Fletcher’s Mr Fix-It as Owls swoop

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James Valen­tine

REF­EREE Tim Robin­son was the cen­tre of at­ten­tion as Rother­ham were left seething by two de­ci­sions – though care­taker boss Paul Warne took an hon­est view.

The Millers looked set to claim a well-de­served point and ex­tend their un­beaten run at the home of South York­shire ri­vals Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, un­til Robin­son pointed to the spot in in­jury time, with Steven Fletcher con­vert­ing a late penalty.

It was a con­tentious de­ci­sion, to say the least, with Richard Wood see­ing red af­ter be­ing ad­judged to have fouled Por­tuguese for­ward Lu­cas Joao.

And to top it off, it came af­ter Robin­son in­ex­pli­ca­bly ruled out a first-half Tom Adeyemi header for an in­fringe­ment that no one else saw.

Warne, who is set to take the reins un­til the end of the sea­son, said: “My hon­est opin­ion is the penalty is a penalty, there is con“ tact from Woody on the player, it is min­i­mal con­tact.

“It was more a case of the player win­ning the penalty. Would I be happy if my striker did that in the 93rd minute to win the game? Yes I would.

“But I don’t know how that is a send­ing off, I am go­ing to speak to him about that. I thought the rules had changed with the dou­ble jeop­ardy.

“For the goal, I’ve watched it back numer­ous times and I can­not see where the foul is, I can’t even see where it might have been.

“I will go and speak to the ref­eree and he will tell me some­thing I didn’t see.

game is a big deal for us and it is a big deal for my play­ers.

“If we had scored a good goal go­ing into the break 1-0 it could have been a dif­fer­ent story. I don't un­der­stand what he has seen. It seems harsh on us.

“To lose at such a late stage is bit­ter pill to swal­low, but I will still go home pretty proud. We couldn't give any more.

“It was harsh, they were true war­riors, I was as proud as punch. Did we get any luck? No. Did they? Well they got a du­bi­ous penalty and we had a goal dis­al­lowed.”

It looked as if Wed­nes­day were go­ing to be de­nied as Rother­ham put in a de­fen­sive dis­play that be­lied their league po­si­tion.

They re­stricted the Owls to half-chances but had their hearts bro­ken by Fletcher’s late penalty, and re­main rooted to the bot­tom of the ta­ble, 12 points from safety inside the Cham­pi­onship rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Owls boss Car­los Car­val­hal warned his side to be pa­tient ahead of the game, and they needed to be to stay inside the top six.

“We are very happy with the score, when I talked be­fore the game I said we knew this game would be tough,” he said.

“It was not an easy game, it was a lo­cal derby and Rother­ham had a lot to play for.

“It has been a long time since we beat Rother­ham here, and these sort of things make the head, it is not easy to break the wall and it is not easy to break the walls Rother­ham cre­ated near the area.

“The play­ers had a very good at­ti­tude. We broke a wall that Rother­ham put up and we don’t win a lot of those games so I am very happy.

“We never know in this com­pe­ti­tion whether it will be eas­ier play­ing the bot­tom of the league or the top of the league.

“Rother­ham caused us a lot of prob­lems. It’s not easy to break teams down.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

ICE COOL: Steven Fletcher scores the de­ci­sive late penalty for Sh­effield Wed­nes­day to fi­nally break Rother­ham re­sis­tance

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