MATCH REPORT: Rotherham United 3 Morecambe 2

All pile on: Somewhere under there is match-winner Lewis Grabban after his goal in the dying seconds.                           Picture: paul wickson
All pile on: Somewhere under there is match-winner Lewis Grabban after his goal in the dying seconds. Picture: paul wickson
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JUST one more home game to go. Then I can put the binoculars away for good!

But, whatever the distance from the pitch, you couldn’t fail to recognise endearing qualities or spot something special right at the end of it all.

There won’t be a great deal of Don Valley Stadium that you’d want to take ‘back home’ with you when the time comes in a couple of weeks and the fond (?) farewells are waved.

You won’t mind this sort of finale - or the similarly thrilling stoppage-time win in the previous game here - at the new place and it only made you yearn more for the new beginning now getting ever tantalisingly closer.

As they pitched up for this game, and could even pore over the seating plan for the New York Stadium beforehand to pick their seat, Millers followers must have rather felt like someone ready to move into a new house. You’re at that late stage where you just want to get on with it.

But even if you weren’t all that keen on the old place you’re leaving, it’s nice to have a few memories to take with you - and this sort of finale, and the nature of the win, is not bad at all wherever you happen to be playing.

Getting a last-gasp winner is never less than thunderously acclaimed. It’s just that some are better than others - and Lewis Grabban’s was one of those.

As the game moved into its first extra minute (of three), Rotherham - having played the final 15 minutes with 10 men after Ryan Cresswell’s second yellow - seemed set to be denied the win they had well deserved and should have had stitched up by half-time.

There didn’t seem very much on when Grabban, fairly wide out, sort of turned away from a challenger and began moving infield. Suddenly, the ball was arrowing high into the far side of the net thanks to an almost nonchalant strike from around 25 yards - and with his ‘wrong’ foot as well.

No atmosphere at DVS? Well, I could swear I heard fans roaring with joy and delight, and I didn’t see anyone not on their feet in acclamation of a pretty memorable goal and, of course, the significance of it.

“We were right behind it on the bench and it was in the moment it left his foot,” said boss Steve Evans for whom it secured a first win in his first home game in charge.

He would have been encouraged, too, by the warmth of the welcome he received when walking out beforehand.

Word travels fast, of course, and Evans’ attempt to integrate with the supporters, and his down-to-earth manner when he’s done so, has enabled him to change a few perceptions. He asked to be given a chance and the fans look as if they are going to do that.

Of course, while his approach (including renewed welcome at the training ground) has been wholly admirable and, in some small way, made those fans he’s communicated with again feel part of a club that hasn’t even been in their own town for four years, he knows the bottom line will be to win.

He’ll probably demand things like effort and commitment and probably passion too. Perhaps they’re going to be the building blocks for what he aims to create for what has to be a proper push next time.

Some of the desire and will to win that was demonstrated here when they were a man short will probably be included on the list of ingredients. It’s a pretty decent compliment to them from this game to say that in the last 15 minutes it never actually looked like they were a man short.

Perhaps Evans got an idea too as to why they have actually come up short as well.

Take out the four against Macclesfield and none of the other last 10 home games had seen the Millers score more than once.

At half-time here, they’d managed only Grabban’s 21st-minute opener - arrow straight inside the far post - but ended up at 1-1, Jordan Burrow scoring on the break following one of Rotherham’s 10 first half corners.

On a typically stiff-breeze DVS day, the sort that has defenders under pressure but also has attackers forlornly chasing wind-blown passes they are never going to catch, Rotherham had it behind them in that first half and they penned Morecambe into their own half.

Grabban nearly scored in the opening minute; Danny Schofield was a whisker away; Ben Pringle, outstanding, brought a fine save from Roche who also also superbly turned over a Grabban header. The keeper kept his side in it.

Straight after half-time a surging run from Gareth Evans ended with Jason Taylor, 18 yards out, restoring the lead with his first home goal of the season (and only his second).

Dale Tonge’s goal-saving clearance a minute later kept it intact.

Grabban, reacting instinctively, put a rebound over an empty net after Roche parried a shot from the troublesome Pringle and in an increasingly open second half, Jack Redshaw’s 74th-minute penalty pegged it level after Cresswell toppled Carlton and got a second yellow for it.

Rotherham seemed set to be denied the win they deserved and should have sorted well before Grabban’s coup de grace.

Think it’s safe to say you’re not going to see a better goal at Don Valley again!