ALDER­SHOT ......0

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By John Mcdougall

STEVE Evans claims seal­ing Rother­ham’s re­turn to League One is his best achieve­ment in football fol­low­ing their vic­tory over Alder­shot – which also con­demned the vis­i­tors to Non-League.

A sec­ond-half strike from Millers skip­per Johnny Mullins and an in­jury­time ef­fort from Lee Freck­ling­ton sealed sec­ond place and a re­turn to the third tier af­ter a six-year wait.

And fol­low­ing their fifth suc­ces­sive league win, which was fol­lowed by a pitch in­va­sion from de­lighted Rother­ham fans, Millers boss Evans ap­plauded the ef­fort of the whole club, in­clud­ing chair­man Tony Ste­wart who has ploughed in over £30m to keep the club afloat.

“I’ve had a few pro­mo­tions, but this is the most spe­cial by a coun­try dis­tance,” he said.

“Not just be­cause of the league we’ve got into, but be­cause this is a fan­tas­tic football club with an in­cred­i­ble fan base.

“When you live in the town – like I do – you can see what it means to peo­ple on a Sun­day when you win. It re­ally is life or death for them.

“Our be­lief never wa­vered and I never doubted the group. My over­rid­ing emo­tion is re­lief – I think I’m an SOS man to get pro­mo­tion.

“It’s about col­lec­tively en­joy­ing what we’ve achieved as it’s taken an un­be­liev­able ef­fort from ev­ery­one in­side the club and the town.

“We achieved ev­ery­thing we ex­pected. It’s a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment from ev­ery­one, from the chair­man down to the sup­port­ers.

“A lot of peo­ple doubted this squad and doubted us at var­i­ous times but we kept the pos­i­tives in the camp and kept believ­ing. “Peo­ple paint dif­fer­ent pic­tures of the league, but it doesn’t lie over 46 games.”

Alex Rev­ell went one-on-one on ten min­utes but slid wide un­der pres­sure from an on­rush­ing Jamie Young.

The Shots nearly took a half-time lead af­ter Michael Rank­ine poked Danny Rose’s cross from the left wide.

How­ever Rother­ham broke the dead­lock af­ter Young dropped Michael O’Con­nor’s 64th-minute free-kick and Millers cap­tain Mullins tapped home amid a goal­mouth scram­ble.

Alder­shot were de­nied a late equaliser through Kari Ar­na­son, who de­flected Craig Reid’s header onto the cross­bar.

But the Millers sealed pro­mo­tion deep into stop­page time through Freck­ling­ton who coolly slot­ted past Young.

And af­ter drop­ping out of the Football League, Alder­shot man­ager Andy Scott feels some big de­ci­sions need to be made so they can bounce back.

“This hasn’t hap­pened overnight – this is a long-term thing that’s been eat­ing away and we haven’t turned it around,” said Scott, who was sacked as Rother­ham boss in March 2012.

“Com­ing to the club so late in the day, we’ve all played some part of it and the play­ers have got to take some re­spon­si­bil­ity now.

“Some big de­ci­sions now need to be made with the play­ing staff and in the board­room as well, in terms of how we move for­ward.

“It’s a dream that may have ended now, but we can have that dream again.”

LEAGUE ONE HERE WE COME: Lee Freck­ling­ton scores the sec­ond goal for Rother­ham



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