Fletcher’s Mr Fix-It as Owls swoop
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.”
ICE COOL: Steven Fletcher scores the decisive late penalty for Sheffield Wednesday to finally break Rotherham resistance