Head coach Leam Richardson has had an impact across the board since he took charge at AESSEAL New York Stadium, but arguably, there is nobody enjoying a new lease of life more than forward Tom Eaves, who has been crowned the Mattress Online Man of the Match for his performance in the New Year’s Day draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Having netted his first goal of the season – and the first of his second spell with the Millers – at Plymouth Argyle in December, the big forward was entrusted with his first league start of the season by his new boss at Blackburn and he was quick to repay that faith with the second equalising goal in the 2-2 draw at Ewood Park.
Eaves, who has become something of a cult figure in his second stint with the club, is an incredibly popular member of the dressing room and has quietly gone about his business at Roundwood, biding his time for an opportunity which has fallen his way in recent weeks under the new boss.
Partnered with the lively Sam Nombe in attack in Lancashire, Eaves’ presence proved to be a handful for the home defenders and he dealt them a deadly blow when he stooped to power home a header on Seb Revan’s pinpoint delivery from the right.
The former Gillingham and Hull City man – much like he did at Home Park – clearly enjoyed the moment in front of the travelling away supporters, where he deservedly milked the acclaim as Richardson’s side earned a hard-fought point on the road to make it four points from their last three festive fixtures.
Skipper and scorer of the Millers’ first goal Sean Morrison came a close second in the poll with 35.6% of the vote, while Viktor Johansson and Seb Revans were also nominated, but it was Eaves who landed the crown with 43.4% of the 811 votes cast.
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The next opportunity to vote for your Rotherham United Mattress Online Man of the Match will be when the Millers make the trip to face Fulham in the capital in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round on Friday.