After another long, hard season in League One where we have seen Wigan and Blackburn promoted, Relegation come down to the final day and the top two scorers not even make it into Promotion contention, all thoughts now turn to the Playoffs.
Shrewsbury face Charlton while Rotherham battle Scunthorpe for the opportunity to play at Wembley and gain Promotion to the Championship.
Scunthorpe come into the playoffs in the best form. Unbeaten in their last five games, winning four. There is an interesting story developing here however as there are rumours that recently departed Bradford boss Simon Grayson may take over from Caretaker boss Nick Daws for the Playoffs.
Third place Shrewsbury by contrast are arguably in the most inconsistent form. Despite losing only one of last five, they have only one two which is the fewest of the four sides.
One positive for them though is their solid defensive record. Conceded just 39 goals this year is by far the best record of the contenders.
At the other end of the pitch it is Rotherham who will have the most feared attack, scoring 73 goals this season.
Charlton v Shrewsbury
Both sides won 2-0 away from home head to head this season suggesting this two legged affair is going to be close.
Ahead of the games I asked one fan of each club the following questions:
1. How do you view making the playoffs?
2. How do you rate your chances over two legs?
3. For the neutrals who are your player(s) to watch?
4. And what danger men do you need to wary of to progress?
5. Who do you think will win the other semi?
6. How do you rate your chances of Promotion?
Here is what they said
By Tom Wayment @TomWayment90
1. As expected
2. Quietly confident with our recent form, but playoffs are a lottery.
3. Jay Dasilva, Jake Foster-Caskey and possibly Nicky Ajose.
4. From what I know of Shrewsbury, Stefan Payne and Shaun Whalley.
5. Be tight but I think Rotherham just. 6. I’m fairly confident of our chances, we’re in good form, but so are the other teams. I think we have as good of chance as anyone
By Charlie Rogers @Rogers_c24
1) Massive overachievement. If you went on the pre season predictions, I would have been happy with mid table. But we havent dropped out the top 3 all season and if it wasnt for Wigan and Blackburn we would be up automatically. Still feel that we have let ourselves drop out of top 2 as we have ran out of steam the past few weeks.
2) Charlton is going to be tough, rejuvenated under Lee Bowyer and they are a far bigger club than us. If we do what we did at their place earlier in the season (2-0 win) then we have a chance. But looking at the past few weeks performances, its going to take a big effort.
3) The obvious one is Jon Nolan. Signed from Chesterfield in the summer, he has been class. Like watching Ryan Woods all over again. Ben Godfrey will play Premier League football, as a holding midfielder he has everything. Shaun Whalley can tear a defence apart on his day. The one lad who will go under the radar but is one to look out for is Abo Eisa. Bought him from Wealdstone and he looks a great prospect. Pace, skill and isnt afraid to have a shot.
4) Don’t know much about Charltons players but they seem to have picked up since Bowyer came in. Sullay Kaikai was on loan with us a few years ago and practically kept us up. Hopefully he has a mare for two games.
5) Probably Scunthorpe, but again depends if they turn up on the day. Morris is probably their best player. They have Ivan Toney up top who spends more time on his arse than on his feet. Not the most popular man in Shrewsbury after his loan here.
6) All depends on what sort of Shrewsbury turns up. If its the side of the times before Wembley then we have a great chance. If not, then we will struggle through our own doing. It will be so dissapointing if we don’t do it as I don’t think we will see a team like this in the blue and amber for a long time. Rumours of Paul Hurst and Jon Nolan leaving if we don’t go up. Henderson, Godfrey and Morris will return to parent clubs. As well as Abu Ogogo and Junior Browns contracts expiring, two key players of the past 3 years. There’s a lot riding on these games not just promotion.
My Prediction: I think over 2 legs Shrewsbury will do enough to go through but I do not see it being a one sided contest. First leg is key in this tie.
Scunthorpe v Rotherham
Rotherham won both fixtures during the regular season , 2-0 at home and 2-1 away.
One fan from each club were asked the same questions.
By fan site Iron Bru @Ironbru_net
Very much expected. I predicted before the season that we would finish 5th and that’s how it turned out. We made some decent signings in the summer, but it was always going to be tough to better last year’s 3rd place finish because of the teams that came down from the Championship and the teams coming up from League two. Plymouth and Portsmouth were always going to the well equipped.
It’s going to be interesting as Rotherham have beaten us twice this year in the League but we are a very different animal now. We were arguably unlucky to lose at their spot earlier in the year and had a number of chances before being caught on the break to finally lose 2-0. They taught us a bit of a lesson at our place and were quite impressive but it just wasn’t working for our former manager Graham Alexander at the time and with players like Ryan Yates and Ivan Toney hitting form we look to be better equipped to turn them over when it really matters.
