Date: 24th December 2016 at 9:34am
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Rotherham United will be playing their fourth Boxing Day game at the New York Stadium when fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic are the opponents.

But what of Boxing Day games of the past? Let’s have a quick look ?.

Last season the Millers win over Bolton Wanderers saw them climb out of the bottom three. It was a tight first half with both sides having little to shout about but Rotherham came out fighting in the second half and goals from Grant Ward, Danny Ward, Joe Newell and Jonson Clarke-Harris gave the hosts a four-nil win.

The season before the Millers entertained Huddersfield Town with the visitors taking a two goal lead thanks to James Vaughan, on thirty-five minutes, and Conor Coady just after the hour mark. But the Millers got stuck in and Jonson Clarke-Harris halved the deficit with two minutes to go and with almost the last kick of the game Lee Frecklington rescued a point for the hosts.

Boxing Day 2013 saw the Millers travel the short distance to West Yorkshire to take on Bradford City at Valley Parade. The game was settled on the twenty-first minute with a goal from loanee Haris Vuckic giving Rotherham all three points which saw them go into the last game of 2013 in the last of the play-off places.

It also helped them forget the season before when Boxing Day wasn’t so happy. It was the first Boxing Day game at the NYS and Port Vale were the visitors. Goalless at half-time Louis Dodds opened the scoring for the visitors and six minutes later former Miller Tom Pope made it two-nil. A goal from Kieran Agard seven minutes from time was just a consolation for the hosts.

The game in 2011 was at Macclesfield and was goalless while Port Vale were the visitors again on Boxing Day 2008 at the Don Valley Stadium which the Millers won with a goal from Drew Broughton after Marc Joseph had been sent off on twenty-four minutes

On Boxing Day 2007, the Millers travelled to the TFM Darlington Arena, where, due to crowd congestion, the game was delayed for fifteen minutes. Chris O’Grady opened the scoring on thirty-six minutes for the Millers, putting the ball beyond a diving David Stockdale and into the bottom corner of the net. Unfortunately for the visitors. Micky Cummins equalised on sixty-eight minutes for the home side to give both sides a point.

26th December 2006 saw Oldham Athletic beat the Millers three-two at a cold Millmoor. The first goal came just before the half-hour mark came from the Latics’ Chris Porter and they went into a deserved two-nil lead on forty-two minutes with Will Haining scoring. Eugen Bopp pulled one back for Rotherham within ten minutes of the second half but on sixty-seven minutes Porter got his second and the visitors third. Ten minutes from time, Simon Charlton was adjudged to have handled in the area and Will Hoskins scored from the spot to give the Millers some hope but although they pushed everyone forward for the final ten minutes, Oldham took the points and the Millers dropped into the relegation places in League One.

Boxing Day 2005 was a 12.30 kick-off against Huddersfield Town at Millmoor. The Millers were much the better side throughout the game with Alan Knill in a caretaker manager position and Deon Burton smashed the ball into the back of the net on eight minutes. Various Millers players, including Lee Williamson, David Worrell and John Mullin had shots saved by Paul Rachubka in the visitors goal and Neil Cutler in the opposite goal had very little to do. So it was a big blow to the home side when, in the second minute of time added on after the ninety, Cutler brought off a good save from Chris Brandon only for the rebound to fall to Gary Taylor-Fletcher who slipped the ball over the line for the equaliser.

Boxing Day 2004 saw the Millers in the Championship and on their travels to The Walker Stadium to take on Leicester City. Just over twenty-seven thousand fans were there that day to see thirteenth placed Leicester take on bottom placed Rotherham. Every Miller – player and fan – gave their all on the day and a goal on thirty-seven minutes from Shaun Barker sent the Millers fans into raptures and left the Foxes fans stunned. The home side came out for the second half much more determined but, somehow, the Millers kept them out and managed to get their first away win of the season.

2003 saw the Millers away at Wigan and the game was going into the last ten minutes when Will Hoskins scored and then two minutes later he scored again. A goal in the final minute of the game, from Nathan Etherington, gave Wigan a consolation goal.

Boxing Day 2002 ended in a two-nil win for the Millers away at Deepdale against Preston North End. A cross from Andy Monkhouse on fifty-six minutes reached Mark Robins who slid the ball under Preston ‘keeper, David Lucas and five minutes from time, a miss-hit over-head kick from Richie Barker fooled Lucas and went into the net off the post.

There wasn’t a game for the Millers on Boxing Day 2001 and the 2000 game ended in a nil-nil draw with Notts County at Millmoor.

