With a treatment room resembling Clapham Junction, supporters may be well-advised to bring their boots to Rotherham on Tuesday night as Paul Tisdale’s City side try to arrest an alarming slide that has seen their fortunes go from being contenders for automatic promotion to clinging on for dear life to a playoff place. Kevin Amankwaah’s first minute injury in the defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday compounded the situation in addition to Steve Tully’s toe injury, so Aaron Dawson is expected to feature. Elsewhere Jamie Cureton was another player to not make the matchday 18 on Saturday having felt his hamstring against Rochdale but will hope to make it back. Alan Gow is reportedly back in training but is a couple of weeks from match fitness so won’t be risked just yet.
Rotherham, managed by the “colourful” Steve Evans, are another side currently clinging on to their playoff hopes having had a poor recent run. They have lost four of their last six games, their only victory in that time a 1-0 win over City’s next opponents after Tuesday, AFC Wimbledon. Two of their key players will of course be well-known to City: David Noble, whose spell at Rotherham begun poorly with his well-documented “personal problems” as well as a spat with the manager, but who has become a key member of the Merry Millers’ midfield after Christmas; and Daniel Nardiello, who after a frustrating season at City has hit the net regularly at the New York Stadium, and has 17 goals to his name.
The reverse of this fixture saw Rotherham emerge with a tight 1-0 win through a goal from Ian Sharps just before half-time. The last time Rotherham hosted City, at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield, was just a tad memorable – a 1-0 win through Richard Logan on the final day of the 08/09 season causing pandemonium amongst a travelling support of 2,700 as it clinched City’s promotion to League One. Overall it’s Rotherham with the slight edge, with 13 league victories to City’s 10 (8 draws).
Our Exeweb ground guide to the New York Stadium can be found here.