Category Archives: League One

High-scoring striker Kieffer Moore joins Barnsley, but Rotherham fans shouldn’t be too disappointed on missing out

Former on-loan Rotherham United striker Kieffer Moore has joined Championship side Barnsley after being recalled by his parent club Ipswich Town. He snubbed his former employers and various other clubs like Bradford City and Peterborough, to sign with the Tykes.

The fee is reported to be around £750’000.

Barnsley fans have valid reason to gloat about the signing, as the high-towering strikers’ record speaks for itself. The striker scored an impressive tally of 13 goals during his fairly short time at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Moore quickly became somewhat of a hero during his 22 game spell at Rotherham United. Paul Warne’s Millers side based much of their play around the prolific 25 year-old at the start of the season, using Moore more often than not to hold up the ball and battle past defenders.

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Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom highlighted what he was expecting Moore to bring to his struggling Championship side:

“We were after a player of his qualities, who can offer something different and improve the starting 11. His height will trouble defenders and cause problems, but as a player he’s got much more in his locker and will score different types of goals.”

The fact he has also played in South Yorkshire already and knows the area will only benefit him in his new career at Barnsley. Heckingbottom said he expected him to “settle quickly”.

The Torquay-born striker trained with his new team-mates today in cold conditions at Barnsley’s training ground:

Very recently, the player tweeted his thanks to the Millers and further enthused about joining his new club:

It’s fair to say that the deal provoked some disappointment from Rotherham supporters, as despite a reported ‘club-record bid’ attempt in trying to capture the striker’s signature, he instead chose to move 13 miles North to Oakwell.

This disappointment is further understandable given the rapport that the 6ft 5 attacker developed with the Rotherham faithful. Not just with his goals, but with his positive demeanour off the pitch.

This United supporter’s tweet possibly sums up his positive relationship perfectly:

Despite of the striker choosing to join a rival side, Rotherham fans will surely be comforted by the fact that their own striker David Ball has entered a positive period of form. The former Fleetwood Town man had to be very patient in waiting for his first team chance under Warne, as Moore often started up front as a lone striker in the starting eleven. Ball has now scored in Rotherham’s last three fixtures. Most recently it was an 88th minute equaliser against high-flying Blackburn Rovers to earn the Millers a well-deserved point.

With regards to other transfer news relating to Rotherham, it has been sparse so far this January. There have been no new signings as to date, and just one departure. Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell left the club to join fellow League One side Northampton Town on a permanent deal, after making 27 appearances, but failing to secure his spot in the first team this season.

In the Tyke camp, Kieffer Moore was the Tykes’ first signing this season, but there have been no other deals so far.

Barnsley too, have had departures on their own. Harvey Barnes was recalled by his parent club Leicester City. He netted five goals whilst he was with the Reds, including a fantastic strike against rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Another exciting player who returned to his Premier League club from Barnsley, was young Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo.

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Additionally Barnsley sold 21 year-old midfielder Josh Kay to lowly Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee. They also sent midfielder Jared Bird out on loan to Yeovil Town and Cameron McGeehan on loan to Scunthorpe United. Finally, Goalkeeper Jack Walton Joins Northern Premier League Premier Division Stalybridge on loan.

Barnsley’s next fixture, which may well feature their new singing, is a stern test in the Championship at home to top of the league Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Meanwhile Rotherham will make the trip to Oldham Athletic on Saturday, in League One.

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League One: Rotherham United should make the Play-Offs

It seems that the majority of the ‘Paul Warne Out brigade’ have gone into hiding at Rotherham United, for the time being anyway…

This comes after Paul Warne’s Rotherham United side are enjoying a refreshing period of positive form coming into the New Year, re-igniting expectations of a possible promotion push. This followed an inconsistent period of form prior in which sections of the Millers faithful heavily criticised the former fitness coach.

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Recently, the good times for the Millers continued as they equalised in the 88th minute against third placed Blackburn Rovers, in their last fixture which finished 1-1. David Ball prodded the ball in from close range to send the AESSEAL New York Stadium into rapturous scenes, in a game where Rotherham were perhaps unlucky to not take all three points.

