Saturday, 1 September 2012

RU 4 Real

The shadow shows that large parts of the roof are partially transparent
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 1 September 2012 at the New York Stadium
Rotherham United 4 Bradford City 0
League Two (Fourth tier of full-time professional football in England)
This new stadium restores my current “92” and Rotherham become the first team I have seen at THREE home grounds after visits to Millmoor (28/12/02) and the Don Valley Stadium (26/08/08).  I think this is one of the best of the "newest generation" of stadia.
Pre-match preparation
The local newspaper quotes the management as being pleased with Rotherham’s performances up to now this season, even though results have not always gone their way.  They are encouraged by early attendances at the new stadium – this is only the second competitive game there – and hope to keep them high.  Both clubs have their eye on promotion.

I also had time before kickoff to walk the short distance for a last look at Millmoor.  When I was last here, Neil Harris and Steve Claridge were among the scorers as Mark McGhee's Millwall beat Ronnie Moore's Rotherham.  I particularly remember Claridge's mildly provocative (and quite justified!) celebration - he had taken a stream of abuse from the home fans and seemed to enjoy scoring right in front of them.

Millmoor is being dismantled

Millmoor's floodlights are still visible close to the new stadium
This match in one sentence
Bradford City missed chances at crucial moments and therefore found themselves on the end of a sound beating with four well-worked goals and an impressive home performance.
So what?
Rotherham move up to fifth and Bradford City drop into mid-table, but it is still very early days in the season.
The drama unfolds
The stadium clock showed 57 seconds when the net was rippled Michael O'Connor's dipping shot from a central position about twenty metres out.  What a great start for the home side that was.  1-0

Here is a clip from immediately afterwards - Bradford just might have levelled immediately.  The clip also confirms that this is a very smart and well-designed stadium - with over eleven thousand in (and a capacity of twelve thousand), the atmosphere was excellent.  Rotherham are in red.

A magnificent tackle (fairly sure it was Ian Sharps) broke up a Bradford break and this was critical in the buildup to the next goal after 34 minutes.  O'Connor got the ball on the left and although his cross missed the strikers in the centre, Gareth Evans was arriving on the right and he scored with a composed finish against his previous club.  2-0

Ben Pringle's curling shot went in off the post ten minutes later to give a scoreline that would have been beyond anyone's expectations.  3-0

Bradford had a goal disallowed for offside before the break - Scott Shearer's save fell for Nahki Wells who blasted the ball into the roof of the net, but the flag was up.  Nothing was going right for the visitors.  3-0 at half time

Here is a clip of Rotherham on the attack early in the second half.

The second half was always interesting but less dramatic - the damage had been done.  Evans got his second goal of the afternoon with four minutes to go.  4-0

Most of the 2300 away supporters streamed out and the match ended in a joyous celebration of Yorkshire bragging rights.  Final score 4-0

87 minutes on the clock
The programme

Rotherham manager Steve Evans is a man who polarises opinion among football supporters.  He seems to be much loved here at the moment!  In his programme notes he is full of praise for the club chairman whilst at the same time criticising his counterparts at Crawley (Evans’ previous club) and Port Vale, implying that their management of club finances is inferior. I suspect that this is not dissimilar to pouring petrol on a fire.
Something random
There are a number of interesting exhibits at the new Riverside library.  Rotherham’s heritage as a coal mining and metalworking town is covered – the large derelict building (Guest & Chrimes) next to the ground was a leading manufacturer of taps and fire hydrants.  There are also items of memorabilia relating to Arthur Wharton (“the first black professional footballer”) and referee Howard Webb (who has the freedom of the town).  The football club has also loaned the 1996 Auto Windscreens Shield.  Interesting stuff.

Hopping for Moorfields Update
Four goals added to the tally, so the average remains within the bounds of my initial prediction with 41 after 10 games.
What Next?
Newport County is my next “landmark” club as they have switched venues this year.  Maybe next week!  Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for announcements.


  1. Enjoyed reading this. Thanks. Up the Millers!

    1. Thank you! Was a great day out, I have to say.