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Who Do The Millers Meet Next Season – S-W

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Rotherham United’s relegation last season means a League One start for the coming season – but who will the Millers meet


SHREWSBURY TOWN
Stadium – New Meadow
Nickname – The Shrews
Manager – Paul Hurst


Formed in 1886 the club were founder members of the Shropshire & District League, later being admitted to the Birmingham & District League in 1895/6 and later playing in the Midlands Champions League before being elected to the Football League in 1950 in the Division Three (North).

1958/59 saw them promoted to the Third Division where they lasted thirteen years before slipping to the Fourth Division. In 1974/5 they were promoted back to the Third Division and three years later with help from Richie Barker and later Graham Turner were promoted to the Second Division as champions where they stayed for ten years. 1992 saw them relegated to the Fourth Division but twice got promoted. After fifty-three years in the league the Shrews found them starting the 2003/4 season in the Football Conference but went straight back up. 2007 saw them move into their new home New Meadow and at the end of the following season the found themselves in the play-off final but were beaten one-nil by Gillingham. 2011 saw them promoted to League Two and, after two seasons, to League One but at the end of the 2014/15 season were relegated, although just a year later, were back in League One. 2017/18 saw former Miller Paul Hurst lead the Shrews to the EFL Trophy Final losing to Lincoln and they were back at Wembley in May when they met the Millers in the League One Play-Off Final and, since then, have barely got to mid-table in England’s third tier, albeit with various managers at the helm, Paul Hurst returning in January 2024.

Last season saw the Shrews finish in nineteenth place in League One with four points more than the last relegation place.

Of the sixty games the teams have played against each other Shrewsbury have won ten more than Rotherham with twenty-seven. The pairs last met at the New York Stadium in March 2022 when Daniel Udoh put the visitors in front on thirty-six minutes. Two minutes later Angus MacDonald saw red for the hosts for using an elbow when he and a Shrews player jumped for the same ball. Second half goals from Elliott Bennett and Ryan Bowman gave Town a three-nil win.


STEVENAGE
Stadium – The Lamex Stadium
Nickname – The Boro
Manager – Alex Revell


Stevenage came into being in 1976 being known as Stevenage Borough until 2010. 1980 saw them join the United Counties League and after three promotions in four seasons they were promoted to the Conference National League in 1994. They won the league the following season but were stopped from going up because of ‘ground facilities’ but 2009/10 saw them promoted to League football. In their first season they got to League One via the Play-offs staying there until they were relegated at the end of the 2013/14 season. Various ‘big name’ managers came and went including Teddy Sheringham and Graham Westley and during covid only a points deduction for Macclesfield Town and some EFL intervention saw them stay in the league after initially being relegated to non-league football. Former Miller Alex Revell took over the reigns being replaced by Paul Tisdale and then Steve Evans who got them promoted as runners-up at the end of the 2022/23 season. When Steve Evans left the Lamex Stadium former Miller Alex Revell took over and was given the job on a permanent basis a couple of weeks later.

The Boro finished last season in ninth place in League One last season on seventy-one points.

Rotherham and Stevenage have met just four times in the league in the past, the Millers winning two games to ‘Boro’s one. It was February 2014 at the New York Stadium in a League One game that the teams last met. Wes Thomas opened the scoring for the hosts with Francois Zoko equalising with four minutes left on the clock but two minutes later Lee Frecklington scored getting the win for the Millers.


STOCKPORT COUNTY
Stadium – Edgeley Park
Nickname – The Hatters
Manager – Dave Challinor


Formed in 1883 their Stockport County name came to being seven years later playing in the Lancashire League until they were admitted to the Football League Second Division in 1900. After finishing in the bottom three for their first four seasons 1903/04 saw them fail to get re-elected and they joined the Lancashire Combination spending a season there before getting back into League Football. The end of the 1920/21 season saw the Hatters drop down into the newly formed Third Division North winning the title at the end of that first season. Their next promotion though came in 1937 when they went back into the Second Division but relegated straight away staying in the Third Division North until 1958 when the divisions were re-organised becoming founder members of the Third Division but lasted just one season returning in 1967. Two years later they found themselves back in the bottom tier where they stayed for more than twenty years. March 1989 saw County appoint Danny Bergara as manager and he took them back to the Third Division. Under Dave Jones 1996/97 is thought to be the most successful season for the club, finishing second in the Second Division and reaching the semi-final of the League Cup. Gary Megson took over leading them to an eighth place finish in the First Division which is their highest position to date.

Coming back to nearer times Stockport did get promotion to League One again via the play-offs in 2007/08 but April 2009 saw them in administration and just less than a year later a new consortium the 2015 Group took over the club. Finishing bottom of League Two at the end of the 2010/11 season saw the Hatters start the next season in the Blue Square Premier League which became the Conference North League and the National League North and the National League staying their eleven years before getting promoted back to the League for the 2022/23 season.

Last season Stockport were crowned Champions of League Two with a couple of games to spare to get them promoted to League One.

