Millers suffer cup heartache....
ROTHERHAM United exited the Carabao Cup at the second round stage as Sheffield Wednesday earned a last-gasp victory at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Atdhe Nuhiu was the Owls match winner, with almost the last kick of the game, as the game looked to be heading to spot-kicks – with little to separate both sides for much of the derby encounter.
Millers chief Paul Warne retained the same starting line-up from his side’s last outing at Burton Albion eleven days ago.
Northern Ireland international Adam Thompson was named among the home substitutes just 24 hours after pen-to-paper with the Millers.
The Owls had the first sight of goal when Jacob Murphy raced down the right flank before planting a centre which was only half-cleared into the path of Joey Pelupessy, who tried his luck from distance but his effort failed to trouble the home goal.
In the Millers’ first foray of note, Freddie Ladapo’s lay-off paved the way for Clark Robertson, to swing a cross into the danger area and Ben Wiles timed his run to perfection to nod goalwards but Cameron Dawson smothered his effort.
Minutes later, Dan Barlaser floated a free-kick into the Wednesday box and Millers skipper Richard Wood got the better of his marker to meet his cross, but he was unable to direct his header towards goal.
Just before the quarter hour, Ladapo forced a corner and in a training ground move from the Millers, Barlaser skimmed a cross to the near post which was anticipated by the former Plymouth striker, who looked to carefully steer his low shot towards the near post, but the ball flew narrowly wide of the target.
Despite Rotherham having the better of the early proceedings, Michael Ihiekwe’s errant pass gave Sam Winnall the opportunity to evade the attentions of Wood before clipping a cross to the far post which Matt Olosunde was forced to head behind.
Moments later, Dominic Iorfa injected pace into a Wednesday move before floating a centre which was met by the head of Nuhiu, but his header was straight down the throat of Daniel Iversen.
In the next Owls attack, Iorfa headed wide following Murphy’s corner before Crooks and Ladapo combined smartly, at the other end, as Wiles sliced a long-range attempt across the face of the Wednesday goal.
With little to separate the sides’, Morgan Fox delivered a tantalising centre which saw Jordan Rhodes get infront of his marker to power a header towards goal but Iversen was well-positioned to snuff out the danger before Rotherham came within a whisker of the opener when a long punt forward was flicked on into the path of Ladapo, who opted to take his shot early, by toe-poking an effort which beat Dawson, but agonisingly, for the home side, the ball rolled tantalising wide of the target.
Just shy of the break, fine work from Ladapo and Olosunde presented Smith with the opportunity to strike, from just outside the box, but Dawson got his body behind his rising strike to parry the ball to safety.
Half-time- Rotherham United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0
The Millers were the quickest of the blocks at the start of the second half and Crooks got on the wrong side of the Wednesday backline to play a slide-rule ball, which looked inviting for Smith to tap home, but the home striker was unable to make a clean connection under pressure from a retreating Owls defender.
Moments later, Wood’s innocuous pass almost fell kindly for Wiles, but Iorfa struck out a timely leg to prevent him from shooting before Barlaser became the first to see yellow for a foul on halfway.
There was a moment of controversy when Crooks was down injured but Wednesday broke into the Millers box where Nuhiu bared down on goal but Iversen won the battle of wills with the Kosovan striker to block his low shot, at close quarters.
Moments later, Pelupessy became the next to see yellow for a clumsy foul on Olosunde before Wiles latched onto a loose ball to waltz into the box before forcing Dawson into a near-post save.
The Millers had a scare when sub Barry Bannan – with his first touch - delivered a delicious free-kick into the Rotherham box and Nuhiu looked well-set to head home, but Iversen superbly managed to deny him – although any goal would have been chalked off for offside.
With the game in the balance, Rotherham made a hash of a clearance and sub Kadeem Harris took advantage to deliver a centre which saw Fox rise highest at the far post, but his effort whistled harmlessly wide of the target.
Moments later, Bannan was cautioned for a cynical pull-back on Jamie Lindsay before sub Fernando Forestieri wasted a good opportunity when he blazed into the Owls contingent behind the goal, when he should have done better.
In the dying minutes, Bannan put dangerous back-to-back deliveries into the home box and Iversen punched away the first one before David Bates hooked goalwards, soon after, but the Dane ‘keeper gathered his point-blank effort on his own goal line.
However, Wednesday netted the decisive winner, deep in stoppage time, when Rotherham failed to clear the danger and Harris picked up the pieces to deliver an inviting centre into the area and with no home defender taking charge, Nuhiu fired high into the roof of the home net, from close range.
Full-time- Rotherham United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Rotherham United 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1
Teams:- Rotherham- Iversen, Wood, Vassell, Wiles, Ladapo, Barlaser (MacDonald 67), Robertson, Crooks (Lindsay 61), Ihiekwe, Olosunde, Smith (Proctor 74). Unused- Bilboe, Mattock, Thompson.
Sheffield Wed- Dawson, Fox, Rhodes, Pelupessy (Forestieri 76), Winnall (Harris 46), Thorniley, Murphy (Bannan 66), Nuhiu, Luongo, Bates, Iorfa. Unused- Jones, Lees, Baker, Grant.
Referee- C Breakspear
Attendance- 8679 (2601)