Rotherham United 2 Aldershot Town 0: Millers make it to Wembley play-off at third try

Rotherham win 3-0 on aggregateLeague two play-off

RONNIE Moore could be about to write another chapter in his Rotherham United saga after his side's victory in last night's League Two play-off semi-final over Aldershot.

Moore, who steered the Millers to back-to-back promotions during his first spell in charge of the club and kept the club in the Championship for four years, will lead his side out at Wembley on May 30.

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Goals from Adam Le Fondre and Kevin Ellison secured a ticket to the final where they are likely to play Dagenham and Redbridge who lead 6-0 after the first leg of the other semi-final against Morecambe.

A crowd of 7,082 – the biggest since the club's temporary move to the Don Valley Stadium – cheered the Millers on, many spilling onto the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate.

It was third time lucky in the play-offs for the Millers who had lost their previous two campaigns at the semi-final stage, against Swansea City, in 1988 and Leyton Orient in 1999.

The Millers only previous visit to Wembley came 14 years ago when a team managed jointly by John McGovern and Archie Gemmill beat Shrewsbury Town in the final of the Auto Windscreens Shield.

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A late goal from Le Fondre had settled the first leg in the Millers' favour but Moore had stressed that nothing could be taken for granted last night and expected his side would come under intense pressure at home. But Aldershot were unable to penetrate a Millers defence that has kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven games.

Designed for athletics rather than football, the 24,000-capacity Don Valley Stadium is usually a fairly soulless place with three sides deserted and only a minimum of noise.

Yet last night's game, which was shown live on Sky TV, was totally different with a cacophony of sound echoing from a full main stand just before kick-off.

Chairman Tony Stewart had provided red and white cards for the supporters to hold up and, while hardly a new idea, they turned the heads of the players and helped generate the type of atmosphere the Millers needed in order to finish the job.

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Moore stuck with an unchanged side but Shots manager Kevin Dillon was without goalkeeper Jamie Young, carried off with a knee injury in the first leg, and defender Andy Sandell who had suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

Venezualan international Mikheal Jaimez-Ruiz, who stepped off the bench on Saturday, was in goal and Dave Winfield started at centre-back with Anthony Charles switching to left-back to fill the gap created by Sandell's absence.

Aldershot winger Dean Morgan was an early entrant into the referee's notebook for diving over goalkeeper Warrington in search of a penalty.

It was 22 minutes before the Millers' first real goalscoring opportunity, Ellison heading over a cross from Law.

Taylor showed good strength to hold off Brown and release

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Le Fondre but the striker's cross-cum-shot hit the top of the bar and bounced into touch.

Warrington was largely unemployed before the break despite Aldershot enjoying a fair share of the possession. Once again, as in the first leg, the Millers' defence stood firm.

Le Fondre had scored two minutes before the end of the first leg and inflicted the damage two minutes before the interval last night. Having won a corner which was swung over by Law, the striker was, as usual, in the right place at the right time to head home when Ian Sharp's initial header came back off the bar. It took Le Fondre's tally for the season to 30 after his dry spell of 11 games without a goal in open play.

As the players headed for the tunnel at half-time, there were signs of frustration from the visitors with Dean Morgan and Ellison exchanging angry words.

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Taylor was denied by Jaimez-Ruiz soon after the re-start as the Millers pressed for a third goal.

When Law broke free down the right wing both Taylor and Ellison were ideally positioned in the area yet the cross evaded both. Mills then laid a pass into the path of Le Fondre but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected over.

The goal the Millers craved finally arrived in the 68th minute courtesy of Ellison who headed in at the far post following good work by Law.

The winger picked up a booking for removing his shirt in celebration and so nearly collected another soon after for an ill-advised trip on Ben Herd.

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As fans streamed on at the end, Aldershot's players – who had won promotion from the Conference just two summers ago – sank to their knees. The sound of 'London Calling' by the Clash told its own story for the Millers.

Rotherham United: Warrington; Lynch, Sharps, Fenton, Gunning; Law (Warne 83), Harrison, Mills, Ellison; Taylor (Broughton 73), Le Fondre. Unused substitutes: Green, Marshall, Walker, Bell-Baggie, Annerson.

Aldershot Town: Jaimez-Ruiz; Herd, Brown, Winfield, Charles (Spencer 74); Jackson (Hudson 60), Halls, Donnelly, Straker; M.Morgan, D.Morgan. Unused substitutes: Soares, Hylton, Harding, Connolly, Clement.

Referee: F Graham (Essex).