Millers say goodbye to Don Valley with a draw
Don Valley Stadium (for the very last time)
5 May 2012 3.00pm
Attendance: 4,729 (549 Cobblers fans)
Rotherham United`s final game at the Don Valley Stadium ended in a one-all draw after Northampton Town scored in the final minute of the game this afternoon.
Before the game began Millers Chairman, Tony Stewart, spoke to the fans and thanked the staff at Don Valley for their help while the Millers had lodged at the Sheffield sports arena and bouts of 'we`re going home` were sung on and off throughout the game by the Millers faithful.
The Millers nearly took the lead on six minutes when an Alex Revell flick at the back post fell to Lewis Grabban but the top scorer saw his shot rebound off the outside of the post into the waiting arms of Neal Kitson in the visitors goal. Minutes later Mark Bradley received a ball from Grabban but his shot went across the face of goal with no-one near enough to stick out a toe and poke it over the line. At the other end Millers 'keeper, Rhys Taylor, did well to save from a Toni Silva volley and, at the other end, Michael Raynes sent a ball through to Revell but the strikers shot was easily saved by Kitson. Next a Ben Pringle corner caused havoc amongst the visiting defenders and after finding it`s way to Michael Raynes his shot went just wide of the post. But the breakthrough finally came on the half hour mark when a ball from Grabban found Sam Hoskins and he flicked it onto Revell and the striker lifted the ball over Kitson and it looped into the back of the net. The Cobblers` Luke Guttridge had a twenty-yard shot blocked and a Michael Jacobs free-kick was blocked by Jason Taylor. The Millers should have doubled the lead a few minutes later when Sam Hoskins found Grabban in acres of space but, before the ball had hit the back of the net, the flag was raised for off-side. As half-time approached Grabban shot from twenty-five yards out and only a brilliant finger-tip save from Kitson stopped the Millers going in two goals to the good at the break.
The Millers started the second half well and a cross from Grabban on fifty minutes just failed to reach the onrushing Hoskins in front of goal while a shot from Danny Schofield five minutes later, from just outside the penalty area, went just wide. Just after the hour mark a Ben Pringle free-kick was well saved by Kitson while a shot from Revell just missed the target and went wide. On sixty-four minutes, Alec Denton came on for Hoskins to make his first team debut and was straight in the action when he got the ball from Pringle in space and saw Kitson get down well to make a good save from an equally good shot. At the other end a long throw from Ben Tozer found Adebayo Akinfenwa`s head but the striker put the ball over from six yards out. Kitson was in fine form today and he did well to save from a Revell shot and a minute later Pringle found Grabban in space but his low cross was smashed into the side netting. Then the lively Denton put the ball into the path of Revell but the striker`s shot whistled just wide of goal. As it looked like the Millers would be getting their last ever win at Don Valley the Cobblers stole a point when a free-kick from Guttridge found Akinfenwa who put his header past Taylor and into the net.
To be fair, today`s game wasn`t really about football, it was about the end of the season and the last game at the soulless Don Valley. Today was about giving the past of Rotherham United one final thought and thinking about the future. A future away from Sheffield and back to where we belong - back home.