Millers Lose Out In Local Derby
New York Stadium
4 April 2017 7.45pm
Attendance: 10, 669 (2,573 Owls)
After relegation was confirmed at the weekend Rotherham United couldn't give their fans much to cheer about this evening losing two-nil at home to local rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
The Millers started well and for the first quarter of an hour or so had the upper hand and could have been ahead when a long throw from Will Vaulks found captain of the day Danny Ward in the area only for Kieren Westwood in the visitors goal to get hold of the ball and when a curling shot from Darnell Fisher went into the box only some quick thinking from the Owls 'keeper saw him get to the ball before the Millers striker. But on fourteen minutes it should have been one-nil after some superb work from first Vaulks and then Carlton Morris saw him get the ball to Jon Taylor only for the winger to curl the ball agonisingly wide of the post. Minutes later the Owls went ahead when some nice movement from Ross Wallace saw him get to the edge of the area a slip in Steven Fletcher who put the ball into the net. A suspicion of offside at the time has been confirmed by TV camera's but, to be fair, neither player should have been given that much space. The hosts tried to get straight back into the game with Ward who won a corner which was easily taken in the air by Westwood. On the half-hour mark a super ball from Joe Newell who easily got by Glen Loovens but the ball to Taylor was blocked by a Wednesday defender. Time and time former Miller Jack Hunt was finding space down the wing causing problems and twice Taylor had to be on his mettle to tackle Adam Reach before the ball got to him. A Ward free-kick curled round the wall but was saved by Westwood before the 'keeper did well to get a hand to a corner before he saved from Richard Wood. With three minutes before half-time the Millers should have equalised after some good work and a superb cross from Ward found Morris but he headed straight into the arms of Westwood. Two minutes later the Owls made it two-nil after a cross from Hunt saw Fletcher climb above Fisher and head his and the visitors second goal sending the two and a half thousand Owls fans barmy.
In the opening minute of the second half Steven Fletcher could have had a hat-trick when a Richard Wood header fell into his path but the defender got back to block the shot before Lewis Price in the Millers goal got a hand to a shot from Ross Wallace and from the resulting corner saved from the Scottish winger. Only some good defending from Semi Ajayi stopped Adam Reach in his tracks before the Millers went down the other end with Joe Mattock who saw his shot from distance deflect off a Wednesday defender making it easy for Kieren Westwood to save. Rotherham thought they should have had a penalty just before the hour mark when Wood was hauled down in the box but Tony Harrington wasn't interested. The first substitution of the night saw Gary Hooper replaced by Jose Semedo with the first yellow of the night going to Will Vaulks a foul on Barry Bannan. With twenty minutes to go Price was in the right place at the right time to save from Jordan Rhodes. A huge round of applause went round three sides of the stadium when Jonson Clarke-Harris, out since pre-season, come on to replace Jon Taylor which was shortly followed by the Owls replacing Steven Fletcher with Atdhu Nuhiu. Wood got his head to a ball before Nuhui could get to it. Joe Newell was the next player to see yellow for a poor challenge on Jack Hunt. Anthony Forde replaced Carlton Morris for the home side while Wednesday brought on Sam Winnall for Rhodes and minutes later Richie Smallwood made way for Alex Bray. In the first minute of time added on Vaulks tried his luck from twenty-five yards out but saw the ball go just past the post before a pass along the line from Clarke-Harris was well kept in by Forde but his cross didn't find anyone in the area before he got the ball again but put the ball wide.
It wasn't a good performance from either side this evening and once the Owls went ahead we had little to offer - time and time again Hunt and Bannan were left free. We really need to learn how to mark AND take our chances (how many seasons have I been saying that?)