital Rotherham Player of the Season was Kevin Ellison, with the table looking like this
1. KEVIN ELLISON
2. ADAM LE FONDRE
3. ANDY WARRINGTON
4. PABLO MILLS
5. IAN SHARPS
6. NICKY LAW
6. MARCUS MARSHALL
8. TOM POPE
9. DANNY HARRISON
10. JOSH WALKER
11. GARY ROBERTS
11. GAVIN GUNNING
11. ABDULAI BELL-BAGGIE
11. NICK FENTON
11. DREWE BROUGHTON
16. ANDY NICHOLAS
17. STEPHEN BROGAN
17. MARK LYNCH
19. PAUL WARNE
19. DALE TONGE
21. JAMIE GREEN
21. MICKY CUMMINS
21. ANDY LIDDELL
21. RYAN TAYLOR
21. MARC JOSEPH
So, are you all looking forward to next season..... What do you think it will bring...... Come and tell us here, on Vital Rotherham - share your thoughts, hopes and disappointments with us - it's easy to join......
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