Rotherham United and Stockport County have met sixty-six times in the league the last met at the New York Stadium in an FA Cup game in December 2021 when a Michael Smith goal just before half-time was enough to give the Millers the tie. The Millers have won twenty-six of the league games which is one more than County.

WIGAN ATHLETIC
Stadium – DW Stadium
Nickname – The Latics, The Tics
Manager – Shaun Maloney


Formed in 1932 Wigan were finally elected to the Cheshire County League finishing as champions at the end of the 1933/4 season followed by a second title the following season. Finishing bottom of the league in 1946/7 they failed to get re-elected and joined the Lancashire Combination winning the title in their first season and moved back to the Cheshire League in 1961 and won their first title four years later. Wigan were founder members of the Northern Premier League and won the title in 1971. In 1972 Wigan bizarrly applied to join the Scottish League’s Second Division but, not surprisingly were knocked back. After numerous election attempts Wigan were finally elected to the Football League in 1978. They got their first League promotion at the end of the 1981/2 season and hung about there nearly getting promoted by the play-offs in 1987 losing to Swindon. 1992/3 saw Wigan relegated and were lucky not to get relegated again after ending in the bottom four of the league but with no clubs ready to be promoted from the Conference they were saved. Things didn’t really get any better until Dave Whelan, local millionaire, took over the club in February 1995 and the following year were Division Three Champions. Losing in League Two Play-Off finals three times they finally became Division Two Champions under Paul Jewel at the end of the 2002/3 season with one hundred points. May 2005 saw the Latics promoted to the top tier of the Football League finishing their first season in tenth place. After a few ups but, unfortunately, more downs, Wigan finally ended their eight year association with the Premier League at the end of the 2012/13 season – although they did win the FA Cup that year against Manchester City, becoming the first team to win the FA Cup and be relegated. 2014/15 saw Wigan relegated to League One with them getting promoted back to the Championship the following season. More relegations and promotions followed with staff not being paid and laid off and March 2023 saw them bottom of the Championship table and docked points for non-payment of players and started the next season on minus eight points.

In the season just gone the Latics finished comfortably in mid-table with sixty-two points.

The Millers and Tics last met at DW Stadium in a Championship for the last game of the 2022/23 season which was, quite frankly, a boring goalless draw. Of the thirty-four league games the pair have played in Wigan have won eighteen to Rotherham’s seven.



WREXHAM
Stadium – Racecourse Ground
Nickname – The Red Dragons
Manager – Phil Parkinson


Formed in October 1864 Wrexham are the oldest club in Wales and fifth oldest in the UK. They spent thirteen seasons in the Combination League and two in the Welsh Senior League before 1905 saw them join the Birmingham & District League. 1921 saw Wrexham one of the inaugural members of the Football League’s Third Division North staying there until the FL reorganised the structure and they found themselves in the new Third Division in 1958. Relegations and promotions followed until 1978 saw them Champions of the Third Division and were promoted to the Second Division. Two successive relegations saw them back in the Third Division until they were promoted again in 1993 only to be relegated nine years later but promoted straight away. Financial problems saw them go into administration in December 2004 and four years later Wrexham found themselves out of the Football League and in the Blue Square Premier League spending fifteen seasons there in it’s various guises. November 2020 saw actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney buy the club and the 2022/23 season saw the Red Dragons champions of the National League with one hundred and eleven points while also having a good FA Cup run before eventually losing in a replay to Sheffield United.

Last season Wrexham finished as runners-up to Stockport County sending them into League One.

The teams have met in the league seventy-two times in the past with the Welsh side winning thirty-two times to Rotherham’s twenty-four. It was 2007 when the Wrexham and the Millers last met which was in a League Two game at Millmoor. A reckless challenge on Ian Ross saw Matt Crowell red carded on just fourteen minutes with Derek Holmes scoring five minutes before half-time, another on seventy-two minutes and Marc Newsham made it three-nil to the Millers with ten minutes to go.

WYCOMBE WANDERERS
Stadium – Adams Park
Nickname – The Chairboys
Manager – Matt Bloomfield


History is rather vague as to when Wycombe Wanderers came into being but a team called North Town Wanderers were around in 1884 and three years later Wycombe Wanderers appeared and a year later they were entered in the FA Cup. In 1986 they joined the Southern League and 1908 saw them join the Great Western Suburban League and after the war joined the Spartan League. 1921 saw them move into the Isthmian League remaining their until 1985 when they accepted promotion to the Alliance Premier League and although they were relegated on goal difference they returned in 1987 which was now called the GM Vauxhall Conference. In 1993 the club reached the dizzy heights of the Football League Division Three and they went further the following season by beating Preston North End in the play-offs to move to Division Two. Wanderers became a bit of a yo-yo club for the next few years and were promoted to League One at the end of the 2017/18 season and found themselves in the Championship via the Play-Offs for the 2021/22 season but were relegated straight back to League One.

The Chairboys finished last season in tenth place with sixty-five points.

The pair have played just twenty-one times in the league in the past (the odd number due to covid) with Wycombe winning eight times, three more than the Millers. Rotherham United and Wycombe last met in March 2022 in a League One game at Adams Park the game ending nil-nil where there was little threat on goal from either side.

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