Introduction to the blog...

Hi, my name's Toby Wildgoose. I'm a 20 year old boy who's obsessed by sport, so much so that I am looking to become a sports journalist/media officer in later life.

I've set up this blog not only so that I can improve and refine my writing skills, but also to provide a platform for potential employers to view my work.

I have already developed a small portfolio of my work, with my experience in the industry including: written match reports for junior football teams, published work at numerous EFL clubs in a variety of formats, and work experience placements at Chesterfield FC and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust - to see my full portfolio click here: http://goo.gl/VWws3H.

I hope to post as often as possible on this blog about anything that is sport related. Please find the time to read any of my posts.

Any comments or suggestions on how I can improve the blog would be greatly appreciated, and I would also be happy to receive any other suggestions for work experience. Please comment on here, email me (tobywildgoose@gmail.com), or even tweet me (@TobyWildgoose). Cheers!

Start Date: 11/12/12

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Match Report: Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Rotherham United


Rotherham United took a giant step towards automatic promotion after Kieran Agard’s 75th minute goal secured a 1-0 win over Plymouth at Home Park.

Agard scored his third goal in three games, after captain Johnny Mullins nodded down for the Millers’ frontman to poke home from close range.

Steve Evans stuck with the same starting eleven that had seen off Bradford City on Tuesday night, as the only changes came in the form of Daniel Nardiello and David Noble returning to the bench.  

A familiar face featured in the Argyle starting line-up, as Reuben Reid came up against his former employers and the ex-Millers forward was immediately thrown into the fold when he was caught just offside after a minute’s play.

Plymouth’s attacking intent was clear to see in the early minutes, as Onismor Bhasera took on a mazy run before firing a dangerous ball across the box. The danger, however, was cleared by Claude Davis who ensured that a chance wouldn’t follow for the awaiting Reid.  

The Millers’ first chance came in the ninth minute when ex-Pilgrim Kari Arnason took on a shot from distance that sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, much to the delight of the Home Park faithful.

The first yellow card of the game came the Millers’ way, when Alex Revell made a late aerial challenge on Paul Wotton that saw him pick up only his second caution of the season. Andres Gurrieri then had the Pilgrims’ first chance of the game, however, his shot from just outside the area flew over the bar.

Two more yellow cards soon followed for the Millers as Kieran Agard and Kari Arnason both found themselves in the book for poor challenges on Gurrieri and Bhasera with Rotherham struggling to get a grip on a scrappy game.

The hosts then came close to taking the lead in the 25th minute when Paris Cowan-Hall’s chip evaded the Millers’ defence before the on-rushing Scott Shearer beat Gurrieri to the ball to ensure that the score stayed at 0-0.

The tide, however, began to swing Rotherham’s way and after Kieran Agard had earnt the Millers a free-kick 25 yards from goal, Michael O’Connor saw his swirling effort stunningly saved.

Lee Frecklington then had Rotherham’s best chance of the half in the 44th minute, when he flicked on Ben Pringle’s cross only to see a another astounding save from the Pilgrims’ number one, Jake Cole.


Half-time: Plymouth Argyle 0-0 Rotherham United

The Millers began the second-half, much as they had ended the first and came close to opening the scoring from a Kari Arnason throw-in. The Icelandic midfielder’s long throw was met by the head of Alex Revell who played a quick one-two with Kieran Agard, before seeing his effort fly just past the post.

Kieran Agard then had a chance of his own just minutes later, when he headed Ben Pringle’s cross wide from only 10-yards out. His golden chance would come later in the game.

The hosts, however, started to pull themselves back into the game and ex-Miller Reuben Reid saw his headed opportunity fly just past the post in the 54th minute.

The forward was involved again just minutes later after Bhasera raced down the flanks before whipping in a cross that was cleverly dummied by Gurrieri. The ball then fell to Reid, however, with the goal gaping, he fired over from just over 12-yards out; another golden opportunity gone.

