Memory match: Rotherham United v PNE

Preston fans who make the trip to the New York Stadium this weekend will still be able to see Rotherham's old home Millmoor in the distance.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:51 pm
Youl Mawene scoring the winner at Millmoor

It stands a few hundred yards away, the stands – one of them newly-built – and floodlights intact but unused since 2008 when the Millers moved out to play at the Don Valley Stadium.

North End’s last visit to Millmoor, a ground tucked away behind scrap yards and railway sidings, came in April 2005 and was a happy one.

They were victorious that afternoon, goals from former Miller Chris Sedgwick and Youl Mawene giving them a 2-1 victory.

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At the time, Billy Davies’ men were heading for the Championship play-offs and the South Yorkshire hosts were doomed to League One.

Rotherham were already relegated with more than a month of the season to go, yet they gave North End a scare by going in front.

Sedgwick and Mawene struck within 13 minutes of one another in the second half to ensure the result went with form – PNE had lost only once in 19 games.

This was a 12th victory in that 19-match run but things did not go to plan in the first half.

Rotherham were playing under the stewardship of Mick Harford for the first time, his appointment as Millers boss coming just two days earlier.

Harford only had to wait 23 minutes for his side to take the lead – it was something of a fluke goal.

Will Hoskins burst down the left on the overlap and put a cross over into the middle.

He caught it all wrong with the outside of his boot, which was enough to deceive 
keeper Carlo Nash – the ball dropping in at the near post.

Preston responded with Richard Cresswell and Eddie Lewis having shots blocked.

In time added on at the end of the first half, Paul McKenna was lucky to avoid a card for a foul on his old PNE team-mate Michael Keane.

A few choice words from Davies during the interval worked a treat for Preston.

The Lilywhites manager came out of the tunnel for the second half pumping the air with his fist to raise the noise levels from the away end.

Just 15 seconds in, David Nugent went close with a shot from the edge of the box.

PNE pulled level in the 51st minute, breaking up a Rotherham attack and pushing forward on the counter.

Nugent – beginning to make his name after a £100,000 move from Bury four months earlier – took the ball down the left and played it inside to Lewis in the box.

A defender slid in to tackle Lewis, the ball breaking into the path of Sedgwick, who drove a low shot into the net.

Sedgwick decided not to celebrate against his old club but his delighted team-mates mobbed him. The winger, who was on Rotherham’s books from the age of 16 until a move in 2004 to Preston, said: “It was a strange feeling, I didn’t know what to do.

“I was gutted Rotherham had gone down because I had lots of friends there.

“But at the same time, I was delighted to put us back in the game.”

The visitors went ahead in the 64th minute, a foul on 
Richard Cresswell seeing them awarded a free-kick down the left channel.

Lewis curled it into the middle, Nugent climbed to flick the ball on and Mawene fired home at the far post.

Preston were comfortable for the rest of the game, with Callum Davidson seeing a shot deflected behind.

Cresswell put a shot from 35 yards over the bar, before Nugent went ever so close to stretching the lead in the 87th minute.

His volley from 25 yards left Millers goalkeeper Mike Pollitt rooted to the spot but the ball bounced back off the bar.