Who Do The Millers Meet Next Season – B

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Rotherham United are back in League One next season – but who will we meet . . .

Ground – Oakwell
Nickname – The Tykes
Head Coach – Darrell Clarke

Barnsley were originally founded as a Church football team in 1887 and they have played at Oakwell since 1888. 1890 saw them in the Sheffield and District League and five years later were in the Midland League. In 1898 Barnsley found themselves in the Second Division and went on to win the FA Cup in 1912 beating West Brom. In the next few years they found themselves yo-yoing between the Second and Third Divisions. At the end of the 1958/9 season Barnsley were in the newly named Third Division with 1965 seeing them fall into the bottom tier of English football – the Fourth Division where they stayed for three years before getting promoted then falling again in 1972 spending seven years there before getting promoted in 1979 following that two years later with another promotion back to the Second Division. The 1996/7 season saw the Tykes promoted to the Premier League as runner-up behind Bolton Wanderers lasting just one season and two years later they were relegated to Division Two and with administration rearing its ugly head the town found themselves hanging onto their football team by their fingernails with the Mayor at the time, Peter Doyle, saving them. Just four years later saw the club promoted to the Championship via the play-offs. A number of managers came and went and while they had some good very good cup runs Barnsley didn’t do that well in the league and after some near misses the club found themselves relegated to League One at the end of the 2017/18 season. Promotion and relegation followed for the next few seasons before they managed to stay in the Championship for three seasons relegation coming at the end of 2021-22.

Last season the Tykes finished in sixth place seeing them to the Play-Off semi-finals where they lost out to Bolton Wanderers five-four on aggregate. After the play-off games the club appointed Darell Clarke as Head Coach.

Of the fifty-four league games the Millers and Barnsley have played against each other the Tykes have won twenty-one to Rotherham’s seventeen and the last time they met was in April 2021 in a Championship game at Oakwell. The game was decided by a controversial goal on just two minutes when former Miller Carlton Morris clattered Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson as he scored, Johansson having treatment on the pitch before having to be subbed. How referee Gavin Ward allowed the goal to stand is still a mystery to Millers fans.

Ground – St Andrew’s
Nickname – Blues
Manager – Chris Davies 

Birmingham City came into being in 1875 although they were originally called Small Heath Alliance. Thirteen years later they dropped the ‘Alliance’ from their name before becoming Birmingham City in 1943. Twenty years later they won their first major cup, beating rivals Aston Villa in the League Cup on aggregate, going on to win it again in 2011. 1991 and 1995 saw them win the Football League Trophy.

Last season saw the Blues relegated along with the Millers to League One after finishing twenty-second in the table. In June Birmingham appointed Chris Davies in his first managerial job.

The Millers and Birmingham City have met forty-two times in the league the Blues winning twenty-two of those, Rotherham seven. They last met in April at the New York Stadium when the game ended goalless.

Ground – Bloomfield Road
Nickname – The Seasiders, The Tangerines, ‘Pool
Manager – Neil Critchley

Founded in 1887 they won the Fylde Cup and Lancashire Junior Cup in their first season and became founder members of the Lancashire League in 1889 and joined the Football League in the 1896/7 season in the Second Division.  After just one season they found themselves back in the Lancashire League but May 1900 saw them re-elected to the Football League which is also when they moved to Bloomfield Road.  At the end of the 1929/30 season Blackpool were promoted to the First Division where they lasted three seasons getting promoted again at the end of the1936/7 season and were top of the table when war broke out and league football was abandoned.  In 1953 Blackpool won the FA Cup – a final that is now known as the ‘Matthews Final’.

Coming up to date, the club were relegated to the Third Division at the end of the 199/2000 season but went straight back up via the play-offs and 2002 and 2004 saw them win the Football League Trophy.  May 2007 saw them promoted to the Championship, again via the play-offs, beating Yeovil two-nil.  Blackpool found themselves in the Championship play-off final in May 2010 and beating Cardiff City three-two saw them climb into the Premier League.  Unfortunately, they lasted just that one season and were but got to the play-off final in the Championship again, but this time losing to fellow relegated side West Ham. In April 2015 the Seasiders were relegated to League One with six games still to play.  The last game of the season was abandoned when protesting fans ran onto the pitch just after half-time.  The club suffered a second relegation in May 2016 with former Miller Gary Bowyer taking over as Manager two weeks into the following season and helping them to a play-off final win against Exeter City. The club went into receivership in February 2019 and two months later Michael Bolingbroke was appointed as Blackpool’s executive chairman. Another play-off final win for Blackpool and they started the 2021-22 season in the Championship spending two seasons there before relegation came again.

