MILLERS MATCH REPORT: York 0 Rotherham United 0

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LET’S be honest, Millers followers gave a hearty little cheer when York City got back into the Football League last May.

After all, it’s one of the best away trips. A lovely city and a Saturday afternoon where you can even involve the missus.

You take her up there, she happily goes off round York, probably with her friend, while you and the other hubby pop off to the game.

Even if there are kids involved, you don’t mind shelling out an arm and a leg for lunch in York for all the family.

They’re happy and so are you as you wave them goodbye and head off for Bootham Crescent.

Happened last Saturday I’ll bet and many a time across the years.

Unfortunately, it’s the next bit that never quite seems to build on the promising start. You see, the Millers haven’t much of a record at York over the years.

It always does seem like one of those away games they SHOULD win - big, expectant Millers following, York invariably below Rotherham in whatever table and you’ve got the feelgood factor .

This time (yes, forget York have already beaten them!) all this applies and the Millers have brought in some good players, they’re gunning for promotion and York have only just come out of the Blue Square Premier and lost at home on Tuesday. All set up then for an away win?

Well, for some reason - certainly across the last 40 years in what might be termed the modern era - any Rotherham team has had a right old struggle trying for maximum points there.

Plenty of draws, yes, but wins can comfortably be counted on one hand from the last 20 or so visits.

They looked like winning this one only in a brief second-half spell when they built a bit of momentum. Chances for Gareth Evans and Lionel Ainsworth, twice, weren’t finished and Evans forced a sharp save from Michael Ingham.

York, resilient and defensively well organised, rode out that particularly problem spell and had their own opportunities.

The closest was the troublesome Jason Walker drilling a 20-yarder inches wide following their best move and then failing to beat Scott Shearer who diverted away the shot and was then actually able to dive back towards his line to cling on when Pat McLaughlin, under pressure from Nicky Hunt, managed to force the rebound back towards the gaping goal.

When Ashley Chambers rattled the outside of a post a couple of minutes from time with a reasonable chance on the angle, it sort of summed up the finishing abilities of both teams. Threatening but never quite good enough.

With groin victim Daniel Nardiello not even on the bench (he should train this week), Rotherham were unchanged, which meant Ben Pringle again playing just behind Odejayi.

But Pringle, while striving, struggled to make a decisive impact and York combated Odejayi, in the air at least, by delegating their back-four protector, (midfielder) Dan Parslow, to challenge with Odejayi for Shearer’s long kicks. Too often, anyway, no-one was running in behind Odejayi and, if he did win it, both central defenders had dropped off and were able to comfortably deal with matters.

Odejayi toiled away and there was an opportunity late in the half for Ainsworth but he got squeezed as he shot.

In contrast, York had the sort of lively sharpness and pace in their attacks that Rotherham were lacking.

The Millers needed full concentration at all times defensively although a lack of quality, especially when they had time, proved York’s undoing quite regularly.

Not the only contrast between the sides either. York have, for them, a tried and trusted formula and formation which they’ve been operating under Gary Mills for two years; and players are used to playing with each other and have developed understandings and awareness of each other.

Rotherham needed more threat in the second half and assistant Paul Raynor changed things at half-time. It had an effect.

Kieran Agard replaced Pringle and went on the left with Evans switching to the right. Ainsworth took over Pringle’s role and added a spark and a sharpness to Rotherham’s attacking. Evans did better on the right having barely got into it in the first half.

They did look more of a threat and did cause York some trouble but not enough and the home side always had an extra body or two around to snuff out the threat, even when Ainsworth got through only to prod his shot wide.

A game that always looked as if one goal would settle it produced none. Rotherham were solid right across the back four with sound contributions and new left-back Bob Harris showing he has settled and improving on the previous week’s debut.

So a point then. At least it’s not a defeat.

You head back into York to meet up with the wife.

And she knows before you get anywhere near her.

The chances are you’re grinning and she looks lovelier than she did when you left her (you’ve won) or you’ve a face like thunder - and it’s not those clothes bags or the fact the credit card has taken a hammering that’s caused it.

Neither is the case this time, of course. A sort of halfway house.

It’s a point, not a defeat ... but, be honest, only one of you has had a really, really enjoyable afternoon after all.

Perhaps pack her off to Bootham Crescent next time!