Date: 14th May 2011 at 9:26am
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It’s FA Cup Final Day today when Manchester City are taking on Stoke City in an all Premiership tie.

Rotherham United have never really done that well in the FA Cup although they have been involved in some pretty interesting scorelines.

The first time they were involved in the FA Cup as Rotherham United was in the 1925/6 season, although they had been involved as Rotherham County, and they got through to the third round beating Halifax Town and Doncaster Rovers before losing 2-3 at Millmoor to Bury in front of over 16,000 fans.

In the 1950/1 season the Millers made it to the fourth round beating Darlington 7-2 with five goals from Jack Shaw and one each from Gladstone Guest and Danny Williams in the first round. Jack Shaw was on hand to get a hat-trick in the second round as the Millers beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 and Shaw and Danny Williams scored in the third round 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers before losing 2-0 to Hull City in front of a staggering 50,000 crowd.

Two seasons later they made it to the fifth round beating Colchester United and Newcastle United before losing to Aston Villa on Valentines Day 3-1.

In 1959/60 it took the Millers three goes to get rid of Arsenal, drawing games 2-2 and 1-1 before Brian Sawyer and Keith Kettleborough saw them off in a second re-play. They were eventually beaten by Brighton and Hove Albion, also in a second replay, by six goals to nil.

In the 1967/8 season Jim Storrie scored against Wolverhampton and again against Aston Villa before Leicester City were victorious 2-0 in a replay after first drawing 1-1 with Steve Downes getting the goal.

In the 1970/1 season the Millers beat Great Harwood, 6-2, when Dave Watson with two, Johnny Fantham, Dave Bentley and Jimmy Mullen scored. Getting another non-league team in the second round saw the Millers win 4-1 at Grantham. The third round draw saw the mighty Leeds United come to Millmoor. The first game was called off as was the replay due to a frozen pitch and when the game finally took place on a freezing cold night in January when 24,000 turned out it ended goalless. The replay should have taken place two days later at Elland Road but it was called off because of fog and when it finally took place it was pouring it down with rain and was a bitterly cold evening. The Millers went headlong into the game and Leeds made more mistakes than they probably had in the previous games of the season. Peter Lorimer put the home side in front on twenty-seven minutes but the Millers equalised five minutes later when a long kick from ‘keeper Roy Tunks seem to get caught up in the wind and over Norman Hunter’s head and fell to Trevor Womble, who put the ball past Gary Sprake into the net. Three minutes later, with Sprake being impeded by his own player, Jack Charlton, dropped a cross by Johnny Fantham and the ball fell to Dave Bentley who tapped it into the net. The game, which saw a lot of the players kicking out at each other and during the second half, referee Jim Finney, stopped the game and called both captains together in the centre circle and demanded it stopped. On fifty-six minutes Peter Lorimer equalised and six minutes later Johnny Giles hit the ball towards goal and unluckily for the Millers it spun of a defender and into the net for the winner.

The following season, the Millers first FA Cup game was against Frickley Collery at Frickley which, to be honest, they were lucky to come away with a two-all draw when Dave Bentley and Jimmy Mullen scored although they won the replay easily with a Carl Gilbert hat-trick and a Dave Bentley goal. The second round was against York City at Millmoor which ended one-one with Gilbert scoring for the Millers and the replay, at York was a three-two win for the Millers with two goals from Bobby Ham and one from Trevor Womble. The third round saw the Millers travel to Gigg Lane when they drew one-all with Bury and then won the replay two-one with goals from Carl Gilbert and Trevor Swift, who because of a terrible injury list, had to play despite having a stomach virus. The win saw 5,000 Millers travel to White Hart Lane for the fourth round to play Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs took a two goal lead in the first seventeen minutes which knocked the Millers sideways and they never really got in the game.

The 1978/9 season saw the Millers dispose of Workington in the first round with the help of two goals from Dave Gwyther and another from John Breckin. Neighbours Barnsley were next up and a goal from Alan Crawford at Oakwell brought the tie back to Millmoor, which was postponed five times before Gwyther and Trevor Phillips scored in the two-one win to set up a big game with Manchester City at Maine Road on a cold Monday night. The Millers battled well and held on for a goalless draw and brought the game back to Millmoor. The game seemed all but over when City went three up in the first fifteen minutes but the Millers came back to 3-2 with goals from Breckin and John Green and tried so hard to get the equaliser. But, much against the run of play, the visitors made it four-two and that, as they say, was that.