This would prove costly for the hosts, and in the 75th minute the deadline was broken. A deep Joe Skarz free-kick was nodded into the path of Agard by Johnny Mullins, and the Millers’ forward tapped home from close range to send the travelling support wild. Not for the first time this season, a single Kieran Agard goal would prove enough to separate the sides.

The hosts fought back valiantly though and a number of chances followed after the opening goal.

The first chance for Argyle came after a neat touch from Ronan Murray set up Conor Hourihane. The centre-back, however, could not supply a finish and his effort went past the post after a sliced shot.

Hourihane then had his second chance in a matter of minutes when the ball fell to him in a similar position to the first oppurtunity. His shot had power this time around, however, the ball flew harmlessly over the crossbar.

The Pilgrims continued to bombard the Millers’ 18-yard box and chance after chance fell to the players in green and white. Max Blanchard had the most notable opportunity, however, his shot failed to challenge Scott Shearer and the Millers held on for an invaluable three points.


Full-time: Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Rotherham United



Rotherham: Shearer, Mullins, Davis, Morgan, Skarz, Agard, O’Connor, Arnason, Frecklington, (Ridehalgh 87), Pringle, Revell (Odejayi 90)

Unused: Warrington, Tonge, Ainsworth, Nardiello, Noble

Plymouth: Cole, Blanchard, Branston, Hourihane, Cowane-Hall (Murray 51), Bhasera, Wotton, Nelson, (Chadwick 79), Bryan, Reid, (Harvey 81) Gurrieri

Unused: Gilmartin, Berry, Young, Charles


Attendance: 10,648

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Match Report: Rotherham United 2-1 Fleetwood Town

Rotherham United secured a second consecutive win after Kieran Agard’s 62nd minute goal was enough to sink the seasiders of Fleetwood Town.

Daniel Nardiello opened the scoring with his 19th goal of the season before Fleetwood's David Ball equalised after six minutes had been played. The game, however, would be decided on the hour mark when Ben Pringle’s shot was deflected into the path of Agard who simply couldn’t miss.

After the 4-1 demolition of Exeter City on Tuesday, Steve Evans stuck with almost the same starting eleven to face Fleetwood. He did, however, make one change with Dale Tonge making way for the recently suspended Johnny Mullins who would once again take up the captain’s armband.

The first goal of the game came in just the third minute when an attempted clearance from the Cod Army’s ‘keeper fell straight to Daniel Nardiello who skilfully controlled the ball before volleying past the outstretched hand of Scott Davies. The ball settled into the bottom left corner of the net to the crowd’s delight, however, the number 17’s celebrations were muted as a late tackle from a Fleetwood defender left the Millers’ talisman injured.

Fleetwood’s first opportunity of the game came just a minute after the opening goal, when Junior Brown took on a tame shot that settled into the palms of Scott Shearer. This would, however, prove not to be Brown’s only involvement in the game.

With six minutes gone, ex-Miller Gareth Evans proved too much to handle for Kari Arnason, and after beating the Iceland international for pace, Evans proceeded to play a dangerous ball across the box. The cross fell to Junior Brown who, for the second time, fluffed his lines. The Millers, however, failed to clear the danger and David Ball calmly stroked home from the penalty spot to level the score at 1-1.

Following the Cod Army’s celebrations, Daniel Nardiello was substituted and replaced by Lee Frecklington, who took his position in the centre of midfield. This also meant that Kieran Agard was to be pushed up top to play alongside Alex Revell.

The visitors now had the momentum behind them and a number of chances soon followed. The first of which coming immediately after the goal, with another David Ball effort seeing the Millers’ defence all at sea, however, the danger was eventually cleared.

The next Fleetwood chance came directly from a corner when Gareth Evans whipped the ball across the box only to see his effort thwarted by the Millers ‘keeper Scott Shearer.

The first yellow card of the game went the Cod Army’s way in the 27th minute, when Jamie McGuire unfairly challenged Michael O’Connor deep in the Millers’ half to concede a free-kick. The kick was taken by Shearer and, resulting from the following run of play, Kieran Agard fired just wide of the target.

