RUFC - A Look Back at Last Season - December
The last month of the year began with the Millers achieving the Preliminary Level of Kick It Out`s Equality Standard with The Kick It Out judging panel saying that they were impressed with the relationship built with the local community via the community trust.
Going into the first game of December, which is the Millers second round FA Cup game against Shrewsbury Town, Millers Manager, Andy Scott, said that his side had to start punishing teams sooner rather than later.
The Millers went into the lead on forty-two minutes at the Greenhous Stadium when Sam Woods, who the club had got permission to play from his parent club Brentford, was tripped by Matt Richards in the penalty area and Lewis Grabban scored his fourth spot kick of the season. But just minutes later the Millers were reduced to ten men when a mistimed tackle from Marcus Marshall saw him get a second yellow card and an early bath. Three minutes into the second half the Shrews made the extra man count when former Millers skipper Ian Sharps scrambled the ball over the line from a corner which Millers 'keeper, Conrad Logan, seem to flap at. Logan did made a number of saves to keep the Millers in the game after that but was unable to stop Nicky Wroe putting away a penalty seven minutes from time which saw the Millers short FA Cup run come to an end.
Vital Rotherham Man of the Match - Conrad Logan
In his post match interview Andy Scott said that they hadn`t played well but went one-up but then the sending off really cost them. Scott was also unimpressed with Referee Lee Collins.
After the game, Ian Sharps, who scored the Shrews equaliser, said that he hadn`t celebrated out of 'respect for his old club.`
The Reserves next game was against Middlesbrough at Parkgate and the Millers, who included first teamers Andy Warrington, Marcus Marshall, Luke Foster, Troy Brown, Michael Raynes, Ben Pringle, Paul Warne and Chris Holroyd, went down three-nil. After the game, Reserve Team Manager, Darren Patterson, said, 'The only negative today was conceding the goals which were daft at best.`
Before the team travelled to Hereford for the first league game of the month, Andy Scott said that although he was excited when he saw his team go forwards if the players didn`t start to do as he asked them then he would have no hesitation at changing things.
Probably knowing what his manager said, defender Tom Newey, was determined to try and win his place back in the side after starting against Shrewsbury in the cup. Not having much of a look in since Jon Harley arrived on loan, Newey had also been getting a bit of stick from the crowd and he said, 'Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just try and do what the manager has asked me to do and try and play the way they want me to play. If that`s not pleasing for the fans then that`s not really my problem. I`m just following instructions.` Ed Note - on reflection probably not the best thing to say if you are trying to get back into the side.
The Millers went into the game at Edgar Street in eleventh place and on thirteen minutes Johnny Mullins put them one up. Ten minutes later Alex Revell made it two-nil but before half-time the Bulls had equalised with goals from Yoann Arquin and former Miller Delroy Facey. On sixty-five minutes Sam Wood whipped in a corner from the right and once again Johnny Mullins was there to put the ball into the back of the net to win the game for the visitors.
Vital Rotherham Man of the Match - Johnny Mullins
NPower League Two Team of the Week - Johnny Mullins
After the win Andy Scott praised his players saying it was a 'team effort`.
While Johnny Mullins couldn`t be anything but pleased with his first goals of the season he said he just wished they`d been able to keep a clean sheet as well.
On the back of getting the three points against Hereford the club had some more good news in that Ben Bennett Jnr had agreed to sponsor the East Stand of the new ground.
While the Millers had some good news about one goalkeeper Jamie Annerson, who was suffering from a knee injury that he got in the summer, but was now making a recovery, Andy Scott said he wanted to see more of loanee 'keeper Conrad Logan. Scott said, 'Conrad has done well recently but my feelings about his performances have been tainted by the fact that we`re still conceding two goals a game which, as a goalkeeper, he is partly responsible for.`
There was some more bad news on the injury front with Luke Foster being ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
The next game was the Millers only game at Don Valley throughout December when new boys, AFC Wimbledon, were the visitors. The game was very evenly matched and it was just a seventy-seventh strike from Sam Woods that separated the two sides.
Vital Rotherham Man of the Match - Lewis Grabban
Andy Scott said he was pleased with the three points but as equally pleased with the clean sheet after the win over Wimbledon.
Monday, 19th December was the day we all found out that next season we would be playing at the New York Stadium. With World Cup Referee and Millers fan, Howard Webb, being given the honour of announcing the name, Chairman, Tony Stewart said, 'After careful consultation and detailed research into the local history of the site, we felt that New York was the perfect name for our new stadium and a name that is strongly rooted in more than one hundred and fifty years of Rotherham's proud history of industry and enterprise linking the old and the new eras and, I believe, it befits such a fantastic new stadium right at the heart of Rotherham.` The Millers also appointed a new Stadium Manager in Paul Davis.
The Reserves won their next game which was at the B2Net against Chesterfield when Marcus Marshall got the only goal of the game on seventy-two minutes.
The Millers travelled to Cheshire for their Boxing Day game to take on fifteenth places Macclesfield Town. It was a bit of a scrappy game and it wasn`t much of a surprise that it ended nil-nil. The only real thing of note was that it was good to see Gareth Evans back in the starting line-up after a while out with an injury. Johnny Mullins went off with, what looked like concussion, after getting a blow to his face when he blocked a shot.
Vital Rotherham Man of the Match - Michael Raynes
Andy Scott said he would take positives from the game.
The last game of the 2011 was a Friday night away game against second-placed Cheltenham where an eleventh goal from Marlon Pack was enough to give the home side all three points.
Andy Scott thought the better side lost and was frustrated that his team couldn`t hit the target.
Not for the first time Vital Rotherham had a number of Men of the Match - Conrad Logan, Lewis Grabban, Johnny Mullins, Michael Raynes and Jon Harley all got the vote this month.
The Millers ended the year in eleventh place in League Two.
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