I’m still asking people if that really happened, admits goal-hero Revell

TWO-GOAL Rotherham United striker Alex Revell has revealed that the sight of his young son Charlie crying at half-time with the Millers losing 2-0 to Leyton Orient helped spur him on to 
orchestrate their magnificent second-half rally.

. Rotherham's Alex Revell scores his second goal. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

The forward fired a brace inside five second-half minutes, with his second goal worthy of the admission fee alone, a wonderful long-range strike which brought the Millers level at 2-2 in the League One play-off final –and was one of the best scored at the new Wembley.

Ultimately, penalties were required to separate the Millers and the O’s, with Adam Collin saving spot-kicks from Mathieu Baudry and Chris Dagnall to give the South Yorkshire outfit a 4-3 shoot-out success.

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But Revell’s input proved key in turning the tide after a hugely disappointing first half. The Millers were staring down the barrel of a second successive play-off 
final loss to London opposition after losing 3-2 to Dagenham & Redbridge in the League Two play-off showpiece four years ago.

Revell said: “I wasn’t going to bring my little boy because of the occasion. But he was there and I walked in at the end of the first half and saw him and he was crying because we were losing 2-0.

“It spurred me on. He understood what happened after the game and it’s just an unbelieveable feeling.

“I am still struggling to believe what has happened. As a kid, you dream of playing at Wembley and having your family watching and it was an amazing day and what dreams are made of, and mine has come true with my family here to watch it.

“I can’t put into words how I feel because every single one of the lads deserved that.

“We had to have a long hard look at ourselves at half-time and realise what we have been about this year.

“We came in at half-time and were basically down and out. People would have said it was finished. But we don’t believe in that and have shown that all season.

“To be honest, the gaffer was pretty calm at half-time. (Assistant Paul) Raynor had a few words, but the gaffer just said, ‘Do it for your families and the people who have travelled. Go out there and prove to people that we are better’.

“We felt if we got a goal, maybe the nerves would kick in. Luckily for us we did and have beaten a very good side.”

On his 60th-minute strike, he added: “When it broke to me, it was just an instinctive thing. Maybe it was something I have not showed enough of since I have been here. When I looked up and saw it just dipping in, it was a great feeling. But I was happy with both goals. The first is the sort I probably have not got enough of since I have been here and I was happy with that one because it meant the game changed.

“We started the second half better and we had to after a poor first half. We just needed a goal and that settled us down and got us right back in the game and showed the character of everyone involved in the full squad. The whole squad has this character that they are never beaten and we proved that.

“It was a massive game for me. I lost count of the number of friends and family here. In the end, I had to make sure they paid for their own tickets, which didn’t go down well. I probably had around 25 here. You can’t miss an opportunity like this.”

The former Leyton Orient player admits he could not watch penalties after being substituted and sat in the dressing rooms along with Millers’ No 2 Raynor, told to stay away from the technical area following the first half.

Revell added: “I couldn’t watch them, as this just meant so much to us all. I am still asking people if it really happened. It still feels as if I am going to wake up. I can’t put the feeling into words.

“At Braintree, at 21, I didn’t think I’d make the Championship. That’s football. Hard work pays off. I am proof that it can work out. If you have doubters, prove them wrong. That’s the best way to do it.”

Cumbrian goalkeeper Collin’s two spot-kick saves broke Orient hearts, although he admits that he was not sure that the shoot-out had in fact finished after he saved from ex-Barnsley player Dagnall.

It maintained his remarkable spot-kick record, with the 29-year-old having been involved in seven penalty shoot-outs and winning them all – while also making two saves in each.

Collin, appearing for the third occasion at Wembley after playing in two Johnstone’s Paint Trophy finals with Carlisle United, said: “I had some analysis and DVDs of who takes their penalties and most players go a set way.

“I just gambled, although I wasn’t quite sure what was happening (at the end) as I lost count.

“Then I saw the lads running towards me and thought, ‘Oh, that must be it’.

“I’ve certainly got a good penalty record and I fancied myself when I was up there and was lucky enough to make the two saves.

“It’s by far the best moment of my career. Two penalty saves at Wembley doesn’t get much better. I have been lucky enough to come here twice. But to win promotion is just fantastic.

“People probably thought we were dead and buried at half-time. But we fought on.”