Rotherham United were left cursing their luck, as a combination of the woodwork and fine home goalkeeping, kept them at bay, as they had to settle for a share of the spoils, against Yorkshire and fellow relegation rivals, Huddersfield Town.
At the John’s Smith Stadium, Warne’s side had the better of the exchanges, for large parts of the White Rose derby, but Matt Crooks and Lewis Wing were denied by the post and bar, respectively. Ryan Schofield pulled off a top-drawer save to deny Wing before Ben Wiles missed a gilt-edged chance, late on.
For the short hop to West Yorkshire, Warne made two changes to his starting line-up following their last outing on Easter Monday.
Experienced defender Richard Wood returned to the heart of the Rotherham rearguard and took the skipper’s armband in the process, after his one match ban, while American flyer Matt Olosunde was recalled, following injury.
Warne reverted to the 3-5-1-1 formation, which had served the Millers well earlier in the season, with Crooks asked to play just behind lone frontman Michael Smith, on his old stomping ground.
The Millers made the early running when Michael Ihiekwe was felled by Fraizer Campbell near the touchline and Wing planted a near post free-kick which gave Wes Harding, a sight of goal, but the Jamaican international was still waiting for his first Rotherham goal, as he failed to make a telling connection.
Minutes later, Harding launched a long throw into the box which was turned behind before Wing fizzed the resultant corner underneath the nose of Schofield, who managed to parry the ball clear, under pressure from Smith, but a foul was awarded to the home ‘keeper.
Just past the quarter hour, Wing showed fleet of foot to work a shooting position from just outside the box, but Schofield correctly guessed his intentions to snuff out the danger before Rotherham missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring, in their next attack.
Wing floated an inch-perfect ball into the channel and Wiles showed his marker, a clean pair of heels, to burst into the home box, and the Rawmarsh-born youngster kept his nerve, to pull the ball back into the advancing run of Crooks, who looked a likely scorer, but his low effort cannoned against the outside of the post, before falling to safety.
The miss seemed to spark Huddersfield into life and Campbell delivered a tantalising centre into the danger area and Yaya Sanogo looked on-course to tap home, but Harding came out of nowhere to turn the cross behind.
Moments later, Rotherham failed to clear the danger and Richard Keogh pounced on the loose ball to fire goalwards, but Viktor Johansson showed good reflexes, to keep the ball out, by hook or by crook.
Both sides traded chances when Sanogo fired wide from close range following Juninho Bacuna’s cross before Jamie Lindsay came close to intercepting Lewis O’Brien’s back header but Schofield was quick off his line to hack clear.
The Millers had a good spell, just prior to the break, when Keogh in avertedly headed behind, as Smith aimed to meet Ihiekwe’s cross, before Lindsay tried his luck from distance and Schofield was forced to scramble across his goal, as it whizzed narrowly wide.
Wiles, who was arguably the standout performer in the first 45, ghosted past the attentions of Bacuna to force his way into the box, once again, but no Rotherham runner was able to take advantage of the situation before Ihiekwe headed wide, in the last act of the half.
Half-time: Huddersfield Town 0 Rotherham United 0
The Millers were quick out of the blocks, at the start of the second half, and they came within an assistant referee’s flag, of making the breaking the deadlock.
Wing clipped an inviting ball forward and Ihiekwe got on the wrong side of his marker, to knock the ball on and with the Terriers defence at sixes and sevens, Smith became the next to threaten the goal before Crooks finally pounced on the home hesitancy, by volleying home, but any Rotherham celebrations were soon curtailed, by the offside award.
Moments later, Wing gave Schofield the eyes, with a long-range effort, but the home stopper gathered his opportunistic effort from distance before Wiles showed his defensive instincts to bring a lightning home counter-attack to a halt, at the other end.
Wiles was proving to be the Terriers tormentor-in-chief, and Duane Holmes took the ball off his toe before he could get his shot away, before the player, who recently celebrated his 100th game in a Rotherham shirt, had the home side in a daze, with a lovely run and cross, which agonisingly evaded his team-mates.
The Millers were enjoying their best spell of the game, but again the woodwork came to Huddersfield’s rescue, when Wing tried his luck with a long-range free-kick, but with Schofield beaten, the ball smashed against the top of the crossbar.
There was then a moment of controversy when Harding punted a ball into the box and Crooks knocked the ball on into the path of Wood, who was bundled over by Mahamadou-Naby Sarr in the box, but the referee waved away vehement Rotherham appeals for a spot-kick.
Warne’s side were going for the jugular and Crooks had a shot deflected behind before Wood headed behind, from Wing’s deep corner.
In a rare Terriers foray, Johansson was called into the action to smother Holmes’ low shot before Wing became the next to threaten the home goal, with a rasping shot, which brought a superb reflex save from Schofield.
In a nerve-jangling end to the game, Johansson did well to deny Sanogo before Rotherham squandered a late chance, to claim a deserved victory, when Smith superbly judged an awkward bounce to dart forward before pulling a ball back into the path of Crooks and Wiles, but the latter failed to crown a superb individual performance, when he screwed his effort wide, despite having the goal at his mercy.
Full-time: Huddersfield Town 0 Rotherham United 0
Huddersfield- Schofield, Pipa (Thomas 52), Hogg, Bacuna (Mbenza 82), O’Brien, Holmes (High 82), Keogh, Campbell (Ward 74), Sarr, Edmonds-Green, Sanogo. Unused- Pereira, Stearman, Aarons, Brown, Rowe.
Rotherham- Johansson, Wing, Wood, Wiles, Lindsay (Barlaser 81), Harding, Ihiekwe, A MacDonald, Olosunde (Giles 73), Smith, Crooks. Unused- Blackman, S MacDonald, Jozefzoon, Ogbene, Sadlier, Ladapo, Hirst.
Referee- L Mason