Millers Match Zone

A Quick Look Back At Last Season – October

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Rotherham United went straight back up into the Championship at the end of the season – but let’s take a little look at how they got there.

OCTOBER

The Millers had seven games in the month of October the first being away at Whaddon Road where they took on Charlton Athletic, two second half goals giving the visitors all three points. Some good saves from Rotherham born Athletic ‘keeper Scott Flinders did well and kept the Millers out in the first half but on fifty-one minutes Will Grigg broke the deadlock after Flinders’ parry from Dan Barlaser found the on-loan striker who scored from close range. Rarmani Edmonds-Green scored his first goal for the club fourteen minutes later with a shot from twenty-plus yards out to give Rotherham a two-nil win.

Following quickly on from that was the second Papa John’s Trophy game of the season which saw Scunthorpe United at a very wet New York Stadium. The hosts made a good start when Will Grigg scored on eight minutes with Will Harding seeing a cross-cum-shot rattle the crossbar before Freddie Ladapo made it two-nil on twenty minutes. The Iron put a bit of pressure on in the second half when Ryan Loft made it two-one on the sixty-fifth minute but goals from Hakeem Odoffin, a first in a Millers shirt, and substitute Michael Smith saw Rotherham win four-one.

Back to the league and Portsmouth arrived in Rotherham and it was the Millers who had the first site of goal when Pompey ‘keeper Gavin Bazunu did well to save from Rarmani Edmonds-Green early on. Michael Smith, a former Portsmouth player, did open the scoring on twenty-nine minutes with the visitors getting an equaliser a couple of minutes into the second half from Marcus Harness. But the Millers turned on the style and a second for Smith plus goals from Richard Wood and Ben Wiles saw the hosts get all three points.

Manager Paul Warne said that there wasn’t a ‘bad performance’ after the game.

Mid-October saw the FA Cup draw for the First Round proper with Rotherham getting a home draw against National League side Bromley.

Another home game saw Wycombe Wanderers at the New York Stadium which ended goalless. It was a boring game with referee Robert Madley not helping with some very strange decisions including a slap on Michael Smith by Josh Scowen, giving a free-kick to Wycombe, booking Ollie Rathbone for what appeared to everyone at the ground except him a fifty/fifty ball and giving a foul on the Wycombe ‘keeper when the only players within five yards of him had blue shirts on. And don’t get me started on the number of times he gave the visitors free-kicks after they’d fallen over.

We travelled to MK Dons for our next League One game where the Millers made it eight games without defeat. The visitors could have opened the scoring in the first five minutes when Michael Smith did well to beat the off-side trap only to see his lob hit the corner of the crossbar and go out to safety. But they did open the scoring just before the half-hour mark with Michael Ihiekwe heading home and two second half goals, Dan Barlaser scoring his first goal in ten months when the ball went in straight from his corner while sub Freddie Ladapo got the third saw the Millers get all three points.

Speaking after the win Millers Manager Paul Warne said it was a ‘near faultless display’.

It was back to the Papa John’s Trophy for the next game when a Manchester City U21 side became the next Millers’ victims. A cagey, OK boring, first half, ended goalless but a fifty-first Will Grigg goal set the Millers on fire with Kieran Sadlier making it two-nil twelve minutes later from the penalty spot after Joshua Kayode had been fouled. Jake Hull headed home number three before two more goals from Sadlier saw him the first player since Lee Frecklington in 2017 to get a Rotherham hat-trick. The five-nil win saw the Millers end Group E of the competition in top spot.

And the Millers last game in October also saw them score five goals when Sunderland were the visitors at the New York Stadium in a game that saw Remembrance Day wreaths were laid by both captains before the game began. Michael Smith headed home his eleventh goal of the season on ten minutes with Ross Stewart equalising for Sunderland fourteen minutes later. Freddie Ladapo was on hand to put the Millers back in front before the break with Michael Ihiekwe making it three-one from a Shane Ferguson corner eight minutes into the second half. A late lunge on Wes Harding saw Aiden McGeady get his second card of the afternoon and an early bath with Smith getting his second and the Millers’ fourth fifteen minutes later. Ladapo rounded off the afternoon with a brace for him giving Rotherham a five-one win after JJ had rounded  Ron-Thorben Hoffmann and passed the ball to him to tap in.

Paul Warne said he was ‘disappointed’ with the goal his side had conceded but it was a ‘good win against a good Sunderland team’. No denying that is there!

Four wins, one draw, three clean sheets, fourteen goals scored saw the Millers finish the month in fourth place in League One on thirty points, three points less than leaders Plymouth Argyle. Plus there were two trophy wins in there too!

Vital Rotherham’s Man of the Month for October was Ben Wiles.

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