2019/20: An Incredible Journey. Match Day 11 – Saturday 21 September 2019: Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town
A return to my football journey after missing out on a game last Saturday. Today a trip to South Yorkshire and Rotherham United, which is less than thirty miles from Huddersfield.
Strangely, I first got interested in the Millers through Subbuteo. As a kid, I used to get catalogues advertising their products which had a sheet which detailed which teams were represented by the kits the miniature figures wore. The red shirt with white sleeves, white shorts, and white stockings (as they were called in the day) represented Arsenal, Rotherham United, St Patricks Athletic, HVC Amersfoort and VVV from the Netherlands and Reims from France.
My favourite Rotherham story, and always reminds me of the Arctic Monkeys lyric “you’re not from New York City you’re from Rotherham” on the track, Fake Tales of San Francisco. Anyway, I was in Prague for a week, my mate Neil and I had decided to take our holiday to coincide with a stag-do for another friend. They were there for the weekend, we spent the week there. Absolutely great time. One of the nights me and Neil had ended up in this nightclub and speaking to some lads from England. As the drinks and conversation flowed, we got onto the serious questions of what team do you support. Neil supports Liverpool, is Scouse through and through and comes from the Wirral. The other two lads were both Sheffield Wednesday supporters. One of them got a bit uppity and insisted the Neil was a glory hunter and should be a Tranmere Rovers supporter because he was from the Wirral, of course I got some of the flack but then it’s a bit difficult supporting a Singapore side. It all got a bit heated but then as usually happens it swings one of two ways. I think the moment that broke the tension was when Neil asked the vociferous lad, with the proudly displayed Sheffield Wednesday tattoos which part of Sheffield he was from, “Rotherham” was his response, oh we laughed for ages and ages, but to this day I still think that he was being serious!
Back to the game and another goose bump inducing walk to the stadium – another new ground for me and included going past Millmoor. It’s quite strange in that the stadium is pretty much still intact. It was first home to Rotherham County FC between 1907 and 1925, with the Millers taking up residency when Rotherham United were formed with the merging of County and Rotherham Town. United moved out in 2008, and after playing at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield moved to their current home, the New York Stadium in 2012.
I opted for a seat with the home fans in the North Stand on what was a balmy Autumnal afternoon. The Millers wore red and white, but not in that distinctive way that the Subbuteo kit of my youth was, and as is the modern way despite Shrewsbury’s traditional blue and yellow kit not clashing with the home team, opted for their all-purple second strip. Coming into the game Rotherham were in 14th in League One, having played seven, won three, drawn two and lost two, for a total of eleven points and had scored six in their last home game against Bolton. The Shrews were just one spot above their hosts and from their eight outings, had a record of three wins, three draws and two loses, and twelve points.
In all honestly the ninety minutes was fairly forgettable, with neither ‘keeper required to make a serious save and incidents of any real note were few and far between. Perhaps the pleasant September sun had becalmed the players, and as a result the game finished 0-0.
Saturday 21 September 2019
Sky Bet League One
Rotherham United 0 Shrewsbury Town 0
Venue: ASSEAL New York Stadium
Rotherham United – Iversen, Jones, Mattock, Wiles, Ladapo (Smith 67’), Morris, Robertson, Lindsay, Crooks, Ihiekwe, Hastie (MacDonald 83’).
Unused substitutes: Price, Wood, Barlaser, Lamy, Cooper.
Shrewsbury Town – O’Leary, Williams, Beckles, Whalley (Walker 90’), Norburn, Lang (Cummings 74’), Giles, Love, Goss, Ebanks-Landell, Laurent (Edwards 86’).
Unused substitutes: Agius, Golbourne, Vincelot, Udoh.