Boxing Day 1999 was a Sunday and it would seem the Millers, who had tried to get the game called off due to flu going round the club, must have been to church before setting off for London Road, as, playing with the only players who were available and Manager, Ronnie Moore at home with the bug, the visitors beat the Post five-nil. Danny Hudson started the rout off on two minutes then Paul Warne got two (one on thirty-four minutes and one four minutes into the second half). On seventy-one minutes Steve Thompson got in on the act and three minutes later Leo Fortune-West made it five.

1998 saw the Millers travel to the Abbey Stadium at Cambridge on Boxing Day. John Taylor and Trevor Benjamin put the U’s two up at half-time with Alan Knill scoring twice in the second half to equal the score. When it looked like it was going to be a draw with almost the last kick of the game Neil Mustoe, who had come off the subs bench for the last twenty minutes, scored the winner for the hosts.

In 1997 a Jason White goal eight minutes from time gave Rotherham a win over Lincoln City at Sincil Bank while two years previous the Millers had lost to Walsall by the same score, one-nil.

The Millers were at Millmoor on Boxing Day 1994 and Bradford City were in town. Goals from Andy Roscoe, Shaun Goater (a pen) and Bobby Davison for the Millers and one from John Taylor for the visitors gave the Millers a three-one win.

1991 saw the Millers win away to Burnley by two goals to one. Tony Cunningham and Don Page scored the Millers goals and it was the same scoreline the year before when Chester City were the visitors at Millmoor. Stewart Evans and Steve Spooner were the scorers that Boxing Day.

A consolation goal from Shaun Goodwin on 26th December 1989 was all the Millers got out of a visit to Field Mill where Mansfield won three-one and the Millers lost the game in 1988 at home to Crewe Alexandra with Bobby Williamson getting the home sides goal.

In 1987 a visit to Mansfield saw the Millers win with the only goal of the game which was from Andy Williams. In 1986 the game at Millmoor against Darlington ended goalless and the year before the game away at Darlington was a two-all draw with the Millers goals coming from Mick Gooding and Daral Pugh.

The Millers lost the Boxing Day game in 1984 away at Swansea by a goal to nil and in 1983 they lost to Sheffield United three-nil at Bramall Lane in front of over 22,750 fans.

In 1980 goals from Mick Gooding and Phil Henson gave the Millers a two-one win away at Hull City with Bury being the victors at Millmoor the year before by two goals to nil. The Millers lost away at Gigg Lane to Bury in 1978 by three goals to two with Trevor Phillips getting both goals for the visitors and Chesterfield were in town at Millmoor the year before where Phillips again scored a goal for the Millers – but the Spireites scored two.

26th December 1975 saw the Millers lose four-one away at Grimsby with Richard Finney getting a consolation goal for the Millers and twelve months before Hartlepool beat the Millers two-one at Millmoor with Ron Wigg scoring for the home side.

The Millers beat Barnsley at Millmoor in 1973, two-one, with Bob Delgado and Ron Wigg scoring for Rotherham and Eddie Ferguson scored the only goal of the game on Boxing Day 1972 when Halifax Town were at Millmoor. Rotherham entertained Chesterfield in 1970 and although Trevor Swift scored for the home side the visitors won two-one when over fourteen thousand fans were at Millmoor.

Lee Brogden and Denis Lill scored the goals that gave the Millers a two-one win over Doncaster at Belle Vue on 26th December 1969 and the game in 1967 was a two-all draw away at Preston North End when John Shepherd and Andrew Wilson were the Millers scorers.

Goals from Roy Massey and Robert Williams weren’t enough to give the Millers a win away to Coventry on Boxing Day 1966 but Albert Bennett, Ian Butler and Brian Tiler gave the Millers a three-one win away at Northampton in 1963. 1962 saw Stoke City win two-one at Millmoor with Ken Waterhouse scoring for the Millers with Liverpool travelling to Millmoor the season before where a Don Weston goal gave the Millers a win. The game in 1960 was also against Liverpool but this time at Anfield where the Millers lost two-one with Alan Kirkman getting the visitors goal.

The first recorded Boxing Day game we can find was when Rotherham were called Rotherham Town in 1893. The game was away at Ardwick and was a three-two win for the hosts. Rotherham goals were scored by Fairburn and Sylvester.

As Rotherham County the Millers did play on Boxing Day 1919 when Huddersfield Town were the visitors. Town won the game three-one with Rotherham`s goal coming from Coe.

The first time the Millers played as Rotherham United on December 26th was in 1925 away at Chesterfield which the home side won six-one. Rotherham`s goal came from Lee.



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