RUFC - A Look Back At Last Season - October
Rotherham United started October in tenth place in League Two and set off for a Tuesday night game at the Crown Ground against fourth placed Accrington Stanley. The rain was falling heavily and when the Millers fans got into a flooded away end the referee, Chris Sarginson, was trying (rather unsuccessfully) to bounce a ball onto the pitch which resembled Ladybower Reservoir. With players paddling around the perimeter of the pitch and the water rising every minute it was no surprise when the game was called off five minutes before it should have kicked-off. The only surprise was that it wasn't called off at least half-an-hour earlier. Crazy.
Johnny Mullins was sent out on loan to rivals Oxford United which is something which both puzzled and angered the fans. Saying that the club would be monitoring Mulls while he was at Oxford, Steve Evans said that it was important for Johnny to get some games under his belt. (Just not with Rotherham obviously).
We were all keeping our fingers crossed that the game on the following Saturday at Bootham Crescent wouldn't fall foul of the wet weather - it didn't but it was the most drab game we'd seen for ages. Not helped by the fact that tickets for what a lot of fans thought was the seats had been sold only to discover they were actually tickets for standing - and a lot of these had been sold to disabled fans. Although, to be fair, the arguments that were going on about this problem during the game were probably more interesting than the game which ended nil-nil with both sides lucky to get nil.
The Millers found it necessary to play a behind closed doors friendly at London Road against Peterborough United. Mark Bradley equalised for the Millers before half time and then an own goal and goals from Nicky Walker and Kieran Agard made it four-one to the Millers before Post pulled one back before the end.
Southend were due next at New York and former Millers' skipper Ryan Cresswell insisted that he had nothing to prove to his former employers. The Millers went into the game without Kari Arnason who was on International duty with Iceland, much to the frustration of Steve Evans.
The game began and the Shrimpers took the game straight to the Millers having two corners in the opening minutes and, to be honest, it was a bit of a surprise how it took them until the fifty-first minutes to score. Britt Assombalonga got the goal and made it two-nil to the visitors fourteen minutes later. He should have had his hat-trick eighteen minutes from time but Scott Shearer pushed his headed onto the crossbar only for David Martin to head home the rebound. After the game Paul Raynor said there were no positives to be taken and it was woeful.
There was the rumblings of the moans and grumbles and finger pointing coming from the fans and the Gaffer said, 'the supporters maybe just want to settle down a little bit.' Evans was back on the touchline after his stadium ban for the next game saying that it was going to be a 'big week' for the club after the disappointment of the performance against Southend.
With some of the social media sites and local radio 'phone ins getting remarks from fans saying that the Manager should go, Chairman Tony Stewart told Radio Sheffield that he was happy with Evans and what he was doing saying, 'I go on record as saying that the team we have on the pitch at the moment is the best that we've ever had.'
A Millers team played a behind closed doors game against neighbours Sheffield Wednesday which gave Alex Revell and Kari Arnason a work-out.
The Manager's frustrations grew when MK Dons striker Ryan Lowe turned down a loan move to the New York Stadium after the clubs had supposedly agreed a deal.
Meanwhile it became known that Southend's Manager Paul Sturrock had seemingly had an offer for Jason Taylor turned down by the Millers a few days before they played us which the Millers Boss wasn't at all impressed with.
Attacking midfielder Lee Frecklington joined the Millers on loan from Peterborough United.
The Millers made the long journey to the Recreation Ground to take on next to bottom placed Aldershot Town and got their first win of the season on the road. Lee Frecklington scored on his debut on thirty-four minutes with fellow loanee Bob Harris making it two-nil to the Millers ten minutes into the second half. Alex Revell started his first game after his three match ban and scored the third on eighty-two minutes. The Shots' first shot on target was on eighty-three minutes and was greeted by ironic cheers from their fans. Andy Warrington was in goal after Scott Shearer had had a cartilage operation and was going to be out for some weeks.
There was two Millers in the Npower League Two Team of the Week those being Andy Warrington and Kari Arnason.
Rotherham United found out that their first round FA Cup game would be at home to League One's Stevenage Town with Steve Evans insisting that it was the 'tie of the round'.
The Millers entertained Morecambe in the next game at the New York Stadium which turned out to be an entertaining game. Of course it just had to be former player Kevin Ellison just had to open the scoring on the half-hour mark although the Millers should have already been in front with the chances they'd had and I don't think anyone knew how they'd gone in still losing at half-time. With the visitors looking like they'd settle for the one-nil, it was two quick goals from Daniel Nardiello on sixty-three and sixty-six minutes that gave the Millers all three points. Steve Evans said it had been an 'excellent' performance and thought we really should have got another two or three goals.
The Gaffer said that he wants to be the longest serving Manager ever for Rotherham United saying he loves the town, loves the people who have accepted him and that he is desperate to bring success to the club.
The club came out with an unusual statement regarding why they moved some fans from the corners of the stadium which Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas told us had designated 'sterile areas' (no, I'd never heard of this either). According to the stewards they were actually asked to move the fans to make the stadium 'look tidy'. Football Stadiums looking tidy? What will we have next?
With Bob Harris being recalled by his parent club Blackpool, the Millers were quick to get in Josh Morris from Blackburn Rovers which Steve Evans said he was 'delighted' over.
With Andy Warrington preparing to play his third consecutive game, he explained that he was lucky to still be with the Millers after ex-Manager Andy Scott wanted the shot stopper out of the club. 'I knew it didn't matter how well I did in training because I wouldn't get in the side under him,' Andy said. 'I felt I didn't deserve the way I was treated last season but things can change quickly in football and it's been totally different with the new gaffer.'
The Millers next game at the New York Stadium was against Plymouth Argyle and things started badly when Lionel Ainsworth dislocated his shoulder in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Gareth Evans followed by Dale Tonge limping off after just four minutes. Evans, Lee Frecklington and Ben Pringle all went close before the home side thought they'd scored with a header from Kari Arnason but it was ruled out for pushing. Eventually the Millers pressure did pay off on seventy-three minutes when a low ball from Daniel Nardiello was perfect for Kieran Agard who slipped the ball into the back of the net to send most of the six thousand nine hundred spectators wild. Steve Evans said it was a 'big three points' and praised striker Nardiello for the ball to Agard for the goal.
For the second time this month Andy Warrington was in the Npower League Two Team of the Week.
There was bad news when we found out that Lionel Ainsworth was going to be out for around twelve weeks as he had to have surgery on his shoulder.
Kieran Agard was hoping to soon get a start for the Millers first team. He came of the bench on Saturday to get the winner but says he knows he will have to be patient. Delighted with his first Millers goal Kieran said, 'I wanted to come on and make an impact. I was buzzing and it gave me a real boost.'
Vital Rotherham's Man of the Month was Bob Harris, who had been recalled earlier by Blackpool. He was voted Man of the Match for the games against Southend and Aldershot.
The Millers ended the month in sixth place eleven points behind Gillingham in top place.
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