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Flashback: Royals’ millennium Millmoor victory

20 October 2015

A look back to our 2000 victory in Rotherham

Truth be told, the history books don’t make great reading for Reading fans when it comes to meeting the Millers on their patch.

Like tonight’s game, the fixture computer often tends to give us Tuesday-night trips to South Yorkshire; indeed our first ever visit to Millmoor came on a Tuesday evening in March 1969, and Peter Silvester’s sole strike couldn’t rescue a result as the Millers prospered 4-1.  In fact the only time to date that Reading have won a midweek clash away in Rotherham came back in 1977 – Ollie Kearns and Richie Bowman each found the net as the Royals came away 2-1 victors.

So hopefully tonight will deliver our first triumph at Rotherham since they moved into their shiny new home at New York Stadium in 2012.  But we first quickly cast our eyes back on the last time we took three points from Millmoor, which came 15 years ago, on Saturday 30th September 2000…

Reading arrived in South Yorkshire just ten games into the 2000/01 Division Two campaign; it was the first time in seven seasons that the sides had met.  The Millers, freshly promoted from the fourth tier as narrow runners-up to Swansea City, had not had the best of starts to the campaign and had already lost two and drawn one of their opening four home fixtures.  On the other hand our start had been a little better – we went into the weekend in fourth spot.

Ady Willams checks on the wellbeing of the injured Guy Branston

The game came precisely a decade a day since Trevor Senior and Craig Maskell had earned the Royals their last Millmoor win, and Martin Butler – who would later go on to represent Rotherham – had the Royals in front after merely six minutes.

Mark Robins celebrates his equalising spot-kick

However before the hour-mark, Mark Robins – who had turned out on loan five times for the Royals as a Leicester City loanee – was gifted a chance to level for the Millers from the penalty spot as the referee spotted an infringement in the area.  Without hesitation, he equalised from 12 yards.

With summer-signing Jamie Cureton in the squad, though, Reading were always going to be a threat in the Millers’ box – he had struck seven times in nine games in all competitions since joining from Bristol Rovers.  He took his total to eight Reading goals for the season less than five minutes after the restart to give Reading the lead again; his tally was 30 by the end of the campaign.

Brian Wilsterman and Jamie Cureton battle for possession

The Millers kept the game within a goal until ten minutes from time when Jim McIntyre, who had netted his only other goal of the season in a 5-0 demolition earlier in the month, found the net to give the Royals a two-goal cushion.

Our 3-1 victory was the fifth time in six games that we had taken all three points in a league fixture – but there was still a lot of the season left to play.  Remarkably, that was the last time that Rotherham lost a home match that campaign.  13 wins and 3 draws on home soil later – as well as a decent away record – saw Rotherham pick up back-to-back promotions by finishing second, a place ahead of Reading in third.

A stark reminder from the archives that the season is a marathon and not a sprint!  Here’s hoping that we can keep ourselves close to the pacesetters with a win in South Yorkshire tonight.

Tickets for the game can be bought on the evening of the match, or you can buy in advance and arrange to collect them from the Away Ticket Office at New York Stadium.  For full ticketing information for this game, just click here.

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