Match Report: Plymouth 1 Rotherham 4

Rotherham United v Accrington Stanley'Adam Le Fondre scores the winner at Don Valley and celebrates
Rotherham United v Accrington Stanley'Adam Le Fondre scores the winner at Don Valley and celebrates
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SOMETIMES you have to wait a long time to get what you want. Might even have to travel a long way.

Certainly it’s been a long time since a win at at Plymouth and I certainly know someone who calculated he’d done top side of 11,000 miles on 17 winless trips to Home Park since the last (unseen) victory there back in 1970.

So, I can assure you, this one tasted all the sweeter and the journey back, after all those many tedious ones and lots of defeats, seemed just a tad shorter!

But the win wouldn’t have been the entire reason for delight and euphoria as the happy Millers faithful headed back North on Saturday night.

It was an early realisation - if this is anything to go by - that something might just be stirring.

Yes, very early days indeed and that dangerously unpredictable lot over at Gresty Road (tomorrow’s destination) can easily derail anybody at this level.

But there was a ‘look’ about Rotherham’s performance that suggests they are heading in the right direction under Andy Scott.

They had something about them. And I’d like to think that the good people of Plymouth - despite the worrying concerns over their club’s financial plight - went away, swallowed their disappointment and perhaps reflected that Rotherham looked “a good side”.

Over the seasons, all supporters will have done that on occasions when the opposition have taken the points and looked pretty impressive in doing so. I can only say that the Millers looked pretty impressive!

Of course, football is full of false hope and broken promises. But you could not deny the Millers showed a lot of good attributes of which teamwork and hard work were not low down the list or even close to halfway.

Yes, Argyle are a troubled club right now. Some players haven’t been paid for months, aren’t sure where their next penny is coming from and black clouds continue to hover over the club’s future.

So, the last thing they wanted from a playing point of view was a Millers side who hounded them to within an inch of their lives. And then, when they got a break, to find everything swept away in a trice by a side hungry to succeed.

It really was a near perfect start added to which Alf is off and running. Or rather, in view of his improved contribution this season, he’s running and off!

For sure Rotherham could have been three up at half-time.

Lewis Grabban shot wide when through; Danny Schofield and Michael Raynes had efforts cleared off the line and there were other opportunities too.

They generally kept an eager Argyle at arm’s length although not without valuable contributions in danger omments from those other than the back four.

Perhaps they were half-feeling good and half-expecting an Argyle burst going towards the ‘home’ end at the start of the second half when they ran out after the break.

Whatever, it was a head-shaking moment when, four minutes after half-time, Argyle took the lead. Suddenly deja vu from all those 17 winless trips, and many 1-0 defeats among them, hove into view!

It was head-shaking over the manner of it too. Will Atkinson, on debut on loan from Hull, showed during his loan spell with Rotherham last season how much he liked coming in off the left side onto his favoured right foot.

Anyway, whatever plans there might have been to stop him doing that weren’t too apparent as he took that route inside, evading two challenges and striking a low shot past a possibly unsighted ‘keeper.

It was an ‘ouch’ moment - and that was hair being torn out. To find themselves behind so quickly after their good first half work and those near misses, could have seen Rotherham sag.

Crucially they were back level inside three minutes from what was their first threat of the half. But what a threat!

Jason Taylor supplied Gareth Evans centrally and he veered out left to mark his full debut with a fine shot into the far side of the net.

Plymouth were stunned but, rather like Leicester did at DVS in midweek, Rotherham went for the jugular.

It was an excellent finish by Evans, really attacking a diagonal centre from Le Fondre to send a header flashing in.

Evans, who initially started on the left, worked hard throughout and those goals - and the nature of them - should do wonders for a player who arrived from Bradford City with a scoring record there less than prolific.

He was a desperate deflection away from a hat-trick soon afterwards. Then Taylor was denied a goal by Berry’s block with the keeper stranded and Le Fondre’s lob looked on target only for Grabban to nod home and earn an offside flag.

Conrad Logan made a very good sharp save from sub Hitchcock to importantly deny an equaliser as Plymouth fought desperately to salvage something in a thrilling finale.

But the Millers were in the mood and that long awaited win here was in the can with eight minutes to go.

They got a break when Taylor appeared to foul in winning possession but wasn’t pulled up. Schofield calmly found Le Fondre who, just as calmly, applied the finish.

With three minutes left, Taylor might have scored himself but passed to Le Fondre who, cheekily, toyed with floundering opponents before coolly clipping in.

It capped what you can only say was a pretty striking performance. Something could be stirring!

Andy Scott’s View

It was an outstanding performance and should give the lads a terrific boost. It was a big result, particularly coming back after going a goal behind when we didn’t deserve to be behind.

Overall we must have made, what, 8, 9 probably 10 chances and some really good ones.

We were unfortunate not to be ahead at half-time. I wasn’t concerned but tweaked it a little bit.

I was disappointed with the goal we conceded but they reacted very well and after the two goals we kept surging forward and were conmfortable in the end.

It’s nice when you makes changes and they come off and Gareth Evans took his chance well and his finishing was excellent.

Keep performing like this and no one is going to have an easy ride that’s for sure.