ARCH rivals Sheffield Wednesday piled on the agony for relegated Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium tonight.
A brace from Steven Fletcher condemned the Millers to a 2-0 defeat, a club record ninth loss in succession, and attention is now focused on tomorrow’s announcement about the club’s future plans.
The game was a huge banana skin for Wednesday, who’d won only one of their last seven and slipped out of the Championship play-off frame, but they were able to negotiate it with few scares in front of the live TV cameras.
The first half summed up Rotherham’s season. Both sides had two big chances and while the Millers missed theirs, the Owls converted both.
The Millers could have struck first when Carlton Morris’s delightful back-heel set Jon Taylor free in the area but the winger steered his shot wide of the far post. Paul Warne’s side could still feel hard done-to about Wednesday’s opener on 14 minutes, replays showing Steven Fletcher clearly offside when he took Rod Wallace’s pass before shooting past Lewis Price.
Morris planted a free header straight at Kieren Westwood in another window of pressure but the defensive frailities were exposed again when Fletcher headed in his second of the night just before the break.
Wednesday were content to close the match down in the second half, with the home fans reserving their loudest applause for Jonson Clarke-Harris’s introduction as a substitute after eight months out injured.
The Millers hardly threatened and looked a beaten side long before the end.
Millers: Price; Fisher, Ajayi, Wood, Mattock; Taylor (Clarke-Harris 68), Smallwood (Bray 85), Vaulks, Newell; Morris (Forde 81), Ward.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Jones, Hunt, Loovens, Lees, Reach; Wallace, Jones, Bannan; Fletcher (Nuhui 73), Rhodes (Winnall 83), Hooper (Semedo 60)
Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)
Attendance: 10,669 (2,573 visitors)