Last season Blackpool finished in eighth place in League One.

The Millers and Blackpool last met in a goalless draw in the Championship at Bloomfield Road in February 2023 and of the forty-eight times they have met in league games Rotherham have two more victories than the Tangerines with twenty-one.

Ground – Toughsheet Community Stadium
Nickname – The Trotters, The Wanderers
Manager – Ian Evatt

1874 saw Christ Church Football Club formed changing their name to Bolton Wanderers three years later. Although they’ve played in every league they are probably best known for their exploits in the FA Cup, winning it four times in seven appearances. In 1958 Bolton won the A Charity Shield and in 1989 they were winners of the Football League Trophy.

Severe financial problems over the last few years saw players going on strike due to unpaid wages in April 2019, a temporary closure of the training ground and a winding-up petition was all brought to a head when the PFA supported a strike by the players seeing the club having to cancel a game against Brentford which the Football League eventually give three points to the Bees. By that time the club had already been relegated to League One from the Championship and the following season went down to League Two getting promotion again for the 2021-22 season.

Last season the Trotters were in the play-offs after finishing third in League One. They took on Barnsley in the semi-finals winning five-four on aggregate going on to take on Oxford United at Wembley where they lost to two first-half goals.

The Millers and Bolton last met on New Years Day 2022 in a League One game at the New York Stadium which saw Michael Smith put the hosts in front on forty-minutes and Eoin Doyle equalise two minutes later. Smith scored his and Rotherham’s second with sixteen minutes to go.

Ground – Memorial Ground
Nickname – The Pirates or The Gas
Manager – Matt Taylor

Founded in 1883 as Black Arabs FC they were also known as  Eastville Rovers and Bristol Eastville Rovers before becoming Bristol Rovers in 1899.

Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920, and apart from one season, 2014/15, when they dropped to the Conference Premier, have played there ever since, though it has been a close thing on a number of occasions, including 1939 when they had to be re-elected. They have suffered seven relegations over the years their highest placing being sixth in the second tier of English Football twice (1955-56 and 1958-59) and 2013-14 saw them relegated to the Conference League winning the play-off on penalties to get back into the league and a consecutive promotion saw them into League One. Rovers were relegated at the end of the 2020-21 season but came straight back up.

In December 2023 former Millers Manager Matt Taylor took over at the Memorial Stadium and guided Bristol Rovers to a fifteenth place finish in League One on fifty-seven points.

Of the fifty-eight league games the Millers and Pirates have been involved in Rovers have won twenty-three, two more than Rotherham. They last met at the New York Stadium in January 2020 which saw three second half goals from Kyle Vasselll, Michael Smith and Chieo Ogbene give the hosts a three-nil win.

Ground – Pirelli Stadium
Nickname – The Brewers
Manager – Mark Robinson

Formed in 1950 Burton Albion joined the Birmingham and District League going on to play in the Southern League before a league reorganisation saw them moved into the Northern Premier League. At the end of the 2001/2 season Burton were promoted to the Conference and saw them get promoted from there to the Football League in 2009. May 2012 saw them lose out in the League Two play-off Final to Fleetwood Town. They were promoted to League One at the end of the 2014/15 season and then into the Championship the following season. At the end of the 2017/18 season the Brewers found themselves relegated back to League One where they’ve plied their trade ever since.

After finishing last season just one place above relegation the Brewers appointed Mark Robinson as Head Coach in June.

The Millers and Burton last met at the Pirelli Stadium on a Tuesday April night in 2022. An early goal from Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and another in the second half from John Brayfield saw the Brewers win the game two-nil. Rotherham have won six of the fourteen games the pair have played in the league, Burton one less.

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