This result means that, not only have the Millers proved that they can more than compete against the division’s top sides (again), but it also means that the Yorkshire club have extended their unbeaten run to six games, gaining a healthy tally of 14 points in the process.

I still maintain my opinion that the club will finish in the top six at the end of the season, as I believe that they have all the right conditions for a successful campaign.

To name a few examples: Rotherham have a driven manager who cares deeply for the club and has also proved that he can manage a side sufficiently. This is combined with a talented squad, particularly in terms of the attacking talent at disposal. But, perhaps most importantly of all, the squad now has a clear identity on how they want to play.

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When the Millers were relegated from the Championship, they perhaps lacked this strong sense of identity. This season it is a different story. Warne and his backroom staff deserve credit for how they have created such an identity of how they want to play, with a high-intensity, high-work rate, attacking style of play, impressing the Millers faithful this season.

What’s also an added positive for the club, is that despite Rotherham’s top-scorer Kieffer Moore being recalled by his parent club Ipswich Town (and without speculating on him signing a deal with Rotherham), supporters will be comforted by the fact that striker David Ball has entered a good period of form. The former Fleetwood Town man, who had to be patient in waiting for his first team chance under Warne, has scored in Rotherham’s last three games.

The squad also genuinely seem to want to make amends for last season’s, let’s face it, disaster. When I spoke to Millers winger Jon Taylor back in November last year, when Rotherham were 7th placed in the table, as they are also now, he believed that with the level of quality in the squad that they should have been higher up in the standings.

Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Rotherham. It does appear that on occasions, Warne’s side doesn’t always appear to have a potent back-up plan when things aren’t quite going their way.

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Moreover, after regularly watching Rotherham this season, the amount of chances that are being created, but are subsequently let down with a lacklustre final ball, is frustrating. That and some of the questionable defending at times too, is concerning.

Nevertheless, this season has been a welcome contrast from the misery of the previous campaign. Warne has put together a motivated, talented side, that I’m sure will finish in the top six come the end of the season. In terms of the now Merry Millers gaining promotion though, I’m not so sure….

Watch the video below to see my thoughts at the start of the season:

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League One: Promotion chasing Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic to battle it out

Two teams who were relegated from the Championship last season will face each other on Saturday, as ninth placed Rotherham United host second place Wigan Athletic in League One.

The Latics travel to The AESSEAL New York Stadium after winning 3-0 over newly-promoted Doncaster Rovers, in which Ryan Colclough scored a brace. This ensured that Wigan have clenched 2 wins in their last five games.

The Millers on the other hand had no mid-week fixture. They lost last time out 2-1 to top of the league Shrewsbury with a 93rd minute goal from Stefan Payne. This ensured that Paul Warne’s Rotherham side have endured a five game winless run.

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In the dugout:

Paul Warne – Rotherham
The Rotherham faithful can often be heard ironically chanting “He’s just a fitness coach!” to their manager Paul Warne when things are going well. The 44 year-old who spent a period of time as a player for Wigan and the Millers has had no managerial experience prior to taking the helm at the Millers on a full time basis last season. It has been a mixed bag of emotions for Warne who favours high-pressure attacking football, with results ranging from losing to strugglers AFC Wimbledon 3-1, to battering the likes of Southend United 5-0.

Paul Cook – Wigan Athletic
After successfully gaining promotion from League Two to League One with Portsmouth last season, Paul Cook chose to make the move from Hampshire and become the manager of Wigan Athletic at the start of the 2017/18 campaign (along with midfielder Gary Roberts). The switch looks like a wise decision as the man who seemingly favours football in a 4-2-3-1 formation, appears to be on course to bring the Latics straight back up, with them currently sitting pretty in second place.

