On-the-whistle report: Wycombe Wanderers 0 Rotherham United 1

On-the-whistle report: Wycombe Wanderers 0 Rotherham United 1

By Paul Davis | 12/09/2020

On-the-whistle report: Wycombe Wanderers 0 Rotherham United 1
Jamie Lindsay in the thick of the action for Rotherham at Wycombe. Picture: Jim Brailsford

ROTHERHAM United got their Championship campaign off to a dream start with a last-gasp opening-day win in the battle of the promoted clubs at Wycombe Wanderers.

Both sides were in League One last season and the standard of play never really exceeded third-tier level in a scrappy encounter low on clear-cut opportunities.

But in time added on captain Michael Ihiekwe rose majestically to meet Joe Mattock's corner and head the ball home.

It was one of the few moments of quality in the entire contest yet that won't concern the Millers as they head back to South Yorkshire with all three points.

It was Wycombe's first-ever Championship encounter and they were obviously fired up for the occasion. Rotherham stood up to the test.

The Millers should have been behind in only the second minute. They had an attacking free-kick but Wycombe broke quickly and Scott Kashket's right-wing cross left Daryl Horgan with an open goal only for the Wanderers man, running in at full stretch, to somehow steer the ball over the bar.

The visitors' first effort on goal came on 11 minutes when Kieran Sadlier's low free-kick forced Ryan Allsop to push the ball for a corner as the goalkeeper dived to save in his bottom-right corner.

Rotherham lived dangerously at times before the break as Scott Kasket's pace troubled their defence and it was after a 34th-minute foul on the home attacker that Darius Charles hit the bar from Joe Jacobson's supply.

By that time, the home team might have been down to ten men, Matt Bloomfield relieved to see yellow rather than red for a challenge on Shaun MacDonald.

In a scrappy encounter, the Millers weren't without a threat of their own. Chiedozie Ogbene had a shot blocked  around the half-hour mark and Michael Ihiekwe headed Joe Mattock's set-piece just wide soon after Charles' chance at the other end.

Paul Warne's men were the more relieved of the two sides to hear the half-time whistle.

There had been no place in the starting line-up for striker Michael Smith, with Freddie Ladapo selected on his own up front.

Manager Warne, still chasing a forward and a midfielder in the transfer window, handed league debuts to three of his six summer signings so far: goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, right-back Wes Harding and

Captain Richard Wood didn't make the squad and is thought to have picked up an injury in last week's League Cup clash at Salford City.

After the break, Kasket lobbed Jamal Blackman and Harding was in the right place to clear while Blackman saved from David Wheeler.

Chances for both sides remained few and far between. Until, that is, the 92nd minute when Mattock and Ihiekwe combined wonderfully to make it a memorable afternoon.

Goals: Ihiekwe 90+2 (Rotherham).

Wycombe (4-4-1-1): Ryan Allsop; Jack Grimmer, Anthony Stewart,  Darius Charles, Joe Jacobson; David Wheeler, Matt Bloomfield (Nick Freeman 72), Alex Pattison (Jason McCarthy 82), Fred Onyedinma; Daryl Horgan; Scott Kashket (Josh Parker 87). Subs not used: David Stockdale, Ryan Tafazolli, Giles Phillips, Alex Samuel.

Rotherham (4-5-1): Jamal Blackman; Wes Harding, Michael Ihieke, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock; Chiedozie Ogbene, Shaun MacDonald, Matt Crooks (Michael Smith 52), Jamie Lindsay, Kieran Sadlier (Ben Wiles 66); Freddie Ladapo (Kyle Vassell 83). Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Billy Jones, Angus MacDonald, Mickel Miller.

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight).

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