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07 September 2021 Venue Eco-Power Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Rovers vs Rotherham United (Papa John's Trophy)

7 September 2021

Ten days after facing Rotherham United in Sky Bet League One, Rovers prepare to face Paul Warne's side again in the Papa John's Trophy.

Form Guide

Rotherham enter Tuesday evening’s Papa John’s Trophy group stage contest with a record of three wins and three losses across all competitions on the season. This includes a 2-1 loss to Accrington Stanley in a first round match of the Carabao Cup in August.


Papa John's Trophy Record

When it comes to the Papa John’s Trophy, Rotherham hold a record of four wins, four losses and a draw – which includes a loss on penalties - in the competition since 2013/14.

The Millers weren’t involved in the competition last season as they were in the Championship, however, the previous season they were also in Rovers group with the match between the sides taking place at The New York Stadium. Rovers were defeated 3-2 on that day but qualified out of the group – Rotherham United to not get through the group stage as they also wracked up defeats to Manchester United U21 and Lincoln City.

When it comes to the Millers’ history in the Papa John’s Trophy (or EFL Cup), Rotherham United has hoisted the trophy once in the 1995/96 campaign.

In a final that saw Rotherham face Shrewsbury Town in front of 35,235 supporters at Wembley Stadium, striker Nigel Jemson (on loan to Rotherham from parent club Notts County) would collect Man of the Match honours as he scored a brace in the Millers’ 2-1 win.

On the way to the 1996 final, Rotherham defeated Chester City, 1-0 in a Norther Section group stage game, followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley in the second group stage contest. In the second round of the Northern Section, Wigan and Rotherham would battle to a 0-0 draw, with the Millers advancing on penalties, 4-1. The club advanced past York City, 4-1 in the Northern Section semi-finals, setting up a two-legged affair with Carlisle United in the Area finals. Rotherham won both legs by 2-0 score lines, advancing 4-0 on aggregate.


One to Watch - Michael Smith

Amid several deadline day transfer rumours, Michael Smith remained a member of Rotherham United. Michael Smith was a “player to watch” just under two weeks ago when Rovers and Rotherham met at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. In that game, the former Swindon Town striker provided both goals in a 2-0 win for the Millers. In what has been a successful three-year stint with the club (arriving to Rotherham from Bury in January 2018), Smith has scored 36 goals in 148 appearances. This season, he has scored three goals on nine shots on-target, converting at a 25% rate in six games. Smith also has an assist to his credit on the campaign. With his athleticism and pace, Smith has drawn nine fouls, while delivering 13 crosses for the team.


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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 0 Rotherham United 6 (Papa John's Trophy)

7 September 2021

Rovers start their Papa John’s Trophy campaign with a defeat at home to Rotherham United.

Joe Dodoo and Rodrigo Vilca made their Rovers debuts while Tommy Rowe captained the side in Tom Anderson’s absence.

On his return from injury, Jordy Hiwula showed plenty of attacking flare early doors, having one shot saved while taking a heavy touch on another chance.

On the tenth minute Ben Close attempted an effort from long distance but was off target.

Rotherham United then stormed into a three-goal lead within five minutes. Mikail Miller’s cross deceiving Louis Jones before a miscommunication between Jones and Branden Horton allowed Freddie Ladapo to score into an empty goal. The third came from a thunderous strike from Hakeem Odoffin who hit it in off the top left corner.

Despite Rovers suddenly being three goals down, it did not put them off their stride. Matt Smith hit a one-on-one effort over the bar before Close forced Josh Vickers into a stretching save after a well-worked corner routine.

Before half-time Rovers Hiwula dragged and effort wide from a brilliant position after an excellent ball was cut between two Rotherham defenders by Rowe.

Within minutes of the second-half Rotherham got their fourth as Ladapo’s effort came off the post and Will Grigg was on-hand to tap-in.

Jones pulled off an excellent save to deny Dan Barlaser directly from a set piece.

Just after the hour mark Wellens made a triple substitution. Jordy Hiwula, Rodrigo Vilca and Joe Dodoo were replaced by Kyle Knoyle, Dan Gardner and AJ Greaves.

Rotherham made it five with Jake Hull just getting a touch on Barlaser’s corner.

From the 77th minute both teams were down to 10-men as Close and Tolaji Bola wtihdrew from the game for treatment after two seperate incidents. 

On the 85th minute Rotherham made it 6-0 with Joe Mattock heading home from a corner.  

Rovers return to league action with a trip to Wigan Athletic on September 11.

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