Match Report: Rotherham United 2 Aldershot Town 0

Lee Frecklington is engulfed by delirious fans as he scores in the last minute, sparking a pitch invasion, and supporters gather on the New York playing surface after the match, awaiting a lap o  honour from the promoted players
Lee Frecklington is engulfed by delirious fans as he scores in the last minute, sparking a pitch invasion, and supporters gather on the New York playing surface after the match, awaiting a lap o honour from the promoted players
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Cherish days like this. They produce unforgettable memories along with scenes the like of which you might never witness again.

It was ideal really because what we have had is a season with perfectly-matching bookends.

It all began on that fabulous first day back in August with the anticipation and excitement of the fans as they flocked down to their new ground, so eager to experience a great day, the atmosphere, the joy of their club being back where they wanted it to be.

Nine months on what do we find? Fans flocking down to the stadium they absolutely love, full of anticipation and excitement, so eager to experience a great day; to enjoy the atmosphere; to revel in the joy of their club being back where they wanted it to be.

Okay, this last day had a few nerves in there too. But it was perfect symmetry really.

In fact, isn’t it how everybody dreamed the last day would pan out?

Not a proper dream, of course, because you’ve not been sleeping too well this past week have you?

Laid awake in the middle of another sleepless night, trying to get back off but thoughts drifting to New York Stadium and how it would go right - or could it possibly go wrong?

The longest week of the season (well, it seemed it) ended with a fantastic atmosphere and camaraderie in the town centre which has really been revitalised come matchday.

It was buzzing in the hours before kick off before the hordes flocked down to the ground, chattering, filled with that mix of a lot of anticipation and a little anxiety.

Inside, there was a real sense of occasion and of being on the brink of something special. A six-year ‘exile’ in League Two was about to end and it was so close you could almost touch it. But you couldn’t quite grasp it.

In such last-day circumstances, a full house anywhere, with the crowd in full voice, is a great place to be for any football person.

I don’t know how you compare different atmospheres to decide which has been the best at New York Stadium ... the Burton one, Bradford City, Chesterfield, even the Fleetwood ‘explosion’. But I’m not quite sure the decibel level has been any higher than it was when the roar went up and the singing reverberated around the ground in the opening minutes.

To be honest, nothing will ever surpass the Alan Lee moment of the last promotion 12 long years ago, but that was Millmoor’s greatest single, isolated memory. The club has moved on and how.

New York Stadium has begun carving its own niche in Millers history and just one year in - and what a year in so many respects - the older generation and a newer, younger one, have their own very special moment and memories.

For a start, the memory bank will always carry the image of that 63rd-minute goal from Johnny Mullins. Be it when time stood still when the ball was there, so invitingly, in front of an open goal; or it may have been when the ball actually hit the net, appropriately enough in front of a jubilant North End; or the explosion of sound which greetedthe goal or the joyful madness of the reaction in the stands; or of Mullins himself who couldn’t seem to stop celebrating and looked as happy as any Rotherham goalscorer ever has done.

Perhaps you may wish to recall, when the back slapping had been done, his giant leap into the air, fist clenched and arm thrown ecstatically skywards.

Perhaps you may wish to remember the pitch invasion that swamped Lee Frecklington after he got the second with the stadium’s last meangingful kick of the season.

Whatever, surely no-one will forget the after-match scenes. Of chairman Tony Stewart as he stood, proudly, high on the top tier at the front of the Directors Box, like some Roman Emperor looking down on the thousands bellowing their acclaim of the man who made it all possible.

To be joined, in a huge embrace, by manager Steve Evans, overjoyed before taking off his club tie and whirling it helicopter-style over his head in a combination of joy, passion, fulfilment and relief.

Perhaps it will be ‘chairing’ off players at the end; or of simply getting to touch them; or of the lap of honour from a squad where it really has been cometh the hour (the last five matches) cometh the men. And they really have been men in the final reckoning.

After all that the loyal fans and the people of this football club have gone through and endured in the past decade, they deserved this day and to take away the memories.

But perhaps, after all that, it was simply being at New York Stadium on Saturday that you’ll remember.