When Michael Smith rose highest to nod Wes Harding’s cross over the on-rushing Dan Bentley and into the Bristol City net, he broke a significant personal landmark.
The striker though, wouldn’t know it until around an hour later. As far as he was concerned, the goal was significant for one reason, for giving his team the lead in a crucial Sky Bet Championship encounter.
What he didn’t know until after the game however, was that he’d just notched his 100th career strike against the Robins, not that it phased him too much.
Humble, hard-working and willing to give his all for the team week in week out, Smith is a player, like so many in the squad who epitomises Rotherham United.
Smudge’s post-match delight was a result of the team collecting a big three points, rather than revelling in any personal accomplishments.
Like his 99 previous goals, this one was for the team.
“I didn’t know it was my 100th goal until someone told me! Obviously, it is nice to reach 100 goals, but today is all about the three points for the team," Smith told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I just remember Wes floating the ball in, it was a great ball and I was half expecting to get clattered by the goalkeeper.
“I was delighted to see the ball hit the back of the net, that stage of the game is a very good time to score and it gave us a big boost going into the break.
“It is a massive win for us and it keeps the pressure on the teams above us, to a man I thought we were excellent and deserved the three points.
“In the meeting before the game and in the pre-match huddle, everyone was saying just how big this game was, obviously every game is vital, but at the stage of the season it is crucial to pick up as many points as possible.”
Captain Richard Wood headed home from Dan Barlaser’s pinpoint set-piece delivery to double the lead with just over 15 minutes to go.
Rotherham, in the absence of manager Paul Warne and in only their second game back following a covid-19 outbreak In the first team squad, put in an assured and disciplined defensive display in the final quarter to see the game out.
Now, Smith believes the Ashton Gate victory gives the team a good platform to build on, heading into the final international break of the campaign.
“We said at half time ‘keep it tight and keep going and we’ll get another chance', luckily we did and Woody managed to stick it away for us," Smith explained.
“We have the belief that we can stay up, but we knew we needed to start showing it and I think today is a real statement. To come to a team like Bristol City and win 2-0 is massive and it gives us a good platform to build on going into the international break.”