Derby misery at the hands of a Millers old boy ... on-the-whistle report: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Rotherham United 0

Arvin Appiah in early first-half action for Rotherham United at Sheffield Wednesday, Picture: Jim BrailsfordArvin Appiah in early first-half action for Rotherham United at Sheffield Wednesday, Picture: Jim Brailsford
Arvin Appiah in early first-half action for Rotherham United at Sheffield Wednesday, Picture: Jim Brailsford
HE stood in defiance in front of the away end after scoring against Rotherham United in the South Yorkshire derby.

Millers old boy Michael Smith had been booed before today's 1pm kick-off at Hillsborough by fans who have never forgiven him for his 2022 move to their biggest rivals.

The striker had just given Sheffield Wednesday a tenth-minute lead and was enjoying the moment. Later on in the first half, he scored again.

This was Smith's day, not Rotherham's.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The home team, in bottom spot in the Championship, hadn’t won all season but they fully deserved their victory, only their second in their 11 attempts on home soil against the Millers.

After two good results, against Southampton and Coventry City, for Matt Taylor’s men, this was an awful one, with a display to match.

It was Wednesday manager Danny Rohl's first home match in charge and the new man was given a rousing reception.

The one thing the visitors could ill afford to do was concede early and whip up the Owls crowd but that's what happened and, of course, it had to be Smith who did the damage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was a scruffy, close-in affair as the frontman nudged the ball over the line at the second attempt after Viktor Johansson had saved from Anthony Musaba.

The Owls were on top and on 26 minutes hesitation in the Rotherham defence gave a clear sight of goal to George Byers who fired wastefully over the bar.

Taylor had seen enough and sacrificed winger Arvin Appiah in favour of wing-back Seb Revan in a switch to 3-5-2 that saw Fred Onyedima moved into the centre to partner Jordan Hugill up front.

Musaba's pace was causing trouble down the visitors' right flank and he ran in and tested Johansson as the contest reached the half-hour mark.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With defender Lee Peltier having recovered from cramp, Rotherham had named the same side that had won so well at home to Coventry in midweek.

Emergency signing Daniel Ayala, without a club since the end of last term until the Millers added him to their squad on Friday, was on the bench.

Taylor was able to name a full complement of nine substitutes, which has been a rarity this season.

The Owls squad was packed with former Millers players. Smith and one-time loanee Reece James were in the starting 11 while Will Vaulks and Michael Ihiekwe were watching from the dugout.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Musaba escaped again in the 35th minute and Josh Windass, looking certain to double Wednesday's advantage, shot over.

A second goal wasn't long in coming, however, and it was Smith again, this time with a shot from around 12 yards, following a 37th-minute Musaba run.

Had Musaba headed in from point-blank range rather than into the ground and over three minutes later the game would have been well and truly over.

After the break, Windass tried his luck with a speculative 40-yarder and wasn't too far away while Smith went for his hat-trick with a low, cross-goal effort and was just wide.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Revan should have reduced the arrears for the 22nd-placed visitors but shot too high when the net was at his mercy and, in stoppage time, fired just wide.

They were the only times Rotherham laid a glove on Wednesday on a desperately disappointing derby afternoon.

Smith took the man-of-the-match award to huge acclaim from three sides of the stadium, and the only thing the ex Rotherham man was missing was the matchball.

Wednesday (3-4-2-1): Cameron Dawson; Dominic Iorfa, Bambo Diaby (John Buckley 74), Di'Shon Bernard; Callum Paterson (Pol Valentin 80), George Byers (Will Vaulks 63), Barry Bannan, Reece James; Josh Windass (Djeidi Gassama 80), Anthony Musaba (John Buckley 74); Michael Smith. Subs not used: Devis Vasquez, Michael Ihiekwe, Marvin Johnson, Bailey Cadamarteri, Lee Gregory.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rotherham (4-3-3): Viktor Johansson; Dexter Lembikisa, Sean Morrison, Lee Peltier (Sam Nombe 71), Cohen Bramall; Cafu (Sam Clucas 63), Christ Tiehi (Georgie Kelly 71), Ollie Rathbone; Arvin Appiah (Seb Revan 26), Jordan Hugill, Fred Onyedinma. Subs: Dillon Phillips, Daniel Ayala, Hakeem Odoffin, Sam Clucas, Tom Eaves, Ciaran McGuckin.

Goals: Smith 10, 37 (Wednesday).

Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire).

Attendance: 29,038 (3,225).