List Headline Image
Updated by The Millers Reporter on Aug 28, 2021
Headline for Top 5 Positives: Rotherham United at the Don Valley Stadium
 REPORT
5 items   0 followers   0 votes   514 views

Top 5 Positives: Rotherham United at the Don Valley Stadium

Join us in taking a look back at the positives from Rotherham United's time at the Don Valley Stadium

1

2008/09 League Cup Run

2008/09 League Cup Run

As anyone associated with Rotherham United knows, they very rarely fare well in cup competitions. Before 2008/09, they had not reached the fourth round of a cup competition since 2002/03. This season's League Cup started with a tense derby with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. The game finished 2-2 after extra-time with Reuban Reid grabbing an 119th minute equaliser. The Millers won it 5-3 on penalties to earn the bragging rights and a place in the 2nd Round. Next up was Championship side Wolves. The Millers fought their way to a shootout before going through 4-3 on penalties. Their great run continued as they beat Southampton 3-1 in Round Three with goals from Nick Fenton, Danny Harrison and Drewe Broughton. Sadly they exited the competition in the fourth round against Premier League side Stoke City. Goals from Glenn Whelan and Danny Pugh at the Britannia Stadium was enough for a 2-0 victory. The Millers were knocked out in the 4th round, but this run was a big highlight of the 2008/09 season.

2

The Return of King Ronnie...

The Return of King Ronnie...

Mark Robins departed the club in 2009 to join Yorkshire rivals Barnsley. Rotherham were already in an uncertain time playing at the Don Valley, but this made matters even worse. The Millers board decided to turn to a club legend with Robins' replacement, and that was Ronnie Moore. He last managed the club in 2005, but he returned with the club in a much worse state than when he left. Despite this, Moore had a mostly successful tenure between 2009 and 2011. During this time, he guided the team he loves to Wembley and came within touching distance of promotion. He hoped to right this wrong the next year, but he lost his job in March 2011 after a dip in form. Even though it did not end as he had hoped, it was great to see Ronnie back at Rotherham United. He brought a lot of joy back to the club he loves during dark times and it was a massive shame to see him leave.

3

Making it to the 2010/11 League Two Play-Off Final

Making it to the 2010/11 League Two Play-Off Final

This was the highlight of Ronnie Moore's second stint as manager and perhaps overall at the Don Valley Stadium. This came after a successful return season for Moore as boss, as the Millers finished 5th in League Two. It was a hard-fought run-in as just a single point separated the two teams in the culmination of the normal season. The Millers faced Aldershot Town in their Play-Off Semi-Final. Aldershot hosted the first-leg and it was a tight game. But Rotherham earned the vital advantage as a late Adam Le Fondre penalty secured them a 1-0 win. The Millers then won the second-leg 2-0 to advance 3-0 on aggregate. They were tasked with facing Dagenham & Redbridge in the final, after they dispatched Morecambe in their semi-final. Sadly, Rotherham's promotion hopes were dashed in the final. They lost 3-2 with Jon Nurse scoring the match winning goal. It was a disappointing end to the season. But it did at least show that despite facing much adversity, the club were heading in the right direction.

4

The emergence of Adam Le Fondre

The emergence of Adam Le Fondre

When Adam Le Fondre signed for the club in 2009, no one could really have suspected how much of a success he would be. He joined from League Two rivals Rochdale after he enjoyed back-to-back high scoring seasons. Le Fondre hit the ground running straight away. In 2009/10, the forward scored a remarkable 30 goals in 51 games as he tore up League Two. The Millers lost in the play-off final that season, but this did not stop Le Fondre. He continued his unbelievable form the next year, scoring another 24 goals in all competitions. This brought interest from a lot of teams in higher divisions. It was inevitable that he would leave, and he did to join eventual Championship winners Reading. He kicked on from here to be a menace for defenders both in the Premier League and Championship in years to come. He was an enormous success at the Millers, and it is a shame he was not with the club long enough to play at the New York Stadium. Despite this, he wrote his name down in history as one of the best strikers ever to play for Rotherham.

5

The Steve Evans era begins...

The Steve Evans era begins...

Andy Scott took over from Ronnie Moore in 2011 with a lot of expectation. He made wholesale changes to the squad and with the club hoping for League Two promotion in 2011/12. But after a disappointing final season at the Don Valley with the club in 11th in League Two, Scott was sacked. The decision on his replacement was arguably the most important managerial appointment in the club's history. They were heading into a new era, at their new ground, back in Rotherham. It was vital that Tony Stewart and his team got it right. In the end, they went for Steve Evans. The controversial but highly successful Crawley Town manager. Prior to his move to Rotherham, Evans had enjoyed enormous success in the lower divisions with Crawley and Boston. He polarised opinion to start with, but over time this changed. He had a brilliant three-and-a-half years as boss which included back-to-back promotions and survival in the Championship. Evans divides opinion like no other manager before him, but it cannot be argued that he helped kick start a huge upturn in fortunes for Rotherham United. This all started as he helped the club to successfully transition away from the Don Valley and into the New York Stadium.