With half the season out the way in League One, Ian Bradley, the D3D4 Rotherham United Correspondent reviews how the Millers have done so far…
After the wretched 2016/17 season & dismal relegation from the Championship most sensible Millers fans were hoping rookie manager Paul Warne could steady the ship & guide his almost entirely new side to a mid/ top half season to have a season of consolidation in the EFL League 1.
AUGUST The season started as the last one ended as Warne’s men produced a poor performance in a 2-0 defeat at Fleetwood. The midweek Carabao Cup tie however saw the team play well & deservedly beat EFL new boys Lincoln in an exciting 2-1 win. Phil Brown’s Southend were the Millers first home league game & were thrashed 5-0, a game that saw Ipswich loanee Kieffer Moore’s first goals for the club. The next game saw the Millers unluckily beaten 2-1 at Peterborough, a game where they should have gained at least a point before another desperately unlucky 2-1 defeat saw the Millers exit the Carabao Cup at Premier League Huddersfield. The next home game saw the Millers comprehensively outplayed by Charlton in a miserable 2-0 defeat, a game that saw summer signing Jamie Proctor out for the season with an ACL injury.
SEPTEMBER After an indifferent start, matters started improving at the start of the month, a first away win & heroic defensive display in a 1-0 success at Portsmouth followed by an exciting 3-2 home win v Bury & a brilliant 5-1 midweek win v Walsall with a hat trick from talisman midfielder Lee Frecklington. The three match winning run ended however with another narrow defeat in the Yorkshire derby at Bradford but the home form continued to be strong with another five goal salvo in a 5-1 win over Oldham. Another away defeat at promotion hopefuls Blackburn 2-0 was followed by a tense narrow 1-0 win over Northampton. A 15 point haul in the 7 games was pleasing for the fans.
OCTOBER The month started with a hard fought 1-0 win at Rochdale giving the Millers their 2nd away win of the season before a fine performance & result saw promotion contenders Scunthorpe dispatched 2-0. The first draw of the season came at the Kassam Stadium in an exciting 3-3 draw before the form started to drop with disappointing 3-1 defeats to relegation threatened AFC Wimbledon & Gillingham.
NOVEMBER The month started with the Millers exiting the FA Cup with a poor display in a 2-1 defeat at L2 strugglers Crewe before a 96th minute Kieffer Moore effort wrestled a point from near neighbours Doncaster in a 1-1 draw. Successive home games with second place Shrewsbury & leaders Wigan saw the Millers beaten on both occasions. Not a great month for Millers fans.
DECEMBER The poor form continued with a dismal display in a 2-1 reverse at Bristol Rovers before a superb win beside the seaside at Blackpool gave Warne’s men their first win in EIGHT games. A battling 1-1 draw with resurgent Plymouth & a fine & deserved 2-1 win v Milton Keynes saw the upsurge in form continue Half term P 23 W 10 D 3 L 10 about as middling as it gets. Manager Paul Warne is still learning his trade but as consolidation seasons go it’s been OK. The second half of the season has started well too with a 3-0 win at doomed looking Bury giving us our first win double of the season.