Ryan Yates is on loan from Forest and is a real winner in the center of midfield. Funso Ojo is a classy midfielder, whilst Duane Holmes and Hakeeb Adelakun can be unplayable on the wings. Ivan Toney is in red hot form up top and is always capable of scoring a goal out of nothing.
I’ve always quite liked Michael Smith and he was a real handful at our place so we need to keep an eye on him. David Ball is another tricky player and is a real asset at this level.
Charlton to go through.
I think the winner of our semi will probably go on to prevail at Wembley. I think we’ve got a good chance and a sneaky suspicion we will do it.
By Adam Fryer
I personally believe it’s a mixed bag of emotions on if we have over achieved or under achieved. From the first ball being kicked at the start of the season you could tell with this young Miller ’s team that we had a great bunch of lads with lots of “POTENTIAL” and the club recruited well in the summer.
As many know us Millers can turn on the style when needed and in a season of records being broken to a game where extra time felt like a lifetime for all the wrong reasons, well can we call 90 mins plus 8 a life time in football I certainly think so, against a Peterborough team who were very unlucky not to sneak into the playoffs themselves.
I still feel if we had beaten them that day we could have snook 3rd but that’s me being picky.
I feel it would have been an injustice to this squad of players if we didn’t reach the play offs and 4th just makes it that bit sweeter considering Blackburn and wigan were my teams to go up automatically and the surprise package of Shrewsbury have impressed us all and deserve to finish 3rd .
Over the 2 legs I think we will defiantly show our pedigree, we have a team of young lads with the heart of lions and the stamina which can only be testament to Paul Warn’s athletic pre season which he always said would be the difference between a mid table finish and a top of the table scrap.
Scunthorpe will fancy themselves and will seek revenge over being beaten throughout the season by us and lets not kid ourselves they have a squad of experience with players like Lee Novak, Josh Morris and Rory Mcardle who himself has suffered at the hands of a Miller’s win when at Bradford City.
Scunthorpe 1 Millers 2
Millers 3 Scunthorpe 1
Millers – Will Vaulks- he has the heart of the lion and never stops talking, he has that fire in his belly and gives his all. A future captain in my eyes aswell as the ability to produce amazing goals with an even better celebration.
Jon Taylor- he’s a little pocket rocket with frightening pace, looks a threat from any position and offers a little aggression when needed.
Richard Wood – He has to get a mention as for me he has had a mini revival after being linked with Chesterfield he has no doubt proven his worth to this squad and as the song goes- if you throw a brick at him he will head the $%^£$ back he a wrecking ball of a man and epitomises the Millers work rate and puts in all on the line.
Michael Smith- what boots he had to fill he came in from Bury with a point to prove and he defiantly has delivered on this. He had the hard job of taking over from where Kieffer Moore left off and has filled those boots and got some new ones that fit even better. Many might disagree but Smith seems an all round player and offers more to the team than Kieffer. He has proven he can convert the chances put in front of him with ease and calmness and he doesn’t just hold the ball up to play into the path of an on rushing midfielder he has the ability to bring the ball down, turn on the ball and bring the wingers into play.
Josh Morris. He was once a Miller and showed glimpses of his ability but never really got a run in the team under then manager Steve Evans.
Duane Holmes also looks a very nifty and impressed me in the game away earlier in the season.
Lee Novak also possesses that ideal experience needed for such events and could be the difference on the day.
The game between Charlton and Shrewsbury is very hard to predict. There’s once side saying Shrewsbury deserve a place in the final due to their outstanding season and it would be a shame for that not to be rewarded and even though Paul Hurst says they are underdogs – this has to be mid games as they have demonstrated throughout the season just how good they are on their day, but they did lose their bottle when they had it in their hands.
On the other hand you have Charlton who i think out of the 2 have performed better against us and I was hoping we wasn’t going to get in the semi simply down to they just know how to close a game down and have beaten us his season and proven a much sterner test, especially over 2 legs.
But to give my knee jerk answer I feel Shrewsbury will just nick a result and win both Legs 0-1 ,2-1.
Very high as I’ve mentioned we have a team of fighters who on their day can play an team off the park and I believe the fitness of the squad and class of players like Vaulks, Taylor and Smith will get us over the line and singing long into the night on our merry way down Wembley way.
My Prediction: this is tough to call. Scunthorpe in better form but the manager situation. Rotherham have scored a lot more, conceding virtually the same, and have beat their opponents twice.
I am going with Scunthorpe. Momentum is key and their current form should see them through.
Who do you think will make it to Wembley?
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