RUFC - A Look Back At Last Season - August
The season began with an away League Cup game against Championship side Hull City which was also Steve Bruce's first game in charge of the Humberside club. Lionel Ainsworth scored what turned out to be his only goal of the season to put the Millers one-up on fifty-two minutes but eighteen minutes later Aaron McLean equalised sending the tie to extra time and then into penalties. David Noble, Johnny Mullins, Kieran Agard, Kari Arnason, Ben Pringle and Jason Taylor all scored for the Millers but with the game at seven-six to the Tigers, Mark Bradley saw his spot-kick hit the bar.
A week later the football season began and the Millers first league game at the New York Stadium saw Burton Albion in town. The Royal Scots Guards Pipe and Drum Band paraded around the pitch before the game and Chairman Tony Stewart made a speech followed by the release of hundreds of red and white balloons. The day before the game Ian Sharps was handed the captains armband and eleven thousand fans streamed into the new stadium. The game was less than five minutes old when Daniel Nardiello was upended in the penalty area and referee Paul Tierney pointed straight to the penalty spot. Nards picked himself up, dusted himself down and scored the first ever league goal at the NYS and six minutes later a header from Kayode Odejayi made it two-nil. Just after the hour mark Lee Bell saw a yellow for hauling down Ben Pringle and just a minute later a late two-footed challenge on David Noble saw him get his second yellow and an early bath. It was all Rotherham after that and fifteen minutes from the end Prings looped a ball over Burton's 'keeper Atkins making it three-nil and three points for the Millers.
Steve Evans said that the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end when he heard the noise from the Millers fans and while he said that some of the football was outstanding, Brewers Manager Gary Rowett said he didn't think his team were doing too badly going into the second half.
Referee Paul Tierney sent an apology to the Millers after all the officials missed a terrible lunge on Johnny Mullins which Steve Evans had said was the 'worst challenge of the day' which eventually saw Mulls being replaced by Mark Bradley at half-time.
We know that there would be teething problems with a new build and there were a few problems with the new ticketing system and there were people complaining about the queueing at the food/drink bars inside the ground. We also weren't impressed with the club shop and the lack of items for sale including the new shirts.
The Millers first away game league game of the season was at Sixfields on a Tuesday night. Chris Hackett put Northampton in the lead on twenty-six minutes with Ben Pringle equalising three minutes before half-time. The second half it was all the visitors with the Cobblers young 'keeper Lee Nichols keeping his side in the game on many an occasion. In the final minutes of the game while the Millers were down to ten men as Referee Trevor Kettle had sent Alex Revell to the sidelines to change his shirt the Cobblers made a quick break and Alex Nicholls put the ball past the on-rushing Scott Shearer into the back of the net.
After the game Steve Evans called it a 'travesty'
We found out that Dale Tonge was going to have 'shock' treatment on an Achilles problem which he'd had since May.
The final game of August was against local rivals Chesterfield at the B2Net. Steve Evans said he really wanted to win the game for former boss Ronnie Moore but also said, 'Its a derby and there are local bragging rights at stake.'
There was a large following of Millers at Chesterfield in the rain but they were stunned when a Scott Shearer error allowed Drew Talbot to put the ball across goal for Jordan Bowery to slip it into an open net. The Millers came out of their blocks running at the start of the second half and within six minutes Kayode Odejayi turned Sam Hird and put the ball into the net beyond Spireites 'keeper Tommy Lee.
Steve Evans came away from the game disappointed but saying that his side showed a lot of character.
Meanwhile the Millers were still supposed to be after a striker and were said to have put in a bid for Matt Tubbs of Bournemouth but were also said to be interested in Paul Benson, Stuart Beavon and Mark Little - none of which actually arrived.
August's Vital Rotherham Man of the Match went to striker Kayode Odejayi who was voted for in all three League games. Kari Arnason got the vote for the Cup game against Hull City.
In a Vital Poll we asked if the Millers could win the League - 56% of those voting said 'Yes'.
The Millers ended the month with four points in tenth place.
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