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New York Stadium
Rotherham United v Aldershot Town
League Two

Saturday, April 27th, 2013, 3pm
By Samuel Walker
(Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Leicester's unusually (and frustratingly) high number of games picked for Sky Television meant another Friday night fixture for the Foxes, and due to school commitments I was unable to go. To make up for it, dad offered to take me to Rotherham for their final home game against Aldershot. Rotherham were all but promoted, and Aldershot all but relegated, but there was still everything to play for.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Living in Norwich, we went by train. I met dad at Peterborough and we took the train to Rotherham, via a change at Doncaster. We arrived in Rotherham at around 12:30, in the middle of the pouring rain.

3. What you did before the game? Pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We had lunch at a small café in the middle of Rotherham market, and after a quick look around the town (aided in part by the driving rain) we set off for the ground. After asking for directions to the ground we found it relatively easy.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I'm usually a bit sceptical about new grounds, having been to many myself in the past few years I have noticed not too much difference between them. However the New York Stadium stood out from the rest and due to the high stands it certainly looked bigger than its 12,000 capacity. One of the main striking features was its descending roof, by descending in steps rather than the traditional curve.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was a cracker. The writing was already on the wall for Aldershot Town, but to their credit, the 300-odd fans who'd travelled from Hampshire got behind their team right to the very end. Rotherham made a flying start and could have gone ahead within three minutes, but the first half remained goalless. The second half started much the same as the first, and Rotherham got the goal they'd been waiting for on 64 minutes, after Shots keeper Jamie Young dropped a free-kick straight into the path of Johnny Mullins, to send the sell-out crowd into raptures. Aldershot to their credit carried on to the end and almost got an unlikely equaliser in the 90th minute, but Rotherham managed to clear their lines in time. From the resulting goal-kick, Lee Frecklington broke free to lob his shot over Jamie Young, prompting a pitch invasion from all sides. A second pitch invasion occurred after the final whistle, though the players did eventually return for a lap of honour.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We left the ground at around 5:25 to get the train back to Peterborough (and finding ourselves sharing a carriage from Doncaster to Peterborough with some very happy, noisy and a little tipsy Brighton fans who had been at Leeds were celebrating getting into the playoffs). We arrived at Peterborough just in time for the Norwich train, and arrived back shortly after nine o'clock.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A very enjoyable and worthwhile afternoon. One particularly pleasing sight was Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart making an announcement over the PA system before the match, and the fans chanting "There's only one Tony Stewart" constantly throughout the match. After hearing about a pitch invasion at Wolves the same day in protest over their chairman's running of the club, to see a chairman so vocally appreciated was a refreshing sight, and after five years exiled in Sheffield, Rotherham truly have a place they can now call home.  

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