Rotherham United start their campaign in the Papa John Trophy this week when they take on neighbours Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat.
This will be just the second time the pair have met in this competition proper, the first time being in the 2019/20 season, when it went under the name of the Leasing.com Trophy at the New York Stadium. The visitors had a penalty appeal turned down after Carlton Morris and Danny Amos collided in the area before Morris himself went down in the opposite box after a challenge by Rovers’ skipper Joe Wright. Neither were given. Then Wright headed into his own net trying to clear a Billy Jones cross to give the Millers the lead on eleven minutes. Rotherham had other chances including Ian Lawlor making a good save from Freddie Ladapo and Clark Robertson putting a Ben Wiles cross over the crossbar. A few minutes before the half ended a ball out of defence caught the Millers on the hop and it eventually fell to Kieran Sadlier who flew down the pitch unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot giving Lewis Price no chance in the Rotherham goal. Dan Barlaser forced another good save from Lawlor and Julian Lamy rattled the crossbar while Rovers fashioned another chance with AJ Greaves, making his debut, let fly from distance but it didn’t trouble Price. Trevor Clarke came on at half-time for the hosts making his debut. Rovers tested Price with shots from Will Longbottom and Alex Kiwomya getting close before a set-piece saw Wright rise highest and head the visitors in front. Straight from the re-start Lawlor made a great save from Morris before pushing a shot from Joe Mattock to safety but on sixty-seven minutes a pass from Clarke found Morris who calmly put the ball past the Rovers’ ‘keeper into the net to make it two-all. Five minutes later a trailing leg brought Clarke down in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Morris took the penalty but Lawlor was equal to it and saved. With thirteen minutes to go Rotherham re-took the lead when Morris sent a perfect ball to Clarke who gave Lawlor no chance putting the ball into the far corner of the net to make it three-two. It might have been four after Joshua Kayode came off the bench and got in a great position to get his head to a cross but saw his effort skim over the crossbar.
The Millers and Rovers did meet in the preliminary rounds of the then Sherpa Van Trophy competition in the 1988/9 season where they beat Doncaster two-one to go into the first round proper and again in 1993/4 when it was called the Autoglass Trophy when again it was a Rotherham two-one win.
Millers v Rovers – EFL Trophy
13.12.1988 – Rotherham 2-1 Doncaster
18.10.1993 – Doncaster 1-2 Rotherham
08.10.19 – Rotherham 3-2 Doncaster