FA Cup flattening of Rotherham proved the ideal confidence trick declared manager Mills (From York Press)
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FA Cup flattening of Rotherham proved the ideal confidence trick declared manager Mills
YORK City manager Gary Mills has credited his team’s last cup clash against Rotherham United with bringing self-belief back to Bootham Crescent.
Mills had barely been in charge of the Minstermen a month when his new charges, placed in the lower reaches of the Blue Square Premier table at the time, thumped Rotherham 3-0 at home in the FA Cup, having earned a replay following a 0-0 draw at the Don Valley Stadium back in November 2010.
A Michael Rankine brace, including one from the penalty spot, followed Chris Smith ’s first-ever goal for the Minstermen during 13 frantic second-half minutes, in which Danny Racchi also hit the crossbar.
The Minstermen went on to beat second round hosts Darlington before bowing out of the prestigious competition 2-0 at then Premier League Bolton’s Reebok Stadium.
City have hardly looked back since, culminating in last season’s double-winning Wembley campaign, which now means the club are plying their trade at the same level as tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy hosts.
Looking back on that pivotal evening, Mills, pictured far right, recalled: “We weren’t really expected to get a result against Rotherham back then.
“They were doing well in League Two but, after getting a draw at their place, we walloped them 3-0 and thoroughly deserved to go through. That game came early in my time at the club and a lot of players had been going through a bit of a dodgy time having lost their confidence.
“But they weren’t bad players and quite a few are playing at this level now. I think those two matches against Rotherham helped us to get the confidence back into the club.”
Current Minstermen Michael Ingham , David McGurk , Chris Smith, Dan Parslow, Jonathan Smith and Jamal Fyfield all played that night, along with Rankine and James Meredith , who are now playing for Aldershot and Bradford respectively, while Racchi is with Scottish Premier League outfit Kilmarnock.
In an even first half two years ago, Stephen Brogan squandered two chances for the visitors, hitting a post with one effort, before Adam Le Fondre, the country’s leading marksman at the time, missed the target with only Ingham to beat.
But Smith broke the deadlock on 66 minutes when he headed in a cross from Rankine, who then fired in from the penalty spot after his header had led to Fyfield being brought down by Luke Ashworth.
Rankine then capped an excellent night with a composed finish following Fyfield’s pass.
Defeated Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore admitted: “We could not cope with Rankine and, as professional footballers, you have to be able to stop the lad playing and be stronger as centre-halves.”
How it was back then
City team (v Rotherham): Ingham, Parslow, McGurk, C Smith, Meredith, McDermott (Barrett), Sangare (Fyfield), J Smith (Mackin), Racchi, Carruthers, Rankine.
Number one single on the day: Only Girl In The World (Rihanna).
It also happened on this day: Some 36 minutes of the film Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows Part 1 is leaked online.