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Ones to watch:

Kieffer Moore – Rotherham United
From playing non-league football for Forest Green Rovers, to becoming League One’s current top scorer, Kieffer Moore is an obvious threat to Paul Cook’s defence. The 25 year-old has played a pivotal role in much of Rotherham’s games so far this season, being a lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation more often than not. The towering striker who is on-loan at the Millers from Championship side Ipswich Town has scored 13 goals so far this season and Rotherham will do very well to keep him at the club in January.

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Nick Powell – Wigan Athletic
Wigan’s highest goal-scorer so far this season comes in the form of lively midfielder Nick Powell. The 23 year-old has scored 7 goals for the Latics. As Wigan fans will fondly remember in the previous game against Rotherham last season, he came on as a substitute and netted an injury time winner. This was after being out for three months due to injury. The 6ft man also boasts experience playing in the England set-up until U21 level.

What to expect…
It will most likely be a game where both teams score – based on Rotherham’s positive scoring record on home soil, and taking into account the Latics’s impressive scoring record, where they have notched eleven goals in their last five away outings in the league.

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The two sides will play at The AESSEAL New York Stadium, Saturday 25th November, 3pm kick-off.
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport

Twitter Reacts: Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Rotherham United

Kieffer Moore’s 96th minute equaliser against Doncaster Rovers set the large travelling contingent from Rotherham into rapturous scenes, late on in the South Yorkshire derby.

Here’s how Twitter users reacted to the result:

Bet365 tweeted:

The towering striker who is on loan at the Millers from Championship side Ipswich Town, is currently the top goal scorer in English football with a tally of 13 goals.

Some Rotherham fans enjoyed some banter regarding their local rivals:

Rotherham United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, who came on as a substitute in the 74th minute, expressed his delight at the result:

Another striker, in the form of former Rotherham United and current Bolton Wanderers attacker Adam Le Fondre also tweeted his thoughts:

Le Fondre scored over 50 goals during his time playing for Rotherham, becoming a fans’ favourite for his goal-scoring exploits. He has netted just once so far this season in a second to bottom placed Bolton side.

In the match, supporters and staff from both clubs perhaps had justified reasons to criticise match referee Graham Scott. Rotherham fan Tim Gillatt shared his thoughts on the issue:

Tweets from the Doncaster faithful weren’t all doom and gloom after looking like the match winners to conceding late on. This supporter took some positives from the 1-1 draw:

However, for most Doncaster fans that late equaliser will have made the draw feel almost like a defeat. Some Rovers fans however seemingly wanted to contend that the euphoric Millers were perhaps a little over-excited with their late goal:

All the banter aside. It was a game in which Doncaster Rovers midfielder James Coppinger marked his 550th appearance for Rovers, and the 36 year-old should be recognised for his devotion to the club:

This result meant that both clubs moved up in the league table. Doncaster move up to 17th place while the Millers now occupy the last play-off spot in 6th place, just one point above 7th placed Blackburn.

The two sides will meet again at The AESSEAL New York Stadium on February 24th 2018.

*Please do not send any abusive messages to any of the tweets featured in this article, it is just unnecessary.
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport

5 Things to expect in League One tonight

1.) Kieffer Moore to score a goal

Towering Rotherham United striker Kieffer Moore is League One’s top scorer with an admirable tally of eight goals. The red-hot player, who joined the South Yorkshire side on-loan from Championship side Ipswich Town in July 2017, scored a brace at the weekend, in Rotherham’s 5-1 thrashing of Oldham. Rotherham manager Paul Warne will again utilise the player as a loan striker and the Millers’ opponents Blackburn will struggle to contain the striker who is in a rich vein of form.

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2.) Shrewsbury to keep top spot

Shrewsbury Town travel to lowly side Doncaster Rovers and are tipped by many to keep their fantastic unbeaten league run. The Shrews however may struggle to clinch all three points out of this fixture, with Doncaster coming into this game on the back of a confidence boosting 3-0 win away at Plymouth. Despite this, even if the Shrews do struggle and take just one point from this game, it is mathematically impossible for second-placed Peterborough United to overtake them.

