The season began with a home game against MK Dons who were playing their first ever game in the Championship. The afternoon began with Greg Halford, somewhat surprisingly, leading the team out as captain. The Millers began on top and it was much against run of play when Rob Hall scored for the visitors on five minutes after a rebound fell to him just a few feet from goal. Eight minutes later Matt Derbyshire scored the equaliser. A deflected shot off Danny Collins went past his own ‘keeper Kelle Roos and on thirty-five minutes Dean Bowditch made it three-one to the visitors with the Millers scratching their heads wondering, after many chances at goal, how they were going in at half-time three-one down. Carl Baker came off the bench with twenty minutes to go and within five minutes had slammed the ball into the back of the net to make it four-one to MK Dons.
Lineups – Rotherham – Roos, Halford, Thorpe, Collins, Newell, Maguire (Bowery), Smallwood, Grant Ward (Frecklington), White (Green), Danny Ward, Derbyshire.
MK Dons – Martin , Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington, Potter, Carruthers, Hall (Baker), Reeves, Bowditch (Powell), Church
After the game Millers Manager Steve Evans said, If you don’t defend right and take chances at key stages of the match it’s always going to be tough.
Rotherham got through to the second round of the Capital One Cup after beating Cambridge at the New York Stadium. The only goal of the game came in the dying seconds of the first half from Jordan Bowery. The Millers were drawn at home again in the second round when Norwich City would be the visitors.
Meanwhile Chairman Tony Stewart was waiting for costing on an expansion at the New York Stadium and was hoping to have things in place for the Autumn.
Rotherham’s first away game of the season was at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest. Ex-Forest defender Danny Collins gave the Millers the lead on thirteen minutes and were on top until time added on at the end of the half when Matt Mills equalised for the hosts. After Kelle Roos failed to deal with a cross the ball fell to Michail Antonio just after the hour mark and he tapped the ball in the net from close range.
After the game Steve Evans said, ‘We played with a lot of energy all over the pitch. There were some outstanding performances and we were only let down by the officials and if we play like that in the Championship for the rest of the season we will come away with a lot of points’
18th August saw the Millers get their first point of the season with a nil-nil home draw against Preston North End. It wasn’t the most inspiring game with both sides cancelling each other out but the point saw the Millers off the bottom of the table.
As the Millers got ready for a trip to London news came from the Gaffer saying that he was frustrated after saying they’d missed out on getting a player in. It was thought the player was former loanee Tom Lawrence
A scorcher at Loftus Road saw the Millers come from three down to get to three-two before eventually losing four-two. Rotherham managed to hold on until three minutes before half-time when Tjaronn Chery side footed the ball into the net. Five minutes into the second half Chery made it two-nil with Charlie Austin adding another thirteen minutes later. Jonson Clarke-Harris pulled one back for the visitors on the seventy-second minute and two minutes from time Tom Thorpe who had come on at half-time hit the ball into the net from six yards out to make it three-two and give the travelling seven hundred and forty fans a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately for them on the stroke of full-time Lee Frecklington was adjudged to have got too close to Sebastian Polter in the penalty area and Austin scored from the resulting spot kick.
The day had been re-named ‘Stan Bowles Day’ after the former QPR forward had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and when he was introduced before the game all four sides of Loftus Road stood to applaud him.
Steve Evans spoke after the defeat saying, ‘For forty-two minutes there was one good team out there, and it was us. We had a couple of half-chances but we didn’t take them.’
The rumour mongers were having a bit of a field day insisting that Joey Barton was headed for the New York Stadium but Steve Evans laughed off the rumours saying, ‘He’s a fantastic footballer but I don’t think we could afford his petrol never mind Joey!’
Rotherham could put the league behind them for a while as their next game was the second round of the Carling Cup when Norwich City were in town. Jonny Howson scored for the visitors in the first half with Ricky Van Wolfswinkel making it two-nil in the second half. Paul Green scored a consolation for the Millers but it was the Canaries who went through to the next round. The Millers had played well against Norwich and only some superb goalkeeping from Canaries ‘keeper Declan Rudd kept them out.
Another home game for the Millers and another loss. Fulham were the visitors and sent Rotherham back to the bottom of the league with a three-one win. Returning Ben Pringle opened the scoring for the visitors on just seven minutes which was followed by a Ross McCormack goal coming from the penalty spot after Greg Halford fouled James Husband in the area. The Millers had the chance to half the deficit after Jazz Richards upended Paul Green in the area but Matt Derbyshire’s spot kick was a little soft and the save was easy for Andy Lonergan. Jonson Clarke-Harris did however make it two-one on the seventy-second minute but a goal in time added on from Cauley Woodrow gave the visitors a three-one win.
After the loss Steve Evans said, ‘We created two or three good chances in the first half and didn’t take them. We huffed and puffed in the second half. We created two or three good chances in the first half and didn’t take them. We huffed and puffed in the second half.’
Rotherham midfielder Richie Smallwood made a plea to the fans at the end of the month saying ‘It`s early in the season and there’s plenty of time for us to get back up there and we ask the fans to stick behind us and I’m sure we’ll give them some good times.`
As the month ended some sad news was that former right-winger Graham Leggatt had sadly passed away.
The last rumour of the month, as the transfer deadline day was coming to an end, was that we were looking to loan Norwich City’s Tony Andreu.
Vital Rotherham’s Man of the Month for August was Joe Newell.
The Millers ended the first month of the season in bottom place of the Championship with just one point. Bolton, Huddersfield and Blackburn were directly above with three points.
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RUFC – A Look Back At Last Season – August