RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - September
September began with a visit to Shrewsbury and ended in the first League loss of the season. The only goal of the game was scored on five minutes by Lionel Ainsworth and, although both sides had chances, the three points stayed at Greenhous Meadow.
Meanwhile Manager, Ronnie Moore, was ruing that fact that he'd not been able to bring in a striker before the transfer deadline, naming his son, Ian Thomas-Moore as they player he'd have like to see in a Millers' shirt.
Moore also said that he was going to sit down with Adam Le Fondre and try and sort out an extension to his contract, while also dismissing a bid for the striker from Plymouth Argyle as 'a joke'.
At the start of the month, Millers Chairman, Tony Stewart, said that the progress of the new stadium was now 'gathering pace.' He also said that there had been 'no hiccups' and that 'targets were being hit.'
Next up for the Millers was the league visit of Burton Athletic to Don Valley. After looking well on top and going in three goals up at half-time, scored by Kevin Ellison, Ryan Cresswell and Alfie, the Brewers forged a spirited comeback and a Shaun Harrard hat-trick gave the visitors a point. After the game, while Millers' fans were spitting feathers, Ronnie Moore said 'we might look back at this and say it was a good point.' - hmmmm
During the week Nick Fenton, who had been injured at the start of the season, said he was frustrated at being left on the bench though admitted that Ryan Cresswell and Exodus Geohaghon were doing a good job.
Nick did, however, feature in a massive Reserve win over Lincoln City on the following Wednesday. Luke Ashworth, Marcus Marshall, Jamie Green, Jeremiah Ani and Tom Pope scored in the five-nil victory. Andy Liddell said that he was enjoying his role as Reserve Manager, saying 'Its experience for me because I want to get on this side of the game. I want to learn, help the players and get better at doing it.'
Ronnie Moore had strong words for Tom Elliott, on loan from Leeds, saying, after the lad keeps missing training sessions with 'niggles', that he wants to 'grow up' and 'decide if he wants to be a footballer or work in a bank.'
Groundsman, Jim Davison, was pleased to report that, although there was still work to be done on the pitch at Don Valley, visiting players and managers had said that the pitch is 'perfect.'
It was announced this month that World Class Referee and Millers fan, Howard Webb, was to become a Honorary Freeman of Rotherham.
In the middle of the month, Chairman, Tony Stewart, announced that both 'Ryan Taylor and Adam Le Fondre have asked for extensions to their contracts.'
The Millers faced a long trip to Underhill to take on a Barnet who were in the bottom four. The game looked like being a goalless draw until the sixty-ninth minute when a Cresswell header ricocheted off the crossbar and fell to Kevin Ellison who bundled it over the line for the opening goal. That spurred the Millers on and three minutes later Tom Pope, coming off the subs bench for his first game of the season, said 'thank you very much' when a Nicky Law ball fell to his feet just a few feet from the goal and he tapped the ball into the net. Four minutes later Danny Harrison got in on the act when Law found him and the midfielder rifled in the third goal. Barnet got one back from Mark Byrne but, in the final minute, Le Fondre got his eighth goal of the season to make it four-one.
Danny Harrison got into the Npower League Two Team of the Week.
After the game, Ronnie Moore said that he thought his side were a little lucky after having been 'sloppy' for the first hour of the game and praised Andy Warrington for pulling off some good saves.
Tom Pope was on hand, mid-week, to get an equalising goal against Nottingham Forest, to get a point for the Reserves.
Jeremiah Ani left the Millers towards the end of September, after his one month trial came to an end. Jerry appeared just once for the Millers which was in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Lincoln last month.
Local rivals, Chesterfield, were the next visitors to Don Valley next along with the highest crowd of the season of five thousand, six hundred and sixty-five. The Millers condemned the Spireites to their first league defeat of the season when Johnny Mullins found Le Fondre from a throw-in and the diminutive striker did very well to loop the ball over Tommy Lee in the visitors goal seven minutes into the second half for the only goal of the game. This took the Millers into third place in the League with Chesterfield dropping to fourth. It was difficult to pick at Man of the Match with it being, very much, a team performance but Andy Warrington did keep us in it with some very good saves, although Alfie was the only Miller who appeared in the Npower League Two Team of the Week.
Ronnie Moore was said to be interested in bringing Manchester City midfielder, Donal McDermott in on loan.
For the last game of the month, it was South Yorkshire v West Yorkshire as Bradford City were the next team to visit Don Valley. The Bantams came with just two league wins under their belt all season of which neither were away from home. The Millers began the game well but seem to peter out and it was Andy Warrington, once again, who saved them in the end as they hung on for a goalless draw.
At the end of September, the Millers were in third place in League Two, with Chesterfield and Port Vale above them.
One of the polls on Vital Rotherham this month was -
It's a year since 'King' Ronnie returned - how is he doing? with the results looking like this:
The 'crown' has slipped a little 71%
It's still a 'work in progress' 23%
He's doing a good job 6%
Vital Rotherham's Man of the Month was Andy Warrington - he was Man of the Match for the games against Barnet, Chesterfield and Bradford with Jason Taylor being voted Man of the Match v the Shrews and Kevin Ellison against Burton.
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