Miller goal halts the Bus strike
ISHMAEL Miller boosted his hopes of securing a long-term deal at Huddersfield by striking a late leveller against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
The much-travelled 28-yearold quickly gave the visitors a more direct threat after his fellow forwards failed to get any change from the Owls defence.
And he got his reward by steering in an 89th-minute equaliser, just three minutes after fellow substitute Sergio Bus had netted his first goal for Wednesday.
And Terriers boss Chris Powell left the former Manchester City striker in no doubt of his admiration.
“I know what Ish can do and we’d like to extend his deal in the summer,” said Powell of Miller, who only signed terms until the end of the season.
“He gets on well with the rest of the players and this is his third goal. He has settled in very well here.
“It was looking like a stalemate with few chances at either end. Then Wednesday have got their goal and we needed to respond quickly which, to be fair, we did.
“Joel Lynch’s goal line clearance was exceptional and played a big role in getting us a point.”
Wednesday had more of the attacking ideas throughout but found it hard to create clear chances on a heavily sanded Hillsborough surface.
The quickest minds and feet belonged to Lewis McGugan and Caolan Lavery as the Terriers seemed content to soak up the pressure.
Lavery volleyed just over from the right side of the penalty area after 17 minutes and McGugan, who is proving a hit with Owls fans, stabbed just wide from 18 yards
Goalkeepers were rarely called upon to make direct saves although defender Joel Lynch kept Keiren Westwood’s hands warm with a left-footed shot on the half hour.
Huddersfield nearly edged in front in the 42nd minute when David Edgar didn’t get enough power in his shot and Marnick Vermijl cleared off the line.
Striker Atdhe Nuhiu then had a chance in the 51st minute when he fastened onto a pass from Kieran Lee. The unpredictable star, as ever, never quite had the ball under control and appeared to miskick past Alex Smithies. Nevertheless it took a last-gasp intervention from the scrambling Joel Lynch to deny him.
Wednesday continued to pour forward with McGugan peppering the Huddersfield area with shots, albeit all from distance.
Substitute Bus had already sent one tame ten-yard shot straight at Smithies when he appeared to have won it for Owls by scrambling home at the second attempt with four minutes remaining. But Miller, who belatedly provided the Terriers with a threat up front after Nahki Wells toiled in vain, took advantage of a knock down from Sean Scannell to grab a point after 89 minutes.
Owls manager Stuart Gray was understandably frustrated and pointed the finger of blame at his defence.
“It’s not a good goal, or a clever goal, it’s a self-inflicted blow by us,” he said.
“The ball has been punted 60 yards and you expect your defenders to deal with it. Kamil Zayatte may have been fouled but there’s no blue shirt in sight.
“They’ve come with a game plan to get five men behind the ball, but we were the team who looked like we wanted to win.”
DRIVEN HOME: Sergiu Bus thinks he has sealed Sheffield Wednesday all three points with his goal on 86 minutes
dances LATE DRAMA: Ishmael Miller