MATCH REPORT: Rotherham 4 Stockport 0

Rotherham United v Southend United'A less than happy ronnie Moore
Rotherham United v Southend United'A less than happy ronnie Moore
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IT’S not often that a victory can be described with two words starting with the same three letters - and certainly not when they are s t and r.

But this one was both straightforward and strange!

Of course, you might reckon in view of the recent run that the most important three letters were w i and n and also that three other very significant letters, making up Alf, should make a renewed appearance amongst the goalscorers.

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Ian Thomas Moore is brought down by Mark Lynch

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Ian Thomas Moore is brought down by Mark Lynch

Perhaps we might next abbreviate the latest signing down to ITM. For now we’ll say that Ian Thomas-Moore did quite all right on his first appearance in a Millers shirt ... the affectionate shortening may well come later.

But back to the much-needed victory after three straight defeats and four since a win.

Yes, it was straightforward. Pretty much so after opening with two goals in 20 minutes but most definitely after a certain little goalscorer found the route to goal once again to make it 3-0 with less than 40 minutes gone.

That goal actually took any ‘edge’ off the game. It was hard to convince the Millers it wasn’t in the bag at that stage.

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Ian Thomas Moore beats Mark Lynch in the air

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Ian Thomas Moore beats Mark Lynch in the air

But it was also a strange one in that the division’s bottom club played some decent stuff, might even have had more attacking possession and required the Millers to produce some pretty good defending at times.

In fact, Andy Warrington had to sort out three top-drawer saves during the second half and the game’s last moment was him reacting sharply to prevent an own goal off Dale Tonge.

Tag on some really dangerous looking delivery from set-pieces and, defensively, Rotherham never could knock off for a second in their quest for a clean sheet.

Of course, Rotherham did have something in hand and Stockport keeper Matt Glennon had to produce his own memorable moments.

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Adam Le Fondre is congratulated after scoring the third goal

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Adam Le Fondre is congratulated after scoring the third goal

And, talking of strange, it was most probably the disallowed goal from Adam Le Fondre which proved the main after-match talking point over everything else.

Indeed, someone might just have suggested that his instinctively-struck lob from all of 40 yards is a candidate for “Best Disallowed Goal Ever From a Millers Player”.

Don’t laugh! ‘Goals’ you don’t get rarely last very long in the memory but they’ll be talking about this one long after a pretty entertaining and open game has been forgotten.

It requires something special to do something like that and execute it perfectly. Pity that the ref reckoned Le Fondre had just nudged the giant Aaron Brown as the ball dropped in the centre circle.

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Danny Harrison is beaten by SZtephen Husband

Rotherham United v Stockport County'Danny Harrison is beaten by SZtephen Husband

It was Brown (with Aldershot in both legs of last season’s play-off semi) who got his first game of a loan spell from Orient off to an inauspicious start but off to a flyer for the Millers.

A brilliant save to deny Le Fondre produced a corner. From it the ball ended with Marcus Marshall just outside the area. A sharp burst put him inside it and as he dinked the centre, aiming for the danger area, it diverted off Brown’s head and looped into the far side of goal.

There were 10 minutes gone and it was just the tonic the recently-ailing Millers needed.

They didn’t quite proceed to steamroller Stockport who, from the start, had never suggested they would try and sit back and frustrate. Instead they had shown a spirited, positive and not entirely threat-free attacking slant.

But on 21 minutes Ryan Taylor’s low right -footer from a Dale Tonge centre that might have been ‘dragged’ a touch settled any possible nerves and pointed the near-5,000 crowd towards the likely outcome.

It didn’t stop Stockport getting forward and putting in some dangerous centres but Rotherham were playing as if they could pocket another at anytime.

Nicky Law’s free-kick was very well saved whilst Le Fondre drilled an effort beyond the far post.

The home crowd were willing him to end his six-game goal drought but nowhere was that desire greater than within the little fella himself and those who reckon the DVS is atmosphere-free should have noted the reaction to him throwing off those goalless shackles after 37 minutes.

Ian Thomas-Moore lifted the ball forward and Le Fondre went scampering clean away down the old inside left channel.

There was plenty of time to think, for any demons to gather, but the finish was confident and clinical - the shot side-footed past the keeper’s left hand into the far corner.

The crowd erupted, roars of relief mingling with the joy and Le Fondre enjoyed his own little celebration as he circled round in front of the Main Stand where everybody seemed on their feet joining in gleefully.

From that moment it stopped becoming a contest of sorts. You knew who was going to win and it just seemed a matter of how many. Perhaps there might be more at both ends, we surmised.

Stockport didn’t lie down after half-time but Glennon had to excel to turn over a fine effort from Marshall.

Warrington matched that when denying sub Tom Fisher a minute before Rotherham’s fourth on 57 minutes.

Le Fondre pressured Brown into error and Taylor took advantage, in the process probably emphasising his growing confidence because rather than look to get onto his favoured left foot, ,he moved to his right and struck a low shot across Glennon. All over then. Yes, apart from Stockport’s plucky persistence in keeping on attacking!

Perhaps it should be noted that excellent defending from Danny Harrison and Johnny Mullins stopped really dangerous moments.

After a remarkable clearance by Brown from behind Le Fondre prevented another goal, Warrington superbly denied Elding and then Demontangnac whose effort was curling into the top corner - both in the last ten minutes.

In stoppage time, Mark Randall was a fraction away from a quality finish after a move involving Kevin Ellison and Thomas-Moore whose Millers debut clearly indicated good things ahead.

He played on the left and certainly put the yards in up and down the flank, probably doing more stuff defensively that he reckoned on doing. But the touches of quality were evident.

Mangaer’s View

We were up and at it from the first minute. It could have been anything for a scoreline but I’m pleased we kept a clean sheet. Stockport are actually better than their position indicates and they gave us some moments.

We know we needed the win and we got the goals at the right time, getting off to a good start. The fans got behind us and they will if they see you’re working hard at it.

Alf looked like his old self. I spoke to him on Friday and said he’d been coming too deep. That goal he had disallowed was fantastic.

Ian Thomas-Moore will keep both him and Ryan Taylor on their toes.

He’s come in, doesn’t like playing on the left but he’s worked his socks off all along that left.

He reckons the pace is a lot quicker than in League One!