When you looked at the fixture list for November, you might have been forgiven, after the shocker that was October, for thinking City would be entering the Christmas period looking over their shoulder at the likes of Wycombe, Barnet and, dare we say it, Plymouth, rather than right back in the promotion hunt. However, successive away wins at Bradford and runaway leaders Gillingham have given Paul Tisdale’s side fresh impetus and they head into another match against promotion favourites in buoyant mood. John O’Flynn missed the win in Kent on Tuesday and if he comes back Tisdale has a selection headache as his replacement, Tom Doherty, shone in midfield. Tisdale will be forced into one change, however, as Craig Woodman picked up his fifth caution of the season on Tuesday and thus misses out. Jordan Moore-Taylor will hope to be given the nod in his absence.
So, what to make of City’s guests on Saturday? Rotherham have emerged from their dice with oblivion in recent years that saw them having to play their home games in Sheffield, and now have a new ground, the slightly bizarrely-named New York Stadium, as well as a new manager in Steve Evans. Evans, as most of you are aware, is something of a “colourful” character thanks mainly to his shenanigans at Boston but also for being a rather frequent recipient of FA punishments. It was something of a shock when he departed promotion-bound Crawley for South Yorkshire, and with Crawley currently higher in League One than Rotherham are in League Two, the decision remains something of a head-scratcher. He set about building a new squad at Rotherham, to that end he poached two of City’s high-earners from last season in Daniel Nardiello and David Noble. The latter hasn’t had the best of times, a court case and community order augmenting an injury-plagued season, and he is expected to miss out on Saturday, but Nardiello is in good form with 8 goals to his name so far.
Unless you’ve been living under a stone you will remember the last meeting between the sides – the 1-0 win in Sheffield (Logan) on the final day of the 08/09 season that clinched promotion. You may need to rack your brains to remember the reverse, though, a midweek 1-1 (Ben Watson with City’s goal). The sides are equal when it comes to the head-to-head record, with 12 wins apiece (9 draws).
If you’re travelling down from North Devon by train, don’t forget much of it is closed.http://www.exeweb.com/2012/11/19/tarka-line-out-of-action-until-sunday-2nd-december/