Rotherham United: Millers ace ready for Wembley

Alex Revell
Alex Revell
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It looked good at first sight but it was only on seeing a tv replay I realised I’d initially got it wrong when describing Alex Revell’s goal at Preston in the first leg of the League One Play-off semi-final.

It was also that second ‘viewing’ of it which showed me it was a much better goal than it originally seemed.

To me, looking on from the opposite side of the ground, the big Rotherham United striker had the ball played up to him with his back to a challenging defender and he appeared to head it over the defender, turn, run round him and home in on goal and score.

But he didn’t use his head, it was a much more difficult manouevre - he actually chested the ball up and over the defender. In the immediate aftermath, someone texted me to say “Was that Revell or Cristiano Ronaldo?”.

Even the Real Madrid star would have been proud of such a goal and it probably encapsulated Revell’s massively increasing confidence and belief in his play as his value to the side has rocketed in the past six months and he has gone from strength-to-strength.

This was the striker who, after a nightmare 45 minutes at MK Dons in October, was taken off for his own good after his confidence totally deserted him in front of goal.

But he was quickly back in the side and has been a key figure in Rotherham’s superb second half of the season and the goal at Deepdale was his 11th.

He is now preparing for the Wembley Play-off Final and a date with Leyton Orient, the club who sold him to the Millers on the last day of the transfer window in August 2011.

He had scored on his Orient debut but also suffered a broken leg with them in January 2009 which put him out for the rest of that season.

He has been such an integral part of Rotherham’s season that he appeared in every game bar one when he was rested for the final league game at Swindon.

“We have surprised everyone this season,” said Revell. “Not many expected us to get past Preston and I hope we keep on surprising people.

“This group are really together and they all want to achieve something for this club.”

The referee on Sunday is David Coote - the referee who sent off Millers midfielder Richie Smallwood in the home game against Port Vale on Easter Monday.

Millers boss Steve Evans said in the build-up to the semi-final (Smallwood was banned for the first leg) he thought, at worst, it was no more than only a yellow card.