The Millers Are Going Up!
New York Stadium
27 April 2013 3.00pm
Attendance: 11,300 (308 Shots fans)
It was one up, one down at the end of the last match of the season at the New York Stadium this afternoon when two second half goals sent Rotherham United hurtling into League One while sending visitors Aldershot Town down and out of the Football League.
The game began with two standing ovations - one for Chairman Tony Stewart who took the microphone before the game to thank the Millers fans and sponsors and the second for former Miller Tony Grealish who sadly died earlier this week.
The Millers started on the front foot and should have been ahead in the opening minutes when a long throw from Kari Arnason saw Jamie Young in the Shots' goal punch away but only as far as Ben Pringle who shot on the volley and saw the ball go just over. Michael O'Connor and Kieran Agard also had early chances to give the eleven thousand Millers the goals they were shouting for and Alex Revell broke clear of his marker but pushed the ball just too far for him to get a clear shot on goal. At the other end the Millers put themselves in trouble when a back pass from Joe Skarz to Millers' 'keeper Scott Shearer saw the shot stopper dither and his clearance hit Asa Hall who was running in and almost ended up over the line. Revell had chance to put the Millers in front on the half-hour mark but his shot was saved by Young while a Skarz long ball wasn't quite collected by Agard. After that the Millers gave a few free-kicks away and started to panic with passes going awry and in the final minute of the half Danny Rose put in a good cross which found Michael Rankine but the tall centre-forward saw his shot go just wide.
At the start of the second half O'Connor had a shot from twenty-five yards which skimmed the far post and Agard had a shot on target that was blocked on the line. The Millers had a scare when an Anthony Tonkin long throw found Adam Mekki but the midfielder couldn't get a shot in before the ball was taken off him by a Millers defender. Alex Revell was in the thick of the action at the other end when a long ball from Johnny Mullins found the striker and he nearly put it over Young. On the hour mark the Shots were awarded a free-kick for an innocuous handball by David Noble and Craig Stanley's fierce shot was well saved by Shearer. Two minutes later Ben Herd lashed out at Daniel Nardiello, on for Kieran Agard, and was booked. Michael O'Connor took the resultant free-kick and some poor handling from Young saw the ball fall to the floor and after a scramble it ended up with Johnny Mullins who didn't need asking twice and he slipped it into the net to start the chants of 'we are going up' from the red and white army. Young was lucky a few minutes later when a Ben Pringle shot went off his legs to safety while he did well a little later by saving from Revell. Towards the end of the game Aldershot started to rally and with the Millers playing too far back at times they were probably unlucky not to score when a header from Mekki could only be parried by Shearer onto the underside of the bar and Arnason cleared the ball off the line, although, to a lot of us in the stands we thought it had gone over. But it was the Millers who sealed victory in time added on when a super ball from Pringle found Frecklington who looked up and put the ball beyond the reach of Young into the back of the net which led to a massive pitch invasion from all corners of the ground. The game was held up while the fans were made to get off the pitch and minutes later referee Russell blew his whistle for full-time and no-one was keeping those fans off the pitch then.
WE ARE GOING UP, SAY WE ARE GOING UP!