In the 34th minute a free-kick was awarded when Lee Frecklington angrily brought down Jamie McGuire. Ex-Miller Gareth Evans once again stepped up for the set piece, however, he failed to trouble the Rotherham number one and his shot fired over the bar.

The Millers’ chance to challenge from a set piece came in the 42nd minute when Michael O’Connor was brought down by Paul McKenna in a dangerous area. The Northern Irishman pulled himself up only to see his menacing strike fire just past the post.

With half-time now only minutes away, the Millers would have once last chance to score a second goal before the break. The chance fell to Ben Pringle when a Kari Arnason throw-in evaded the majority of the Fleetwood defence. However, the Rotherham number 15 fired high over the crossbar to see the scores level at half-time.


Half-time: Rotherham United 1 -1 Fleetwood Town

After the break, the Rotherham dominance became clear to see and following a chance for Junior Brown the Millers began to push forward. Appeals for a penalty were soon waved away when Alex Revell fell to the ground after being tripped by Jamille Matt in the early stages of the second-half.

Michael O’Connor then had two chances to score the Millers’ second, however, both of his right-footed strikes flew harmlessly over the bar much to the home fans’ disappointment. Millers’ fans were soon cursing their luck again as Alex Revell’s toe-pocked shot rolled just past the post after Shaun Beeley’s backwards header left Fleetwood ‘keeper Scott Davies stranded.

Then, in the 61st minute, Johnny Mullins tried his luck with a looping header from a Ben Pringle cross. However, his effort was once again cleared off the line leaving the Millers players bemused as to how they hadn’t scored a second.

The winner came just a minute later when Ben Pringle’s shot was deflected into the path of Kieran Agard, who took a touch before hammering home his third league goal of the season to secure a crucial three points.

The Millers didn’t sit back after the goal though, and went close to a third on a number of occasions. In the 65th minute Lee Frecklington’s right footed shot was cleared off the line before Kari Arnason went close with a header from an inswinging O’Connor cross.

Despite the chances, the third goal never quite came and the Cod Army almost shocked the Millers faithful with a speedy counter attack in the 84th minute. Andrew Mangan created space for himself before shooting juts wide into the side netting.


Full-time: Rotherham United 2 -1 Fleetwood Town



Rotherham: Shearer, Mullins, Arnason, Morgan, Skarz, Agard (Ainsworth 84), O’Connor, Noble, Pringle, Revell (Odejayi 90+1), Nardiello (Frecklington 8)

Unused: Warrington, Tonge, Davis, Ridehalgh

Fleetwood: Davies, Beeley (Nicholson 83), Matt, Brown, Goodall, McLaughlin, McGuire (Fountaine 90), Ball, Edwards, Evans (Mangan 76), McKenna

Unused: Lucas, Barry, Crowther, Atkinson


Attendance: 7360 (201)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Match Report: Rotherham United 4-1 Exeter City

Rotherham United firmly moved themselves back into the fight for automatic promotion with a convincing 4-1 victory over play-off chasers Exeter City on Tuesday night.

Ahead of what Steve Evans billed as ‘the most important game of the season’ the Millers made three changes to their starting line-up. The most notable being the return of top-scorer Daniel Nardiello, who took his place upfront against his former club, the Grecians. This saw a return to the bench for ex-Aldershot loanee Lionel Ainsworth, after being substituted at half-time during Rotherham’s 2-1 defeat to Morecambe on Saturday.  

Dale Tonge also found himself back in the starting eleven after Welshman Mark Bradley had started Saturday’s game at the Globe Arena. The move didn’t come as a surprise, however, with his imminent return to the side proving too much to start two games in a row.  

The final change for Rotherham came with David Noble replacing suspended captain Johnny Mullins, whose position at centre back was taken up by part-time defender and captain, Kari Arnason.  

