Alfie Puts Millers that Step Nearer Wembley
15th May 2010 6.00pm
Rotherham United got the vital victory at Aldershot this evening which gives them the advantage going into the second leg of the play-off semi-finals on Wednesday at Don Valley.
It was a carnival atmosphere in the sun in front of the Sky TV Cameras at the EBB Stadium with the Millers fans having their own drum to keep the beat, which they did for ninety minutes. Before the game kicked off, two Aldershot-based members of the British Army brought the match ball and placed it on the centre-spot before there was a minute`s applause in appreciation of the British serving troops took place.
Referee, Andy D`Urso was soon in the action when he cautioned Shots` Scott Donnelly for crashing into Pablo Mills. It was the home side who had the first chance to go in front when Dean Morgan put a pass across goal which was just eluded the oncoming Marlon Jackson. But, as the half wore on, Rotherham got more in the game and Adam Le Fondre almost opened the scoring when he intercepted a poor header back from Andy Sandell but was unable to get the ball home. Five minutes later, Anthony Straker got forward and smashed the ball towards goal, but it was just wide of the post. At the other end, Le Fondre laid on a lovely ball for Nicky Law but the winger`s low effort was saved by Mikhael Jaimez Ruiz., who was on for Jamie Young who had gone off injured after a challenge with Le Fondre. In the final minute of the half, Marvin Morgan danced round the Millers back four and Andy Warrington seemed to hesitate before sprinting from his line to block Morgan`s shot. In the dying seconds of the half, Gavin Gunning, who was being pushed around all game, did well to block a shot from Marvin Morgan, which came from the edge of the six yard box.
The Millers started positively after the break and a Nicky Law corner was headed towards goal by Nick Fenton but Straker cleared the ball off the line while at the other end, Gunning again did well to block a shot from Jackson before Dean Morgan put the ball just over the bar. The Millers best chance of the game came on the hour mark when an intelligent ball from Mark Lynch was met by the head of Ryan Taylor but the returning striker, trying to get the ball round the 'keeper, saw it go agonizingly just wide. Straker had a shot that just went wide of Andy Warrington`s goal and a few minutes later the same player received a good ball from Marvin Morgan but his shot went just over the bar. Halls saw a dipping volley go just over, a few minutes later and at the other end a timely tackle by Brown denied Law from six yards out. And, just when it looked like it would end goalless, a very careless back pass from Brown presented Le Fondre with a gift and as Jaimez-Ruiz sprinted out to narrow the angle, the Millers top scorer clipped the ball, as calm as you like, past him and into the corner of the net and immediately ran over to celebrate with the travelling Millers fans.
I think Rotherham were the better team today and things seem to be gelling together as they made it one step nearer to the dream of playing at Wembley.