Rotherham expecting tough Orient test

12:05 21 May 2014

Orient's Robbie Simpson gets a boot in the face from Rotherham's Claude Davis (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Orient's Robbie Simpson gets a boot in the face from Rotherham's Claude Davis (pic: Simon O'Connor)


Local reporter reveals thoughts from Millers camp

Orient aren’t the only team in this season’s League One play-off final who have surpassed expectations to stand on the brink of glory.

Promoted from League Two last season, Rotherham United would have settled for a season of mid-table consolidation according to local reporter Les Payne – who retires after 45 years on the Millers’ beat for the Sheffield Star after the Wembley showpiece.

Rotherham were arguably the form team in the second half of the season but they are under no illusions about the size of the task facing them.

“It’s too close to call,” said Payne. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s settled by a single goal or if it goes to extra time or even penalties.

“Rotherham know it’s going to be a tough game.

“I think it helped Orient that automatic promotion didn’t go down to the last day of the season. It helped galvanise them and pick up form in the last few games of the regular season.”

Both home teams won this season’s fixtures by a single goal and they were separated by just one point in the final League One table.

For their part Rotherham are looking to tread the same path they took from 1999 to 2001 when the Millers jumped straight from the fourth tier to the second and stayed there for four seasons.

That was largely down to the sterling work of then-manager Ronnie Moore and Payne puts this recent success down to the work of current boss Steve Evans – along with the move to the impressive New York Stadium in 2012.

He said: “Steve Evans isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s done a brilliant job.

“He’s got a winning record, you can see from his time at Crawley, but it’s amazing to think this is his first season in League One.

“And the stadium move helped galvanise the club. I might be biased, but I think it’s one of the best small grounds in the country.”

Payne also reserved praise for O’s boss Russell Slade, who he thinks has done a similar job to Evans.

He added: “Russ is good at getting the best out of unfancied teams. He’s done a brilliant job.”

And he lifted the lid on who he expects to be Rotherham’s threat at Wembley on Sunday.

It’s no surprise that he plumped for Ben Pringle, who turned the play-off tie against Preston around with his wand of a left foot.

“Pringle’s got one of the best left foots in the league and he’ll go onto great things,” added Payne.

“And Kieran Agard is always a threat, whether he plays in the centre or out wide.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford Sports News

18 minutes ago
Eton Manor's Matt Oaks tries to bring down a Letchworth Garden City opponent (pic: Martin Pearl).

Thurrock visit Wanstead-based club this weekend and it could be another thrilling encounter

West Ham United's Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the EFL Cup, round of 16 match at the London Stadium.

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is left frustrated as superb victory is not the top topic

Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road home (pic: Play With A Legend).

O’s fan Doug Harper will be special guest at the League Two match after beating male breast cancer

Corey Whitely of Dagenham & Redbridge celebrates his goal against Aldershot Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers match-winner thrilled with success against promotion rivals

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now