REPORT | Wolves 1 v 0 Rotherham
ANDREAS Weimann's strike at the end of the first half proved the difference as Rotherham United returned north empty-handed following a narrow defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Millers made the early running but they failed to make it count as Danny Ward squandered two one-on-one opportunities and despite 'keeper Lewis Price denying Helder Costa from the spot, the Millers hopes were dealt a decisive blow just before the break when Weimann pounced.
In a low key second half, Rotherham almost grabbed just their second away point of the season, with the last kick of the game, but Semi Ajayi fluffed his lines when he hooked an effort over from close range.
Following their home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in midweek, the Millers made two changes to their starting line-up for the visit to Molineux.
The visitors were given a boost as top-scorer Ward shrugged off injury to lead the Rotherham frontline while Joe Newell was asked to provide the ammunition from the visitors engine room as Jerry Yates and Jon Taylor had to settle for places on the substitutes’ bench.
The home side were quick out of the blocks and Ben Marshall’s cross saw Kortney Hause emerge from a ruck of bodies to plant a header, which was deflected over before Marshall swung a tantalising corner into the danger area which caused havoc in the visitors’ box but fortunately for the Millers, the ball dribbled into the grateful hands of Price.
In their first foray of note, the Millers missed a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring when Romain Saiss' misplaced ball was straight into the path of Tom Adeyemi, whose slide-rule pass put Ward in the clear but Carl Ikeme won the battle of wills with the Rotherham hitman when he stood up tall to block his goalbound effort.
Moments later, Hause rose highest to cut out Anthony Forde's inviting free-kick before Ward volleyed goalwards but his effort lacked power as Ikeme comfortably snuffed out the danger before Adeyemi had a shot blocked en-route to goal, in the Millers' next attack, following good work by Will Vaulks in the build-up.
The Millers were looking the most likely, and in a carbon-copy of the earlier effort, Richie Smallwood broke up a Wolves attack to give Adeyemi the opportunity to find Ward, who bisected the Wolves defence to bare down on goal but Ikeme, once again held his nerve, to deny the Millers' frontman with a smart, reflex save on the edge of the box.
At the other end, Marshall swung over another inviting centre which saw Saiss nod the ball goalwards but a retreating Millers defender managed to scramble the ball to safety before Wolves had the perfect chance to break the deadlock, just past the half-hour mark, when Joe Mattock looked to usher the ball into touch before being stripped of possession by Costa and the Rotherham full-back hauled over the Portuguese winger in the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Costa dusted himself down to take the resultant spot-kick but Price correctly dived to his left to bravely keep out his left-footed effort before Newell hacked the ball to safety.
However, Rotherham failed to heed the warning as Wolves broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time when Marshall's through ball saw Weimann shrug off the attentions of Semi Ajayi before keeping his cool to round Price before sliding the ball into the unguarded net.
Weimann went from hero to villain, just seconds later, when he flew into a wild challenge on Vaulks, which saw the Austrian yellow-carded, in the last action of the half.
Half-time- Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Rotherham United 0
The hosts had the first sight of goal in the second half when Costa's stinging drive had Price at full stretch before Weimann pounced on the rebound to give Costa another opportunity to strike but Mattock put in a timely tackle to prevent him shooting goalwards.
Following a slow start to the half, caretaker boss Paul Warne made a double substitution as Taylor and Yates entered the fray with Newell and Smallwood replaced.
Just past the hour mark, Conor Coady's pass paved the way for Costa to clip a cross which looked inch-perfect for the onrushing Dave Edwards but the Welsh international failed to make a clean connection as the ball found its way to the well-stationed Price on his own goal line.
In a rare Rotherham attack, Forde ghosted in from the touchline to curl a delightful centre which found the head of Yates, but the Rotherham youngster was unable to control his header as it cleared the crossbar.
Sub Jon Dadi Bodvarsson almost made an immediate impression following his introduction from the bench when he showed Aimen Belaid a quick pair of heels to work a shooting position but his rising effort whistled past the visitors goal.
With time running out for the Millers, Taylor delivered a deep corner which was met on the volley by club skipper Lee Frecklington, who ghosted in at the far post, but he bizarrely volleyed the ball back to Taylor and the ex-Peterborough winger fizzed an inviting centre which skimmed off the head of the retreating Hause, but the ball flew wide of the home goal.
In the dying minutes, Price dived smartly to his left to deny sub Morgan Gibbs-White's low effort before Rotherham's frustration boiled over when Mattock became the next to see yellow for a late tackle to prevent the home side breaking away on the counter.
In the last action of the game, the Millers squandered an opportunity to grab a share of the spoils when Vaulks delivered a superb centre which was smartly flicked on by Yates into the path of Ajayi, who somehow spooned the ball over from close range, despite having the goal at his mercy.
Full-time- Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Rotherham United 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Rotherham United 0
Teams:- Wolves- Ikeme, Edwards, Saville, Coady. Costa (Bodvarsson 66), Price (Gibbs-White 82), Saiss, Hause, Williamson, Weimann, Marshall (Cavaleiro 85). Unused- Lonergan, Doherty, Batth, Dicko.
Rotherham- Price, Mattock, Vaulks, Forde (Bray 83), Frecklington, Ward, Ajayi, Newell (Taylor 57), Adeyemi, Belaid, Smallwood (Yates 57). Unused- Warren, Dawson, Purrington, Bilboe.
Referee- Jeremy Simpson