What a cruel, almost barbaric way to have your season ended by shattering failure. For, whichever way you dress it up, failure is what it most surely is, once you’ve come all this way, through 46 gruelling league games and two bitterly competitive play-off semi-finals – only to fall at the very last hurdle, thwarted by the lottery of a penalty shoot-out. Commiserations then to Leyton Orient, who have seen their Holy Grail snatched pitilessly from their grasp.
Meanwhile, it’s a case of “To the victors, the spoils” – and, as the TV commentator instinctively identified, Rotherham will be happily anticipating their trip to Elland Road next season above all their other fixtures. We should welcome them to the Championship too, even though it means that our burden of chip-on-the-shoulder smaller Yorkshire rivals has been cut by only one, instead of two – as had seemed likely when Barnsley and Donny took the big fall. It’s up to the “new” Leeds United to cope with such inconveniences, as the team of the past few seasons has signally failed to do; basically, if we can’t take points from the likes of Rotherham (and the Wendies, and the Udders) – then we won’t deserve to do well.
All that is for next season, however. Meanwhile it’s appropriate to congratulate Rotherham United – and their likeable manager – on a great display at Wembley and, of course, one of THE great Wembley goals of all time. The Millers’ old Millmoor has been consigned to history, and I for one won’t miss that away end or the perilous alley behind it. Their new stadium looks a fantastic place and, doubtless, the away end there will be packed out when it’s time for the Leeds United travelling army to visit the New York.
Well done Rotherham – see you next season. Unlucky, Orient – and the best of good fortune in getting it right next time around.