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3.) Struggling Oldham to be a stern test for Peterborough

There could be the league’s biggest surprise on the cards in this game, with the possibility of Oldham getting something against second-placed Peterborough. With former manager John Sheridan being sacked by the Greater Manchester club, Richie Wellens has taken the reins on a temporary basis and it could be the positive change that rock-bottom Oldham needed. This breath of fresh air should help install some much-needed confidence to the Oldham players, which may just be enough for the Latics to get something from the game.

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4.) Scunthorpe to keep a clean sheet

Scunthorpe United are making a welcome habit of preventing teams from scoring. Graham Alexander’s side have the league’s highest amount of clean sheets with a tally of six. Moreover, three of these clean sheets came in away fixtures. Scunthorpe are also aided in the fact that they are facing the struggling 22nd-placed Gillingham tonight. The Iron will surely gain another clean sheet against a Gills team who have managed to score just five goals in the league this season.

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5.) The Bantams to make it three in three

Following a 1-0 win over promotion and Yorkshire rivals Rotherham, and another solid 1-0 victory at Northampton on Saturday, Bradford City are likely to have enjoyed a hat-trick of victories after their match against mid-table Fleetwood tonight. The Bantams have been unlucky in front of goal and if they find their scoring boots, they could make it three wins in three.

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All of tonight’s League One fixtures kick off at 7.45 pm.
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport

Interview with YouTuber and Fleetwood fan – Ben Knapman: “the atmosphere that day was immense!”

I spoke to young Fleetwood supporter and football vlogger Ben Knapman (@Benknappy) about his beloved Fleetwood Town, and of course general musings about his ever-growing YouTube channel.

Hi Ben, first of all I’d like to ask you, why do you support Fleetwood Town FC?

“I was about 8 years old, and a footballer called Jamie Milligan gave me complimentary tickets to a game. It was against Preston North End and we drew 0-0. After that, I kept attending games until in 2011, I finally got my first season ticket. So I’d say it’s down to Milligan who was trying to get more kids to go to Fleetwood games, and it worked with me.”

Jamie Milligan played for and captained The Cod Army between 2005-2013, scoring 42 goals in the process.

After a solid start to the season with a 2-0 win over Rotherham and 1-0 win away at Northampton Town, has your initial prediction of a 10th placed finish for Fleetwood changed?

“My predictions haven’t changed. I think you get a real feel for where you’re going to finish after the Christmas period. I still think we’ll finish around 10th. Moreover, against Northampton we did actually struggle to score. I think we’ve played two mid-table sides at the minute, the real tests will come when we play teams like Blackburn Rovers and Wigan.”

A Conor McAleny brace ensured Fleetwood were victorious over Rotherham on the opening day, while Devante Cole’s 75th minute strike ensured Fleetwood gained all three points fromThe Cobblers on Saturday.

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Who will be Fleetwood’s key player this season?

“I can’t pick one but I’ll name two, these two are quality every week. Alex Cairns our goalkeeper is the first, I mean look at his triple save yesterday! My second choice is Kyle Dempsey, our number eight. He runs things in midfield and I think he got 9 assists last year!”

So let’s talk about your YouTube. What do you like the most about YouTube?

“I like the fact you can broadcast your thoughts and be yourself, I think other YouTubers are always better when they’re themselves on videos too. I love that I can share my experiences from Fleetwood games with other Fleetwood or football fans, and I feel that you can meet a load of good people through YouTube. I also enjoy watching my memories back of the games I’ve attended.”

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The 15 year-old has over 1200 subscribers on YouTube. Ben vlogs the Fleetwood Town games that he attends, in addition to other football related videos.

Do you have a favourite video on your channel?

“This is a very hard question! It’s going to be a Fleetwood vlog… I’ve made so many of these! *after naming a few of his videos, Ben finally enthuses:* I think the Bristol City video is my favourite because the atmosphere that day was immense. We didn’t stop chanting ‘red and white army’ throughout the whole game, and we deserved to equalise. That day made me proud!”