The game started in the best possible fashion for the home side, as ex-Derby winger Ben Pringle ran onto Scot Bennett’s tame pass before drilling home a 25-yard shot into the bottom right corner of Artur Krysiak’s net. After finding himself out of favour in recent games, it was the perfect time for Pringle to score his ninth goal of the season.

With the confidence of the first goal behind them, the Millers’ players continued to push forward and when Kieran Agard was brought down by Pat Baldwin the first free-kick of the game was awarded. Ben Pringle stepped up, looking for his second goal of the game. However, his shot from the edge of the box was cleared with reasonable ease by the Exeter defence.

The first corner kick of the game was awarded just two minutes later when Daniel Nardiello’s attempted cross was knocked out of play by the Grecians’ number three, Craig Woodman. The corner was then taken by Michael O’Connor, who curled the ball over the top of the fully stretched Artur Kyrsiak. However, just as the ball appeared to be going in, Aaron Lawson scrambled the ball past the far post to keep the score at 1-0.

Exeter’s only real chance of the first-half came in the 14th minute when Craig Woodman tested Scott Shearer directly from a free kick. However, the ex-Crawley ‘keeper comfortably punched the ball behind for a corner kick that would be cleared by the Rotherham defence.

The Millers’ next outstanding opportunity came in the 25th minute. Michael O’Connor’s free-kick was nodded down by Craig Morgan before Kieran Agard’s close range shot was deflected wide by Aaron Dawson.

The pressure was fully on the Grecians and it was only a matter of time before Rotherham extended their lead.

The second goal finally came in the 28th minute when Ben Pringle and Daniel Nardiello combined well before the latter neatly chipped home past a helpless Krysiak to make the score 2-0 in Rotherham’s favour.

It seemed that the floodgates had now opened and the hosts added a third just two minutes later when an attempted clearance fell to Michael O’Connor who comfortably volleyed home from 30-yards out.

This would see the two sides into half-time, with the hosts comfortably and deservedly leading 3-0 at the break.


Half-time: Rotherham United 3-0 Exeter City

The second half began with a different tone as Exeter shared slightly more of the possession in the first five minutes, giving some of the away supporters hope of a comeback.

This would prove to be a false dawn, however, as in the 51st minute Rotherham scored a fourth to put the game beyond doubt. Alex Revell headed back across the box, after an attempted Exeter clearance, before Craig Morgan emphatically volleyed home to score his first for the club.

The first yellow card of the game was shown just minutes after the goal, when the Grecians’ number 25 Lawson D'Ath heavily brought down Joe Skarz much to the discontent of the Millers faithful.

With Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers in the crowd, it was no surprise to see Exeter boss Paul Tisdale bring on Rodgers’ son in the 70th minute to replace Tommy Doherty in the centre of midfield.

A number of chances soon followed for the visitors before they finally pulled back a goal after a scramble in the Millers’ box.

Confusion arose when Aaron Davies’ corner was headed downward by Danny Coles. The ball appeared to cross the line before hitting the arm of Ben Pringle, leading to calls for a penalty from some Exeter fans. However, play carried on and Jamie Cureton made sure the ball had crossed the line.

In the end the goal was awarded to Coles sparing Pringle any punishment for his goal line handball. 

The 83rd minute saw a return to action for Lee Frecklington after shaking off a virus in time to take his place on the bench. He replaced goalscorer Michael O’Connor and took his position back on the field for the first time in three matches.


Full-time: Rotherham United 4-1 Exeter City



Rotherham: Shearer, Tonge, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz, Agard (Ainsworth 73), O’Connor (Frecklington 83) Noble, Pringle, Nardiello, Revell (Odejayi 78)

Unused: Warrington, Rose, Ridehalgh, Rowe

Exeter: Krysiak, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Davies, Cureton, Doherty (Rodgers 71), Dawson (O’Flynn 46), D’Ath, Molesley (Keohane  46)

Unused: Bauza, Evans, Reid, Moore-Taylor


Attendance: 6703 (222)