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16 September 2023 Venue John Smith's Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Reports


16 September 2023

Millers fall to derby defeat.....

Huddersfield Town claimed the White Rose bragging rights as Rotherham United made the short hop home empty-handed as goals either side of the interval put pay to their chances.

Former Millers loanee Josh Koroma came back to haunt his former club with the opener before Sorba Thomas extinguished any hopes of a comeback with a second goal with 20 minutes remaining.

The Millers made the trip to West Yorkshire in good heart following their first win of the Sky Bet Championship over Norwich City in the last game before the September international break.

Portuguese playmaker Cafu was a notable absentee at the John Smith’s Stadium after suffering an injury.

Nevertheless, boss Matt Taylor was able to call upon the services of Hakeem Odoffin, who took Cafu’s place in the heart of the Millers engine room while recent recruits Sebastian Raven and Sam Clucas – who put pen-to-paper on a deal until the end of the campaign, this week – were named in the Rotherham squad for the first time.

There were a number of familiar faces in the Town line-up. Former Millers Academy youngster Ben Wiles was among them as he lined up for the hosts in his first home game following his recent departure from the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Buoyed by a large, vocal travelling contingent, the Millers forced an early corner but nothing came out it before Thomas flashed a centre across the face of the visitors’ goal in Town’s first foray.

Minutes later, Andre Green made something out of nothing to present with Christ Tiehi with the chance to strike but the Rotherham midfielder dragged his shot wide of the home goal.

It was arguably a low key start to the Yorkshire derby but the game sprang to life when Huddersfield broke the deadlock just after the quarter hour.

The Millers were somewhat unfortunate when Cohen Bramall – in an attempt to make a timely intervention – seemed to fall over the ball, as his foot buckled in the turf. The visiting left-back was out of the action as Huddersfield continued to probe the Millers defence and the Terriers switched play to where Bramall would have been stationed and Thomas whipped in a centre and Koroma found himself on the wrong side of his marker and he kept his nerve to sweep home from close range.

In the midst of the home celebrations, Bramall was finally able to receive treatment, after which he returned to the fray.

The Millers responded positively to the setback and firstly Rathbone’s dangerous free-kick was diverted to safety by Lee Nicholls before Odoffin was almost the grateful recipient of a goalmouth scramble, but he was denied in the home box as he looked to strike.

Just before the half hour, Dexter Lembikisa clipped a cross into the danger area and Jordan Hugill managed to nip in front of two Huddersfield defenders to meet his centre but he could not direct his header goalwards.

For the hosts, Jack Rudoni and Koroma then had shots blocked from the edge of the box before Rathbone cut out the danger to deny Rudoni on the follow-up.

The Millers had a stroke of luck when firstly Thomas looked to have started and finished a move when he latched onto Wiles’ cross but he fluffed his lines just yards out with a hurried finish before Tyler Blackett did well to deny Delano Burgzorg in a one-on-one situation.

Both teams traded changes when Hugill was agonisingly close to meeting Rathbone’s cross before Koroma skipped inside Lembikisa, at the other end, but Viktor Johansson got his body behind his low shot.

In the space of a few minutes, Huddersfield had two opportunities to double their lead.

Firstly, Burgzorg picked out Wiles in space, but the Rawmarsh-born player failed to haunt his former club, when he opened up his body for the shot, in the centre of goal, but he fired wide with the goal at his mercy.

The Millers breathed another sign of relief – moments later – when Rudoni’s pass looked inch-perfect for Kian Harratt, but he failed to make a telling connection despite being just yards out.

In a lively finish to the half, Fred Onyedinma stung the palms of Nicholls with a snap effort before Huddersfield managed to scramble the ball to safety.  

Half-time: Huddersfield Town 1 Rotherham United 0  

Now attacking their set of fans behind the goal, Rotherham almost gave them something to cheer almost immediately when Rathbone’s near post corner was met sweetly by the head of Onyedinma, who powered a point-blank effort which Nicholls did superbly to palm away one-handed – although the ball agonisingly floated over the attentions of an on-rushing Hugill.

In the next few seconds, Odoffin kept the ball alive to dink a cross which Onyedinma – off-balance – could not direct goalwards.  

The Millers had noticeably upped the tempo but it was Huddersfield, who threatened next, when Koroma fired straight into the grateful hands of Johansson following good work by Rudoni.

Taylor’s side were almost punished when Rathbone hesitated momentarily and his old sparring partner, Wiles, nipped his pocket to give Burgzorg, a glimpse of goal, but the Millers skipper redeemed himself by forcing the home striker to fire over.

Seconds later, Rudoni nodded wide from Thomas’ centre before Cameron Humphreys became the first to see yellow for hauling down Burgzorg.

Burgzorg missed a gilt-edged chance to give Huddersfield some much needed breathing space when Koroma and Rudoni combined smartly to find him – just yards out – but he bizarrely failed to trouble Johansson from close range.

Minutes later, Thomas volleyed a cross into the box and the home fans were ready for the net to burst but again Harratt failed to make it count when he blasted wide when it looked easier to score.

It was hoped that the Millers may punish the home side’s wastefulness in front of goal but Warnock’s side finally made it two with 20 minutes to go when Koroma turned from scorer to creator with a lovely assist and Thomas also reversed roles from the opening goal, when he calmly picked his spot with a calm finish giving Johansson no chance.  

The Millers now had a mountain to climb and Nicholls plucked Bramall’s free kick out of the sky before Taylor made a triple substitution.

Two of those replacements almost made an immediate impact when Clucas showed fleet of foot to work a crossing position and he duly obliged to find Tom Eaves, unmarked, but he headed a tame effort straight into the hands of Nicholls.   

Salt was almost rubbed into Rotherham wounds when sub Brahima Diarra fired wide before Rudoni missed another chance to make it three late on.   

Full-time: Huddersfield Town 2 Rotherham United 0  

Huddersfield Town 2

Rotherham United 0

Teams: Huddersfield- Nicholls, Ruffels, Pearson, Helik, Hogg (Edmonds-Green 55), Burgzorg (Headley 77) Rudoni, Koroma (Diarra 77), Thomas (Kasumu 87), Harratt (Hudlin 77), Wiles. Unused- Maxwell, Jones, Jackson, Nakayama.

Rotherham- Johansson, Lembikisa, Bramall, Blackett, Hugill (Eaves 75), Green (Nombe 75), Onyedinma, Rathbone (Clucas 75), Odoffin (Appiah 55), Humphreys, Tiehi. Unused- Phillips, Kelly, Revan, McGuckin, Douglas.

Referee- J Simpson



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