It's landlords versus tenants at Parkside on Monday (27 August 2018) when the Millers and Blues meet for the first time this season. Both teams will be smarting after exiting from the FA Cup at such an early stage and will be keen to put that disappointment behind them. Hopefully this will ensure both sets of supporters witness an entertaining afternoon.
Millers' manager James Webster has made some significant signings in the close season and judging by their emphatic opening 6-0 demolition of Dereham Town they could be a force to be reckoned with and one of the favourites to contest the promotion places this season. Last Monday they followed their league win with victory over Hanwell Town in the Velocity Trophy by 2-0. Saturday saw them go down at home to Bostik Premier side Potters Bar Town in the FA Cup Preliminary round.
Blues have also made a positive start to the league season with an opening day win at Witham Town, following that up with a draw against Canvey, and but for the heroics of visiting keeper Harry Palmer they could have recorded their second league win. Saturday in the FA cup proved to be a big disappointment, not only for the result, but the manner of defeat with a performance that fell well short of Manager Jamie Stuart's and fans' expectations.
Looking at the excellent Blues' statistics compiled by Chris Jones going back to 1976, the teams have met fourteen times with Blues winning ten, one draw and three wins to the Millers. Curiously there have only been four league meetings with Blues winning three with one draw. The corresponding fixture last year saw Blues running out 4-2 winners with goals from Joao Carlos, Kieran Bishop, Glenn Wilson and Kiernan Hughes-Mason with Michael Osei and Adam Bolle replying for the Millers. Boxing day saw the teams play out a 1-1 draw, Richard Halle netting for the Blues and Alex Stephenson grabbing an 89th minute equaliser for the Millers.
So with local bragging rights at stake, the stage is set for a keenly fought local derby which will be eagerly anticipated by supporters of both teams.