The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Jonathan Veal

ROTHER­HAM avoided an un­wanted place in the his­tory books and boss Paul Warne could not hide his re­lief af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

The Millers, whose rel­e­ga­tion to League One was con­firmed ear­lier this month, won their first game since Jan­uary to move past Don­caster’s Foot­ball League record low points of 20 for a 46game sea­son.

Tom Adeyemi’s 79th-minute goal got the job done and was enough to earn a first win in 18 games and take them to 21 points.

Warne said of beat­ing the record: “It’s a mon­key off the back. I am in charge of this team, I am the one who took us down, so I want to fin­ish the sea­son on a high.

“To get to 21 points is a re­lief, I am as happy about the win as I am the clean sheet.

“For us to get over the line, I am happy.”

The Millers have had one eye on the third tier for most of the sec­ond half of the sea­son and Warne is con­fi­dent there is more to come from his group as his side are play­ing with free­dom as the sea­son draws to a close.

“It is nice to win a foot­ball match, it is nice to keep a clean sheet,” he added.

“We did not have as much qual­ity as we have shown in the last few games so that just shows what foot­ball in this team is all about.

“I am re­ally proud of how they kept a clean sheet and got over the fin­ish line.

“They have got to be­lieve in them­selves more be­cause they have more to give.

“As good as they were out there, and they have to be proud, I am ex­cited by the fact they have more to give.”

It could have been a more com­fort­able af­ter­noon for Warne’s men as they were awarded a seventh-minute penalty, their first of a cam­paign. Ev­ery other Foot­ball League club had been awarded a spot-kick be­fore this week­end.

How­ever, per­haps fit­ting of their year, Danny Ward saw his ef­fort well saved by Dean Gerken while Semi Ajayi and Richard Wood also missed chances.

The de­ci­sive mo­ment in the game came with 11 min­utes re­main­ing when Adeyemi smashed in from close range to end the Millers’ drought and en­sure Ip­swich be­came the only side not to beat them over their two games in the Cham­pi­onship sea­son.

Hav­ing made nine changes to their start­ing line-up, per­haps there was lit­tle sur­prise at the re­sult, but un­der-fire man­ager Mick McCarthy stood by his team se­lec­tion.

“It was a hard de­ci­sion, but on the other side it wasn’t be­cause I want to give peo­ple a chance,” said the York­shire­man, who saw Dominic Sa­muel hit the wood­work in the first half.

“They have trav­elled up and down the coun­try, not had much game time, it was their op­por­tu­nity, al­beit slightly un­fairly.

“I wasn’t be­ing dis­re­spect­ful to Rother­ham, I was be­ing re­spect­ful to my team. And for the most part, it was even.

“I am an­noyed we lost. The sec­ond half we were bet­ter and we have missed the chances.

“It shouldn't have got to that. I am a bit miffed. We didn’t take our chances and they kept do­ing us on the break. We have man­aged to give a goal away.

“If we don’t score and don’t take our chances then don’t get beat, but we did.

“I should con­grat­u­late War­ney (Rother­ham boss Paul Warne).

“I’m pleased for him.”

PIC­TURE: Me­dia Im­age

BRIGHT MO­MENT: Tom Adeyemi cel­e­brates his win­ner for Rother­ham

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