Finally, what are your aspirations for your YouTube channel?

“Obviously now it’s just a hobby, but I’d like to make a career out of it when I’m older!”

Ben, who was also named as Fleetwood’s ‘Fan of the year’, recently raised over £700 for The Bradley Lowery Foundation. He did this with a charity walk prior to Fleetwood’s pre-season game with Bolton Wanderers. Well done Ben!

 

My thanks go to Ben for taking the time to talk to me. Check out his YouTube channel here.
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport

 

 

Match Preview: Rotherham United vs Southend United

A buoyant Southend United side travel to Rotherham United this weekend on the back of an impressive 2-1 victory over former Championship side, Blackburn Rovers in League One.

Meanwhile the Shrimper’s opponents Rotherham, who were also relegated from the Championship last season, faced a baptism of fire on their return to League One. They lost 2-0 away to Fleetwood on the opening day.

The South Yorkshire side actually had a fair amount of the possession, and indeed imposed a significant amount of pressure onto Fleetwood, but Paul Warne’s side lacked the final product. Two goals from Fleetwood’s new signing Conor McAleny (who joined the club from Everton) sealed Rotherham’s fate.

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This is unlike Phil Brown’s Southend, who had little trouble rekindling their impressive form from last season. Goals from Ryan Leonard and new signing Michael Kightly put the Blues 2-0 up, before what would turn out to be just a consolation goal for Blackburn, from a free-kick by Charlie Mulgrew.

Ones to watch in this fixture:

Jon Taylor – Rotherham United

The 25 year-old signed for the Millers from Peterborough in 2016 and instantly impressed Rotherham fans with his pace and work-rate. The winger also boasts a powerful shot and despite being in a belated, rock-bottom Millers side, he managed to score goals against Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and Blackburn last season.

Anthony Wordsworth – Southend United

Rotherham United fans will recognise midfielder Anthony Wordsworth from his time on loan with themselves and may remember his only goal during his time at the club – a fantastic free-kick against Bolton Wanderers in September 2014. The Camden born player played a key role in Southend’s impressive campaign last season, scoring 12 goals in the process. It has also emerged that Wordsworth played despite the influence of injury.

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In the dugout:

Paul Warne – Rotherham United

Many critics have slammed Rotherham United manager Paul Warne ahead of this season, but if the club’s fantastic pre-season, and the squad he has assembled is anything to go by, he could well prove them wrong. The club’s former fitness manager assumed the role as permanent manager after managing The Millers in the latter stages of last season’s Championship relegation, which at first appeared to be temporary.

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Phil Brown – Southend United

Experienced manager Phil Brown took his Southend United side to an impressive 7th place finish in League One last year, just one point behind Millwall in the final play-off spot. Brown’s Blues side clearly have a significant amount of tactical finesse as they clenched ‘shock’ results last season too, such as a 3-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and a 3-0 victory over Bradford.

The last time they met at Rotherham:

The last game between the two teams at Rotherham’s AESSEAL New York Stadium saw Steve Evan’s Millers side lose 3-0. A brace from Britt Assombalonga and a goal from Dave Martin left Evan’s promotion seeking side looking red faced at the full-time whistle. In fact, Rotherham have not had a victory over The Shrimpers on home soil since 1980.

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Full-time result?

With the plethora of attacking talent, both in midfield and upfront that both teams possess, I can see this game having goals in it. That said, I feel like the squads are fairly evenly balanced but I predict a 3-2 win for Rotherham, the recent cup games playing a fair role in my decision, even with different line-ups.

Paul Warne should narrowly clench his first win managing Rotherham in League One, and they will build on the positive signs from last weekend’s defeat to Fleetwood and their recent 2-1 victory over Lincoln in the Carabao Cup. Southend will have to pick themselves up following their 2-0 loss to Newport in the Carabao Cup and the impressive link-up play between Rotherham’s strikers may be enough to send them back to Essex with no points.

Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport