Rotherham United FC
The New York Stadium
New York Way
Ground Number: 228
Tuesday 20th November 2012
Rotherham United 2-3 Wycombe Wanderers
nPower League 2
After enjoying the previous night's game at Bradford Park Avenue, it was another new ground for me tonight. And this time it would involve my own team Wycombe, who I will have now seen play at all 3 of Rotherham's grounds - Millmoor, The Don Valley Stadium and tonight's venue, The New York Stadium. On the day I got up at about 7.30am, having stayed in Rotherham the previous night. After getting showered and lazing around for a bit, I went off in search of breakfast, opting for the local Morrisons, whose cafe is by far the best of all the supermarket offerings. After that I headed over to Sheffield to the big ASDA there, to take advantage of the double discount day for staff. And then into Rotherham Town Centre to see what I could get there. After all that I had completed the vast majority of Christmas shopping, but it was still only just after 1PM, which left me with over 6 hours until the game kicked off! Luckily Paul and Sue who I went up with, had family up there who I get along well with and who I have met before. So we went round to their place for a few games of FIFA. We left fairly early for the game, around 5.30PM and after parking up, were at the ground by 6.
We welcomed the team off of the coach, wishing them luck for the nights game. To everyone's surprise, when kitman Stewart Bannister came off the coach, he went up to Paul in an agressive manner, having a real go at him, about some stuff the crowd had been singing. The other fans of both teams that were there at the time were shocked and disgusted by the rant, as were the stewards. There was some background to this. During the AFC Wimbledon home game in September after which Gary Waddock was sacked, the crowd had been calling for the manager to go. These calls were repeated at the end of the game. Bannister did not take this well, apparently he was sticking 2 fingers up to the crowd and making offensive gestures. I didn't see this myself, but certainly heard the reaction of the crowd, who were annoyed that someone whose wages they pay could act in such a manner. Whatever happened, the bad feeling had carried on into the following home games, with a small section of the crowd singing "Bannister - You're a c*nt", which to my knowledge, didn't include Paul, but for whatever reason, Bannister had decided that the fault lie with him. After all that, I headed off into town to find a pub called The Bridge Inn, which had promised real cider according to my CAMRA app did real cider. But when I turned up to the place quoted on the app it was all shut up and looked abandoned. So disappointed, I headed back towards the ground, and bumped into a pub of the same name, that looked open and offered real ale according to the blackboards outside. Sadly, it only offered Strongbow, so I decided not to bother and carried on towards the ground, stopping off at my car on the way to pick up a coat.
I took my seat for the game and joined in with some of the pre match singing. The game soon kicked off and after seeing a very early goal last night, I certainly wasn't expecting to see one 2 games in a row. But after 16 seconds, Rotherham were in the lead, former Manchester United trainee Daniel Nardiello capitalising on a static Wycombe defence and Jordan Archer being unable to hold the ball. Rotherham continued to press and dominate, but it was Wycombe who got the equaliser just before the half hour mark when Dave Winfield headed in from Josh Scowen's free kick. But Rotherham continued to have the better of the game and they regained the lead when Mark Bradley scored in the 35th minute with a crashing shot. As we went into the halftime break, it looked like there was only going to be one winner, and it could be by a decent margin. But it was a different Wycombe side that played the second half. We came out with an intention to turn the game on it's head, carving out chances. And we got our reward - 2 goals from Matt McClure early on in the second half gave us a result we really needed. His second and Wycombe's third was a real beauty as he lobbed keeper Andy Warrington. And it was Wycombe who looked more likely to score after that, especially after Rotherham went down to 10 men, following an injury after they had used all 3 of their substitutes. The result lifted Wycombe off the bottom of the table, but they were still in the relegation zone due to Aldershot winning. After the game, we went to the chippy after dropping someone off. It was an easy and clear drive home, but I still didn't get to bed till nearly 2am that night, with only 3 hours sleep before work, I was pretty tired the next morning.
THE NEW YORK STADIUM is one of the better recently built grounds. Though much of the ground is unfinished from the outside - the 4 corners have rooms with glass frontage, but when you look inside it is just plain concrete, presumably waiting for a bar or club to be put in. The inside of the stadium is decent, with seating offering good legroom and decent views, owing to the steps being fairly steep. The tea bar is just the standard football fare, and I didn't see a bar open. Though the town is really close by, with a number of pubs, including a couple of Wetherspoons.