The first round of the 1985/6 season saw Wolves at Millmoor and the Millers went on a goal spree when Alan Birch got two, Mick Gooding, Tony Simmons, Kevan Smith and Tommy Tynan to make it a six-nil win for the Millers. Burnley came in round two and were sent away with their tails between their legs after a four-one win for the Millers with two goals from Mick Trusson and a goal a piece from Alan Birch and Tommy Tynan. In January the Millers went to Frickley again and goals from Daral Pugh, Mick Gooding and Tynan gave them a 3-1 win and a fourth round tie with Arsenal. The Millers went to Highbury but were well and truly beaten by five goals to one – the Millers goal coming from Tommy Tynan.

Walsall were the first visitors to Millmoor in the FA Cup in the 1992/3 season which the Millers won four-nil with goals from Shaun Goodwin (two), Jonathan Howard and Tony Cunningham. Hull City came in the second round and a Tony Cunningham goal beat them and in the third round a goal from Jonathan Howard was enough to put out Northampton Town. A money-spinning tie against Newcastle United beckoned and the game at Millmoor was only twenty-six minutes old when the Magpies took the lead with a Rob Lee goal. On the sixty-third minute the Millers got an in-direct free-kick which, more by luck than judgement, Nigel Johnson got in the way of and it hit his knee and went into the back of the net to earn a replay at St James’ Park. In front of 29,000 fans, the Millers held on until the fiftieth minute when David Kelly put the home team in the lead. A minute before the end of the game a Lee Clark goal saw the Millers down and out of the FA Cup for another year.

The 1997/8 FA Cup began on 15th November with the Millers entertaining Burnley at Millmoor. Andy Roscoe put the Millers in front on seventeen minutes only for Burnley to draw level from an Andy Cooke goal six minutes later. Alan Knill put the Millers back in the lead on thirty-six minutes but a minute later Neil Moore had equalised. Ten minutes into the second half and Paul Weller (this must have been before he became famous as a singer!!!) put the visitors in front for the first time but on sixty-six minutes Roscoe was there again to equalise and take the game back to Turf Moor. In the replay Burnley were never in the game after Jason White put the Millers in front on ten minutes and, even though it was all the Millers it took until twenty minutes before the end of the game for them to score again when Trevor Berry put one in the back of the net followed by a Darren Garner goal on eighty-eight minutes. The second round saw non-league Kings Lynn looking for a giant killing at Millmoor and it was looking good for them when it was still nil-nil at half-time. But then the Millers went goal crazy in the second half when Lee Glover, Neil Richardson, Darren Garner, Mark Druce, Trevor Berry and Danny Hudson scored to send the non-league team home with a flea in their ear. The third round brought Sunderland to Millmoor and they went in front on fifteen minutes from a Kevin Phillips penalty. Ten minutes into the second half Phillips struck again and then again on seventy-two minutes and again four minutes later! In between Phillips’ goals Darren Garner did manage to get a goal for the Millers but Niall Quinn made it five-one in the final five minutes of the game.

The 2000/1 season saw an Alan Lee goal beat Wrexham in the first round of the FA Cup at the Racecourse Ground. It was also a game that saw Guy Branston red carded. The Millers won the next round against Northampton at Millmoor when Garry Hughes scored the only goal of the game in the wrong net! The next round saw a trip to Anfield for the Millers to take on Liverpool. Rotherham did well to hold the Reds until two minutes into the second half when Emile Heskey put the ball past Ian Gray in the Millers goal. On the sixty-second minute Igor Biscan saw the same coloured card as his shirt from referee Halsey which only seemed to spur the home side on and Dietmar Hammann scored doubled the score on seventy-three minutes with Heskey popping in number three, two minutes later.

Millers team that day
Warne (Berry)
Robins (Sedgwick)
Lee (Monkhouse)

Subs not used – Connor, Beech

In the last few years the Millers haven’t done very well, losing to such clubs as Peterborough, Forest Green, Aldershot and Luton Town. This season, in the first round, York City came to Don Valley and got a nil-nil draw and we laid down and died at Bootham Crescent in the replay losing by three goals to nil.

Of course, this is just a potted history of the Millers exploits in the FA Cup – and, although it probably doesn’t mean as much as it used to do, there’s still that little bit of magic in the competition isn’t there – well, until you get knocked out, which for us is usually within the first couple of rounds!

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