RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - November
We are into the fourth month of our look back at last season ...
November began with the bad news that Mark Randall, on loan from Arsenal, suffered a broken collar bone in the game at Southend at the weekend and would be out for six to eight weeks.
The first game of the month was at a windswept Don Valley against Macclesfield on a cold Tuesday night. Two goals in the eighty-fourth and eighty-fifth minute gave both sides a point. Barnett scored first for the visitors and Adam Le Fondre got the Millers 'out of jail' a minute later. After the game Manager, Ronnie Moore, said that it was 'lack of pace in certain areas' that saw the Millers struggle.
Although it wasn't a great game, one Vital member, Zipadeedoodah, will remember this game because it was his seven hundred and fiftieth consecutive competitive Rotherham United game!
With the first FA Cup game of the season coming up next, against York City at Don Valley, Ronnie Moore said he thinks the team is missing the 'Twelfth Man' at the stadium - the fans. He said that it was difficult for the fans to support the Millers as a group at Don Valley saying that there was no home advantage there. Skipper, Ryan Cresswell, also put out a plea for the fans to get behind the team.
Well, just over three thousand two hundred fans turned out to watch the Cup game when a poor display from Rotherham against Blue Square Premier league side York City ended in a goalless draw.
Another 'cup' was next for the Millers when Huddersfield Town of League One, were at Don Valley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Things started badly for the Millers when Jordan Rhodes opened the scoring for the Terriers in the first minute. Ten minutes later, Ryan Taylor equalised for Rotherham from a perfect Nicky Law corner. On nineteen minutes the Millers suffered a blow when Johnny Mullins had to go off injured and four minutes later Rhodes put the visitors in the lead again. Benik Afobe made it three-one five minutes later and six minutes after half-time it was four-one when Scott Arfield got in on the act. Arfield scored again twenty minutes from time with Ryan Cresswell making it five-two in time added on. After the game, Ronnie Moore bemoaned the lack of defending by his side. He also said he thought the crowd of just over two thousand was good because they 'didn't boo'.
A very young Reserves side had a game at Walsall and, unfortunately, came away with nothing after a seven-nil defeat.
It was back to the League for the Millers with Oxford coming to Don Valley. On the Thursday before the game, due to injuries, there were only fourteen players at training. On the Friday before the Oxford game, Danny Coid signed from Blackpool on an emergency one month loan and was keen to impress the fans.
Coid started the game against Oxford and helped the Millers to a two-one win. Alfie scored two goals in a twelve minute spell in the first half with Simon Clist pulling one back for the visitors just before half-time. Ronnie Moore said that it was a 'good and deserved win.'
Marcus Marshall was the sponsors Man of the Match for the day and Manager, Ronnie Moore, said he'd been brilliant all season saying that he had brilliant pace and ability. Both Marcus and double scorer Alfie found themselves in the Npower League Two Team of the week.
Changing league for Cup again, next up was the replay against York at Bootham Crescent. Although the Millers probably just edged the first half, it was York who showed who were the bosses in the second half. On sixty-six minutes Chris Smith nodded home past Jamie Annerson in the Millers' goal and three minutes later Michael Rankine made it two-nil to the non-league side. Although Annerson made a brilliant finger tip save on seventy-six minutes Rankine scored his second, and York's third three minutes later. Once again after the game, Ronnie Moore moaned about his teams defending, saying it was 'criminal.'
Away from things on the pitch, Chairman, Tony Stewart, was 'hoping' that the club would get the green light to continue with their plans for a new ground on the old Guest and Chrimes land.
The Chairman also said that he understood the grumbles of the fans over Don Valley but he thought that playing there had actually helped the team saying, 'From a playing point of view we have done quite well at Don Valley in the two seasons we`ve been there.'
The Millers travelled to Gresty Road and came back with a one-nil win over Crewe Alexandra. And, for the first time in what seemed like ages, the Millers were like whirlwinds, coming out of the blocks and in the first minute Marcus Marshall caught out Crewe's back four and, former Miller, David Artell managed to put it behind for a corner before the ever lurking Adam Le Fondre could get to it. From the resulting corner, Kevin Ellison caught out the flapping Rhys Taylor in The Alex's goal and Mark Bradley put Adam Dugdale under pressure and put the ball in his own net. The Millers tackled well and fought for the ball well for the remainder of the game but couldn't score again. Ronnie Moore said it was a 'fantastic' performance and didn't know how his side only scored one.
Moore also announced that he'd been trying to get a centre-back in on loan but no less than five players, including Nathan Clarke of Huddersfield, had turned him down.
Millers young 'keeper, Jamie Annerson was named in the Npower League Two team of the week.
The club made a statement this week saying that rumours that Burnley and Sheffield United had come in for top scorer, Adam Le Fondre, were rubbish.
The Millers last game of the month was against Northampton Town. The Cobblers came to Don Valley in the bottom three of the division having lost their last game against Barnet. The Millers started the game well with Ryan Taylor, on four minutes, and Marcus Marshall, on nineteen minutes, put them into a well deserved lead. Unfortunately for the Millers Abdul Osman and Andrew Holt scored in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth minute to draw level. Not long after this the Millers had a stroke of luck when Jamie Annerson fumbled the ball and followed it out of the area and handled it. With no 'keeper on the subs bench, the Millers breathed a sigh of relief when Referee Lewis decided a caution was enough. There were no more goals scored and, actually, there wasn't a lot more football played after that either. Less than two and a half thousand were at Don Valley that night on a bitterly cold evening. Ronnie Moore said it was 'soul destroying.'
The Reserves brought smiles to the Millers fans faces when they beat local rivals Sheffield Wednesday three-nil at Don Valley the day after. Stephen Brogan, Tom Pope and Tom Elliott scored the goals, all in the first half.
Will Atkinson signed on a three month loan from Hull City followed by West Brom's Paul Downing. After a couple of training sessions, the Millers Assistant Manager, Jimmy Mullen, said they both looked 'adequate and comfortable.'
Vital had not one, not two but three players of the month for November! Ryan Cresswell, Ryan Taylor and Marcus Marshall were voted for in two games each. Danny Coid was voted Man of the Match against Crewe.
The Millers finished the month in fifth place in the table on thirty-one points. Port Vale were top with thirty-six points followed by Chesterfield, Bury and Shrewsbury.
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