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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Iron v Millers

10 May 2018

Rotherham begin the second stage of their campaign for promotion, as the Millers prepare for the first leg of their League One play-off semi-final with Scunthorpe United.

The regular season ended with a fourth-place finish in the Sky Bet League One for Rotherham, who will be concentrating on getting the better of a tough Scunthorpe side away who stand in the way of the Millers and a visit to Wembley and potential promotion to the Championship.

The first leg takes place at Glanford Park, with an earlier kick-off time of 12:30, before Rotherham welcome the Iron to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Wednesday night for the second leg.

In the other League One play-off semi-final, Shrewsbury Town have the advantage over Charlton Athletic after Jon Nolan’s late super-strike earned the Shrews a valuable 1-0 victory at The Valley in last night’s first leg.

Should the Millers defeat Scunthorpe over the two legs, they will face either Shrewsbury or Charlton at Wembley Stadium.

Last Time Out

Paul Warne’s Millers ended the regular season on a high, as Will Vaulks’ second-half goal was enough to earn a final three points and bump up United’s final points tally to an impressive 79 points.

Sean Longstaff came closest for Blackpool in a fairly uneventful first half, curling a 20-yard free-kick around the Millers wall and towards the bottom corner, but safely into the arms of Marek Rodak.

Michael Smith came close to heading home when his head met a looping corner, but goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi was able to collect the ball in time.

Vaulks won it for Rotherham on 58 minutes, touching the ball down superbly to take it past one defender, before volleying home a sweet strike from the edge of the penalty area.

He almost found a second when he took his chance from outside the box, but Mafoumbi was able to parry the ball away this time.

Rodak had to make a brilliant save to deny Kelvin Mellor’s precise header later on, and the Millers held on to a clean sheet and pleasing victory.

The Opposition

Scunthorpe have had a peculiar end to the season, though ultimately a strong one, with manager Graham Alexander being sacked back in March despite the Iron holding fifth position in the league. A run of eight games without a win led to Alexander’s departure, leaving assistant manager Nick Daws in temporary charge.

Under the care of Daws, Scunthorpe have since been unbeaten in the league, winning four in a row before finishing the regular season with a 1-1 draw at home to Bradford City.

The Iron’s top scorer this season is Josh Morris, who has netted 12 times in all competitions; 11 in League One.

Rotherham will be hoping that they will have the psychological advantage going into the first leg, having done the league double over their promotion rivals this season.

Goals from Vaulks and Kieffer Moore earned the Millers a 2-0 win back in October, before Paul Warne’s side completed the league double with a 2-1 victory at Glanford Park in February, with Semi Ajayi scoring the winner on 70 minutes.

Team News

Paul Warne has no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s big match, although Jamie Proctor remains out due to his long-term injury, whilst Darren Potter’s hopes of a return remain doubtful.

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