WILY WARNOCK’S DERBY DAY JOY

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James Owens

TAC­TI­CAL nous won the day, ac­cord­ing to Neil Warnock, af­ter watch­ing Rother­ham bag an­other three pre­cious points with vic­tory over South York­shire ri­vals Sh­effield Wed­nes­day.

Wed­nes­day were with­out top scorer Fer­nando Forestieri af­ter his con­tro­ver­sial dis­missal at Hull last week, and were un­able to can­cel out Matt Der­byshire’s first-half strike de­spite see­ing a goal of their own dis­al­lowed and dom­i­nat­ing af­ter the break.

For­mer Sh­effield United boss Warnock could not dis­guise his de­light as Rother­ham got one over the Owls and made it two wins from two.

“You don’t over­come your ri­vals ev­ery day of the week. So it is spe­cial, be­cause they’re not a bad side, which makes it bet­ter for me. Tac­ti­cally we got it spot on,” he said.

“Other than when they hit the bar, I can’t re­mem­ber any­thing too clear-cut for Lee Camp to deal with, whereas we had three or four great chances to in­crease the lead with just a lit­tle bit more qual­ity.”

The vis­i­tors went ahead on 20 min­utes when a quick ex­change of passes be­tween Frazer Richard­son and Lee Freck­ling­ton ended with the lat­ter send­ing an invit­ing ball across the six­yard box. Wed­nes­day’s back line failed to clear, leav­ing Der­byshire with the sim­ple task of slid­ing the ball home at the far post.

The Owls thought they had lev­elled a quar­ter of an hour later when Ai­den McGeady’s shot de­flected off Michael Turner on the line and into the back of the net. Hills­bor­ough roared only for the lines­man to flag Turner off­side, prompt­ing ref­eree Chris Ka­vanagh to rule the goal out.

Danny Ward should have ex­tended the Millers’ lead six min­utes be­fore the break when he ar­rived at the near post to meet a de­liv­ery from his name­sake Grant Ward, but flashed his fin­ish wide.

And Wed­nes­day came within inches of an equaliser shortly af­ter, when Jack Hunt ad­vanced onto a lay-off from Ross Wal­lace to strike the ball first time, fir­ing nar­rowly past the far post.

The se­cond half proved to be oneway traf­fic as the hosts took con­trol. Ross Wal­lace saw a sweetly struck 20yard ef­fort fly up off the bar five min­utes af­ter the restart, while half-time sub­sti­tute Lu­cas Joao should have done bet­ter with a vol­ley shortly af­ter the hour.

At­dhe Nuhiu headed just wide at a cor­ner shortly af­ter Joao’s miss, and Wal­lace went close again 16 min­utes from time when Camp was wrong­footed from a low free-kick that took a de­flec­tion off the wall. The Millers keeper man­aged to block the shot with an out­stretched leg, and did well again ten min­utes later when smoth­er­ing the ball as Gary Hooper looked to round him.

The vis­i­tors held on for just their third away win of the sea­son while pro­mo­tion hope­fuls Wed­nes­day are now with­out a win in four games.

They re­tained their place in the top six on goal dif­fer­ence how­ever, and head coach Car­los Car­val­hal was de­ter­mined not to fault his play­ers.

“It’s a game that was a lit­tle strange,” Car­val­hal re­flected. “I’m dis­ap­pointed with the score, but I’m not dis­ap­pointed with my play­ers, be­cause from the first se­cond to the last they fought to try to win the game.”

But the Por­tuguese coach be­moaned the de­ci­sion to dis­al­low McGeady’s first-half strike.

“I saw the dis­al­lowed goal back, and it was not off­side. Turner was on the line along with the de­fender,” he added.

“I don’t want to talk too much about the ref­er­ees. I pre­fer to talk about foot­ball, but in the last four games I have been talk­ing too much about the ref­er­ees.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

MATT FIN­ISH: Matt Der­byshire is con­grat­u­lated af­ter scor­ing the win­ner

STAR MAN GRANT WARD Rotherh

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