No Vale of fears for the Millers

Flashback: Nicky Law celebrates his winner at Port Vale last year.
Flashback: Nicky Law celebrates his winner at Port Vale last year.
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THERE have been two or three results in Rotherham United’s season which have made people take a little extra notice.

For example, there was the home win over Cheltenham in the early part of the season with a scoreline you don’t see too often, 6-4.

Not all of them have been for the good though. a 4-3 home defeat, as suffered against Wycombe, isn’t all that common either whilst the 3-0 FA Cup replay defeat at York City certainly raised a few eyebrows.

But, perhaps, none of those quite captured the imagination of the committed or the neutral quite like the 5-0 win on New Year’s Day over fellow promotion rivals Port Vale at the Don Valley Stadium.

The return fixture is at Vale Park and it will be hard to imagine Rotherham touching the heights they did in that game. Despite Vale being reduced to 10 men in the first half, Rotherham had already put on season’s best performance.

Certainly the Millers will go into the game bouyed by the confidence given them by that performance against what will be, perhaps with one exception, the same set of players tonight.

Against that, those same Vale players might well have an extra edge if they are bent on avenging that low spot in their season - a season that has begun to fray since Micky Adams moved up football’s ladder and into the Sheffield United hot seat.

They had actually lost the final two games, both away, of Adams’ reign and the DVS clash was the first one without him.

They have since appointed one-time Stockport manager Jim Gannon but their fortunes have continued to dip.

Saturday’s late 1-0 loss at Lincoln amounts to the seventh defeat in their last eight league games yet they have only dropped to as far as sixth.

The personnel is more or less the same but one newcomer in is big Exodus Geohaghon who started the season with Rotherham.

He played at the back with the Millers but on his Vale debut at Lincoln on Saturday he was in central midfield, along with another former Miller, Gary Roberts, and ex-Doncaster Rovers man Antony Griffith as Gannon played a 4-5-1 system.

Tom Pope began his loan spell with Vale on the subs’ bench and replaced Geohaghon midway through the second half.

The big blow for Vale - who have not scored in their last three games - has been the loss of top scorer Marc Richards with a thigh injury which is set to keep him out for around another month.

At Lincoln his namesake Justin played as the lone striker before the arrival of Pope who is not allowed to play tonight.

They are set to recall key central defender Gareth Owen whilst wide player Sean Rigg is available after injury.

There will be a late decision made on goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson who has a hip injury.