5 games to remember from Rotherham’s time in the Championship

The sun has set on Rotherham’s three-year stay in the Championship and it’s had its ups and downs.

Although they have been in three relegation battles, with plenty of defeats, there have been some memorable games along the way.

Here’s a look at five of the best.

Rotherham 2-1 Leeds – October 2014

There’s nothing better than a Yorkshire derby win and when Leeds visited a couple of months into Rotherham’s first Championship campaign they became the latest side from the White Rose county to be sent packing at New York Stadium, following in the footsteps of both Sheffield sides and Bradford.

 

The Millers managed this scalp thanks to a superb second-half showing after Leeds had bossed the opening period and led through Mirko Antenucci’s cute finish. They came out firing after the break, levelling 10 minutes into the second half when Alex Revell poked home from close range. The winner came soon after and it was special as Jonson Clarke-Harris introduced himself to the Millers faithful in fine style, hitting a blockbusting 25-yard drive low into the bottom corner.

Rotherham 2-1 Reading – April 2015

After everything the Millers had been through, points deduction and all, the sense of relief after they secured their Championship status is what made this game so special. They came into the match knowing their fate – a win would keep them up.

It was not their best performance of the season by any stretch, but two goals in five second-half minutes from Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington eased the nerves and looked to have made it a straightforward affair for the Millers. But Reading threatened to put a spanner in the works and made it a bum-twitching finale when Oliver Norwood slammed home a late effort from distance. But Steve Evans’ men hung on and the full-time whistle was greet with what was becoming an annual pitch invasion before more fun and frolics in the directors’ box.

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Rotherham 1 – March 2016

The green shoots of recovery under Neil Warnock were just beginning to show but they were not expected to bear fruit as the Millers made the journey across the border to Hillsborough. But Warnock just loves winning in S6 and, with a tactical masterstroke, he delivered a famous win.

An impressive start was rewarded in the 21st minute when Derbyshire, playing on the left wing, converted at the far post from Frecklington’s cross.

The Millers survived some stern pressure in the second half, as Wednesday hit the crossbar, but they hung on for a famous three points which left Warnock proclaiming himself as the Messiah – and few would argue.

Rotherham 3-3 Derby – March 2016

New York had been used to late drama but nothing on the scale of this great escape for the Millers, which provided a microcosm for their 2016-17 season as a whole – rubbish for most of it, but brilliant at the end to get a result.

In the midst of the great run under Warnock it looked like a return to losing ways as three goals in eight second-half minutes put Derby in complete control, which had Rams boss Darren Wassall celebrating in front of the Millers fans.

But he did not count on something truly remarkable happening in the final eight minutes. First Danny Ward scored what appeared to be a consolation in the 82nd minute before Leon Best made it nervy for the Rams with a second two minutes later. Then deep into injury time, incredibly, Best forced another header home to earn the unlikeliest of points.

MK Dons 0 Rotherham 4 – April 2016

The glorious, crowning moment of Warnock’s spell in charge came at MK Dons in a game which effectively sealed survival.

All roads had been leading to MK and some of the monumental wins of the previous few weeks would count for little if the Millers blew it against the Dons. However, there was little chance of that as they took the lead with the game barely a minute old, with Derbyshire slamming in. Leon Best’s penalty made it two soon after and the Millers were coasting.

The second half was a dream filled with picturebook moments as Kirk Broadfoot headed in his first goal before Richie Smallwood ‘shinned’ one in to the top corner from 20 yards. Survival was going to be theirs.

Honourable mentions

A 2-0 win at Huddersfield, the fiery 2-1 success over Millwall, 2-0 wins over Brighton and Hull, most of Neil Warnock’s reign not mentioned above, particularly the 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, and the 1-0 win over QPR this season.

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