MATCH REPORT: Rotherham United 4 Bradford 0

Rotherham United v Bradford - Npower League 2 - 1st September 2012 - Ben Pringle fires home United's third goal from outside the area in an excellent first-half performance against Bradford
Rotherham United v Bradford - Npower League 2 - 1st September 2012 - Ben Pringle fires home United's third goal from outside the area in an excellent first-half performance against Bradford
0
Have your say

IT’S quite true to say that the New York Stadium had the ‘wow’ factor for many Millers fans when they first set foot in the place.

Seems like they’re extending it to the result in view of this scoreline against one of the strongly-fancied teams and also to the atmosphere when you get a racket like this.

Rotherham United v Bradford - Npower League 2 - 1st September 2012 - It's celebration time as scorer Gareth Evans celebrates with Ben Pringle as David Noble runs to join in

Rotherham United v Bradford - Npower League 2 - 1st September 2012 - It's celebration time as scorer Gareth Evans celebrates with Ben Pringle as David Noble runs to join in

So, in this age of instant everything, here’s the very latest news for the growing army of Millers fans.

It’s going to get better. Wow! And it’s going to get noisier. Wowee. Although that might not be the healthiest news for the eardrums of those inside football’s newest stadium!

So why is it going to get better? Because, in my humble opinion for what it’s worth, this lot aren’t anywhere near what their best might well prove to be. There’s plenty of improvement to come.

And as for the noise? Well, the decibel level has the old ears ringing at times but I reckon it will get louder and more passionate as elated Millers followers grow ever closer to a bunch of players most might still fail to recognise if they walked in their kitchen!

As the affinity and the bond strengthens between fans and team, as they get to know their favourites better, as they see the effect the passionate support has on the players, so that vocal support will grow in sound and intensity.

Indeed, the whole new matchday experience surrounding Rotherham United is reconnecting people with the town and the town centre itself. The ‘new’ atmosphere on a matchday in the town’s watering holes and then as fans flock down on the short journey to the ground is adding to the enjoyment for many.

What effect the support inside might have on some opponents remains to be seen. At the moment, the team have had a reasonable enough effect so far - if 3-0 and 4-0 can be termed ‘reasonable’.

And you can’t help but think they are a side and a squad who will improve.

Indeed, when prompted on this afterwards, manager Steve Evans commented: “We’re still working on things, still learning each other’s game.

“They’ve had, what, six or seven games together and I’ve chopped and changed a couple of times. By the time we’ve played a dozen games, they’ll be getting to know each other better.”

So, that’ll be reassuring for Millers fans (if not some future opponents) if the manager is talking along those lines.

Against Burton in the opener, despite leading 2-0 after 11 minutes, they were most definitely not the better side for the remainder of that half.

Here, they led with a fantastic Michael O’Connor strike from nearly 35 yards with just 58 seconds on the watch and then more or less spent the next 20 minutes repelling a Bradford side buoyed by three straight wins, including one at Watford on Tuesday, and one intent on showing the pace they had up front allied to big target man James Hanson.

But good sides pull through such spells and Rotherham did that, initially aided by a very good save indeed by Scott Shearer from Nahki Wells after just three minutes - no third-minute slip this time!

Then came a real hammer blow for Bradford and their 2,200 fans filling the away end. And it was their old boy, Gareth Evans, gleefully wielding that hammer as he clinically finished off a left wing move involving Ben Pringle and Michael O’Connor, both influential figures.

The Bantams never recovered from finding themselves two down at that stage. It deflated them and, certainly, the Millers never looked back thereafter.

There was a scare when Kyel Reid’s centre looped on to the bar and Ian Sharps had to produce the stadium’s best-timed tackle so far to halt the flying Wells, which was a prelude to another stunning finish at the other end.

Kayode Odejayi, not quite matching his Chesterfield levels (but still providing two assists), challenged in midfield and it was Pringle who swooped on the loose ball and once again Rotherham were moving beyond Bradford’s midfield duo. As he approached the area, he just moved the ball aside before curling a beautifully-measured left-footer beyond the despairing Duke.

The place was rocking. The fans were in dreamland.

A couple of invidual moments just before half-time hinted at a little complacency, a feeling that the job was more or less done, which could have been really dangerous against a side sure to come out all guns blazing in the second half.

But then the Millers put in a very professional 45 minutes which ensured Bradford didn’t bounce back at all. And full credit to the home side for it.

They took their time when necessary and never let Bradford get any tempo into their game or momentum.

They took the sting out of the game and out of them.

Then, as Bradford sagged at their efforts going nowhere, Rotherham threatened more and more.

Odejayi had a header cleared off the line after Sharps nodded back Pringle’s corner and Evans blazed a great chance over after some Daniel Nardiello magic.

O’Connor forced a fine save from Duke with an 18-yard volley as Bradford huffed and puffed and Rotherham defended calmly and solidly.

Then they rounded it off nicely with Odejayi finding Evans for a crisp, low finish.

Another 11,000 crowd gave them a standing ovation - and perhaps went off to ponder what it might be like when it gets better and a bit noisier!

Wow! Can’t wait!