The Millers started the month of September in tenth place and the first game of the month involved fourth placed Bradford City on their first trip to the New York Stadium.
Over two thousand Bantams swelled the crowd on this fine Saturday and anyone who was a minute late missed the opening goal from Michael O’Connor on one minute. Former City winger Gareth Evans, who felt he had something to prove to his ex-club, made it two-nil on twenty-four minutes with Ben Pringle giving the Millers a three-nil lead going into half-time. Four minutes from time Gareth Evans popped up again to get his second of the day and the Millers fourth with the red and white army going home happy and Manager Steve Evans saying not only was the performance good but the crowd were ‘fantastic`.
Ben Pringle and Gareth Evans both made it into the Npower League Two Team of the Week.
Two days later Welsh International defender Craig Morgan joined the Millers.
Our foray into the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy competition didn’t last long with York City being the first team to beat the Millers at their new home in a competitive competition. A poor affair with a Matty Blair goal ten minutes from time being the only thing that separated the sides.
Nicky Hunt and Mark Bradley were said to be coming back from injury and Hunt played in a Reserve loss at Gateshead as did new boy Craig Morgan.
Over seven hundred fans made the relatively short journey to Vale Park the following weekend in the hopes of coming away from seventh placed Port Vale. Well, things didn’t exactly go to plan and the fans who had vocally abused former striker Tom Pope before the game were quietened in the opening thirty minutes after Louis Dodds opened the scoring and Pope himself got another two before Ashley Vincent got in on the act to make it four-nil. Michael O’Connor pulled one back before half-time and on fifty-four minutes the Millers got a somewhat lucky penalty which Daniel Nardiello scored but on the sixty-eighth and seventy-eighth minutes Pope rubbed salt into the wounds of the Millers faithful by bagging another two goals. Our defending on the day was dreadful and there seemed to be a few problems on the pitch when players were arguing amongst themselves who was going to take free-kicks. In all, a day to put a big ‘vale` over for Rotherham United.
It went from bad to worse then for the Millers with Manager Steve Evans finally finding out his punishment from the FA after an altercation while he was with Crawley last season at Bradford. The Gaffer was fined and also handed a six match stadium ban.
Midfielder Danny Schofield, who hadn`t featured this season, went out on loan to Accrington Stanley.
Next to grace our new stadium was the Gulls who had made the long trek from Torquay. A goal from Alex Revell just after the half-hour mark gave the Millers a narrow victory and sent Rotherham into sixth place.
Things were seemingly not all they seemed at the NYS with there being rumours about a rift between the Manager and Midfielder David Noble. Noble didn`t play on Saturday due to a virus but the Gaffer said he wouldn’t have been picked anyway and he needed to have a chat with the thirty-one year old to see if he ‘wanted to be at the club.` A couple of days later Evans told the FL`s Official Site that Noble had ‘family issues` and all was well in the camp.
Meanwhile the Chairman Tony Stewart was quite happy with the success the new stadium had been although promised to sort out a couple of teething problems involving the turnstiles and sound system.
18th of September saw the Millers lose their hundred per cent league home record by losing to Rochdale. Dele Adebole put the visitors one up on the stroke of half-time to make him the first visitor to score a league goal at the New York Stadium. Alex Revell and Daniel Nardiello scored second half goals to make it two-one then Jason Kennedy went down under a challenge from Alex Revell and Bobby Grant made it two-all from the penalty spot. Ten minutes later our midfield were just ball watching when some good movement from Rochdale saw the ball come to Kevin McIntyre who fired home from twenty-five yards out to give the visitors all three points.
Millers Assistant Manager Paul Raynor was far from impressed with the defending after the loss saying for the most part it was ‘suicidal`.
Evans was hoping to have Kari Arnason fit for the trip to Barnet after the Icelander had arrived back from international duty with a foot injury at the start of the month. He was also hopeful that David Noble and Mark Bradley would make the trip.
In the meantime Steve Evans was keeping an eye on striker Matt Tubbs after saying that the Bournemouth player had ‘slipped through his fingers after he had practically signed then gone and scored for the Cherries.
The Millers managed to hold on for a nil-nil draw at Underhill with Alex Revell seeing red late in the game.
One good thing from the game, apart from the point, was that Mitch Rose made his first start for the Millers and although he admitted to being a bit nervous he said he thought he`d done OK.
Bob Harris joined on loan from Blackpool saying that he was excited to be with the Millers and was here to help.
Bob was in the starting eleven against Oxford with the visitors going in front on eight minutes with a goal from Sean Rigg. On the half-hour mark a Lionel Ainsworth shot hit the woodwork, came down to Kayode Odejayi who was about to shoot when he was brought down by Damien Batt. Michael O’Connor stepped up and slotted the resulting penalty away to make it one-all. On seventy-four minutes O’Connor drilled in his second with Jason Taylor rounding the day off with a tap in two minutes from time. Paul Raynor thought it was a deserved win for the Millers.
After the game Michael O’Connor said he was good to get two goals but said it was more important that the Millers got the three points.
Michael was named in the Npower League Two Team of the Week.
With the Millers ending September in tenth place Vital Rotherham Man of the Month went to two players with both NICKY HUNT and DANIEL NARDIELLO getting voted for in two games.
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RUFC – A Look Back At Last Season – September