Ground: New York Stadium
Date: 1st January 2014
Match: Rotherham - Coventry 1-3 (League 1)
Attendance: 9 154
On New Year´s Day there was a full round of matches in every league in England. Knowing I would be in Scotland the next day it made sense to find a match in northern England. Going through my options I decided for Rotherham vs Coventry. I spent a lot of time in different trains during this trip. On Tuesday (New Year´s Eve) I left Dunfermline and via Edinburgh I travelled to Manchester where I stayed for two nights. At 8pm I once again met up with my Swedish colleagues (Christian and Magnus) and we had a late dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant. Magnus and Christian finished 1st and 3rd in the unofficial "Swedish football knowledge championship" and believe me, they know a lot about football! On Wednesday morning a new band of heavy rain and strong winds swept through Britain. Fixture after fixture was called off and as I changed trains in Sheffield I looked at the Rotherham website, "Game NOT in doubt". At 13.05 I arrived at Rotherham central and from there the New York Stadium is only a short walk. New York Stadium opened in July 2012 and has a capacity of 12 000. It is actually situated quite close to their old ground,Millmoor. For three seasons Rotherham played at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield but once the New York Stadium was ready the club moved back to Rotherham.
The weather the first day of 2014 was really awful. It was difficult to take any exterior pictures and I took cover under a roof at the ground. I was prepared for war with the elements though and my rain clothes did what they were supposed to. Thankfully the turnstiles opened quite early (13.30) and I was not the only one who entered the ground early. My seat was in row J of the East Stand and the leg room was impressive. Another good thing was that I was able to walk to the stand behind the goal meaning I could take pictures of all four stands. Coventry brought 1 200 fans to this League 1 encounter. In total more than 9 000 were inside New York Stadium. For a neutral like me this turned out to be a cracking and very entertaining match. Coventry hit the inside of the post after only two minutes. Rotherham then had plenty of chances before eventually scoring, 1-0 at half-time. In the 70th minute a Coventry player was fouled, red card for the Rotherham player and a free-kick for Coventry. The assistant referee stepped in and it was changed to a penalty (which was correct if you ask me). Coventry equalized and pressed on for a winner. Backed by a now very vocal away following Coventry continued to attack and from a corner Rotherham scored an own-goal, 1-2.
A Coventry player was injured and received treatment on the pitch for several minutes before being substituted. Six minutes of stoppage time. In the first of those another Coventry player was injured. It was a severe head injury and play was stopped for 10 minutes. Then, in the 90+12th Rotherham were awarded a penalty. This was saved and from the resulting corner Coventry counter-attacked. The Rotherham goal-keeper was in the Coventry penalty area and from the half-way line Coventry made it 3-1. The match didn´t end until 17.04. What a dramatic match! For me this was a perfect start to the new year. Hopefully my final two matches in Scotland tomorrow will be as entertaining as this one. Since the last match is the Edinburgh derby at least I will end this tour with a cracking atmosphere.
New York Stadium
New York Stadium
Steve Ogrizovic, a Coventry legend with more than 500 matches for the club
1 200 Coventry fans