Date: 21st July 2010 at 8:39am
Written by:

First of all ,you all know that I`ve enjoyed my pre-season so far (Workington journey aside), but today’s first public friendly for our boys in red, has left me with the little buzz of excitement all day at work….sad but true.

Finished work at half one, and walked up the hill from the factory to my home in pretty warm weather. Showered and head polished, I left the house coatless at 2.40 for my bus to Rotherham….no sooner had I left the house, the Addams family type rain cloud, that I`m sure waits above my house for me to exit, decided to make an appearance. Dashed back inside for my little black jacket and went to the bus stop. Of course as soon as i got on the bus, the cloud b***ered off and the sun came out from where it was hiding.
50 minutes ride (7 miles, never right) on a warm and stuffy bus later, I arrived in Rotherham at half 3.

Headed, coat in hand to the Rhino, where I was meeting Dave. Only 2 of us there tonight, Billy-no-mates time. The rest of our entourage, are either not bothered with friendlies, saving their brass for the season’s start or in the case of Dave’s lad, football training.

Dave, was sat in there with an almost empty pot, waiting for me come in obviously (he reads this, so I`m allowed to talk about him…ha ha), and I obliged with a pint of Smooth for him, and my customary coke.
Couple of drinks later, I rang a taxi to take us to Don Valley at 4.30. He pulled up bang on time, and dropped us outside the Faras 15 minutes later….the fare of £6.10 was the cheapest I`ve ever known it, as it’s normally round £7-£8.

Went in the Faras and re-acquainted ourselves with the regular barmaids, got the round in, then attacked the juke box. 12 songs for £2, it churned out my entries, Slik, Rubettes, Tpau x 2, Bee Gees, Slade, Billy Idol, Elvis, Springwater, Voice of the Beehive, Hollies and Sweet….good or what ? (Don`t answer that please, I cry easily).

Very quiet in the pub till about half six, then all the lads and lasses who had been doing the walk from Rawmarsh in aid of the local young soldier (James Leverett) killed in Afghanistan a short while ago, came in.
Buckets were rattled and money was giving generously by, I`m sure, everybody inside and outside the pub for such a worthy cause. Raffle tickets for a half time draw of a signed Millers shirt were also sold. Well done to all involved, including James’ 2 brothers, must’ve been a very emotional night for them and his family there tonight.

Me and Dave left the Faras at half seven to pop across to the ground, cos pies were firmly in my mind.
Entered the ground, bought my team sheets at 20p each (no programmes), and headed for my first ‘Home’ Pukka of the season. My favourite Steak and Kidney, was devoured and we made our way to our seats.
I don’t like making too many judgements of our players in pre-season, but I`ll just say how impressed i was with Tom Elliott and Ryan Cresswell tonight, who more than showed promise against the higher League opposition.
Elliott especially, showed good tight ball control, agility in turning defenders, strength in the tackle, and willingness to have a go at the net from distance. Leicester went in front from close range, but i have to say i thought the lad who received the ball in the early stages of that move on the left wing was slightly offside, but no worries. Then I did my all too often mistake of going to the loo during play, and returned to find the score 1-1, following what Dave said was a definite penalty as Elliott was tripped in the box by the keeper, Weale.
Alfie netted the resulting spot kick to equalise.

Half-time came and I checked my 50/50 tickets to see if i could win the £70 on offer tonight, but was 21 away….never mind, I`ll wait while Saturday for the bigger prize (he says greedily) Green ticket number 9 won the Charity draw for the Signed Millers shirt…..I had yellow tickets 100 and 40 odd…oh well it wouldn’t have fitted me anyway, especially after I troughed my second pie of the game….(Had no dinner after work though so was ravenous) Had a chat with Nez, and we all settled down for the second half.

The second and winning goal came after the break as DJ Campbell hit a low hard shot through a defenders legs and wide of the diving Warrington. Danny Harrison produced the miss of the season so far (although in fairness, i think it came to him at a good speed and a funny angle) as he repeated his Wembley feat of skying the ball from almost under the crossbar.
Roughly 5 minutes from time and 4 of the 5 floodlights decided it was bedtime early and went out.
They were followed very shortly by the 5th, and after a few minutes wait to see if they could be fixed, plus a corny, but chuckle worthy, blast of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Leave a light on for me’ from the tannoy, the ref called an end to proceedings.

Enjoyable game, despite the abrupt ending, and a good show from the Millers.
The 200 or so Leicester fans vacated the ground, and we headed back to wait outside the now closed Faras for our taxi back to civilisation. We just made it back to the bus station in time for my 9.52 bus back to a very wet Wombwell, and I arrived home at 10.30 to settle down and write this dross.

Off to bed shortly as a 45 year old, and I`m up at 4.30 for work as a 46 year old.
Next stop……Zips birthday trip….Dinnington Town v Rotherham United….Wednesday night.
My first sober Birthday in 30 years….and going to watch Rotherham reserves….God, birthday’s aren’t what they used to be.

Thanks for this Zip and allowing me to make it into an article! And, he remembered all this while texting me with updates too!
And, on behalf of all of us on Vital Rotherham – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!