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Match Reports

REPORT | ROTHERHAM 0 V 1 SHEFF WED

2 March 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | ROTHERHAM 0 V 1 SHEFF WED

2 March 2024

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Millers lose to local rivals....

Rotherham United’s Sky Bet Championship season took another cruel twist when local rivals Sheffield Wednesday ran out winners at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The Millers are having a difficult campaign in England’s second tier and any lingering hopes of survival took another blow when Ike Ugbo netted the Owls’ second-half winner.   

The Millers made two changes to their starting line-up following their narrow reversal at the hands of Queens Park Rangers last time out.

Experienced operator Lee Peltier returned to the Millers rearguard while taking on the skipper’s armband, in the absence of Sean Morrison.

Northern Ireland international Shane Ferguson made his first start of the campaign following a long spell out with injury.

Cameron Humphreys and Sam Clucas shrugged off injury concerns sustained at Loftus Road to take their starting berths.

The AESSEAL New York Stadium was a cauldron of noise, prior to kick off, but it was Wednesday, who had the first sight of goal when Liam Palmer struck a snap shot which was parried by Viktor Johansson.

Johansson was called into action, just seconds later, to punch Will Vaulks’ centre to safety.

The visitors had made a fast start and Anthony Musaba, who had looked lively in the early stages, sped away from Hakeem Odoffin to race into the box before pulling the ball back to Ugbo, who looked a certain scorer, just yards out, but Humphreys came to Rotherham’s rescue, with a goal line clearance.

Minutes later, Owls skipper Barry Bannan took aim with a fierce left-footed strike from the edge of the box but Peltier put his body on the line to block his goalbound effort.

The Millers were weathering an early storm and Vaulks almost came back to haunt his former employers with an audacious free-kick – when he opted to go for goal rather than put the ball in the box and Johansson, who was momentarily caught out, was forced to scramble across his goal, and snuff out the danger.

The visitors thought they had been duly rewarded for their fast start with the opening goal but any visiting celebrations were cut short by an offside award.

Ian Poveda had his heels clipped by Humphreys and Vaulks planted a free-kick into the danger area and Akin Famewo emerged from the masse of bodies to head home, but his joy was short-lived as the assistant referee had already flagged.

Minutes later, Famewo had a legitimate chance when he met another Vaulks’ centre but he bizarrely headed away from goal, from just yards out, when in reality it looked easier to score.

The Millers goal was living a charmed life and the Owls threatened again when Poveda embarked on a mazy run from the touchline before firing a left-footed effort which grazed the far post.  

The home side temporarily got a foothold in the clash and Tom Eaves almost got on the end of a Peter Kioso cross before Christ Tiehi volleyed harmlessly over in the next phase of play.  

Normal service was resumed when Vaulks injected pace into an Owls counter and Poveda slid in Musaba, whose shot took a nick off a retreating Millers defender, and his rising effort cleared the home crossbar.

From the resultant corner, Marvin Johnson had a shot blocked before Vaulks tried his luck from the rebound but it flew narrowly wide.

The Millers were struggling to find any rhythm and Odoffin became the first to see yellow for a foul on Famewo.

In the last noteworthy act of the half, Johnson failed to find the target with a volleyed effort from Palmer’s clipped cross.

Half-time: Rotherham United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

There was a slow start to the second half by both teams before Peltier – in his last involvement - lumped a ball forward and Eaves was pulled back by Pol Valentin in the box, but the referee waved away home appeals for a spot kick.

The Millers were making a better fist of things in the second 45 and after Ugbo was cautioned for a show of dissent, Eaves presented Sam Nombe with the chance to strike, and he duly obliged, with a lovely long-range effort, which narrowly cleared the visitors goal.

Tensions were raised when firstly Andy Rinomhota and Johnson clashed before former Millers striker Michael Smith – who netted a brace in the reverse fixture at Hillsborough – was introduced into the fray.

The Owls, who had just made a triple substitution, netted the decisive winner when they probed the Millers box for a spell before working an opening on the right flank and with subs Dominic Iorfa and Djeidi Gassama involved in the build-up, Ugbo kept up his rich vein of form in front of goal by sweeping home.

The Millers made a triple switch of their own with Cafu, Jordan Hugill and Charlie Wyke entering the proceedings.

Two of the substitutes combined when Cafu struck a long-range free-kick which Hugill attempted to turn goalwards but he could not control his effort, and the ball ballooned over the bar.

The Millers then came close to the equaliser with just over ten minutes to go when they kept the ball alive in the visitors box with Wyke and Hugill involved and the ball fell invitingly for Rinomhota, who drilled a low effort, which flew past James Beadle, as it looked to be heading into the bottom corner of the net but Bannan preserved the visitors’ slender lead with a hooked goal line clearance.   

Smith incurred the wrath of the referee following a clumsy clash with Odoffin, and was cautioned in the process, before Johnson blasted wide and not very handsome following a visitors’ corner.

In stoppage time, Wednesday came close to rubbing salt into Rotherham wounds with a second goal when Johnson delivered a cross which was met by the head of sub Mallik Wilks, but his effort hit the post before falling to safety.

Full-time: Rotherham United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Rotherham United 0

Sheffield Wednesday 1

Teams: Rotherham- Johansson, Clucas (Appiah 81), Eaves (Hugill 67), Rinomhota, Ferguson (Cafu 67), Peltier (Lindsay 53), Odoffin, Humphreys, Tiehi, Nombe (Wyke 67), Kioso. Unused- Phillips, Seriki.

Sheffield Weds- Beadle, Palmer, Vaulks (Smith 63), Bannan, Ugbo (Wilks 90+1), Valentin (Iorfa 63), Johnson, Ihiekwe, Famedo, Poveda (Gassama 63), Musaba (Diaby 80). Unused- Dawson, Diaby, James, Cadamarteri.

Referee- D Webb

Attendance- 11541 (2100)

 

 


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