On-the-whistle report: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Rotherham United 2

Derby action. Picture by Jim BrailsfordDerby action. Picture by Jim Brailsford
Derby action. Picture by Jim Brailsford
HEROIC Rotherham United made history as they breathed new life into their Championship survival push by pulling off a stunning derby win against Sheffield Wednesday on the Owls' own turf.

The last-minute victory ended a run of five consecutive defeats for the Millers and saw them triumph home and away in the league in the same season against their South Yorkshire neighbours for the first ever time.

They led 1-0, were pegged back after losing scorer Michael Smith to a straight red card and then raised themselves for one final effort in the dying seconds as substitute Freddie Ladapo fired in a famous winner.

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Paul Warne's severely-depleted side gave everything against opposition also fighting for their second-tier lives and desperate to impress new boss Darren Moore.

They were further weakened on 66 minutes by Smith's dismissal but never let their heads drop on a night that will go down in Millers folklore.

Rotherham closed the gap between them and safety to three points and they have games in hand.

Viktor Johansson was called into action early on, saving from Sam Hutchinson at the expense of a corner and then watching with relief as Callum Paterson's header from the flag-kick went just wide.

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At the other end, Rotherham were much more clinical as they went ahead after 17 minutes. Florian Jozefzoon swung the ball in and Smith rose superbly to head beyond Joe Wildsmith.

Barry Bannan should have done better for the home side than blaze the ball over the bar from just outside the area seven minutes later.

The Millers were standing firm in the S6 cold but on the half-hour mark Paterson was sprung clear by Julian Borner's pass only for his finish to lack the precision of his first touch.

This was a match from which both teams needed to take something and there was an edge to the contest with so much at stake.

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Rotherham hadn't won since early February while the Owls were looking for their first points in five outings.

The Millers came so close to doubling their lead after 38 minutes as Lewis Wing tried his luck from the right and his sweet, low shot sped past Wildsmith and came back off the post.

Ryan Giles cut in from the left as half-time approached and tested the goalkeeper but would have been better trying to find the lurking Matt Crooks.

Rotherham were hit hard by absences and had six first-team regulars unavailable for selection: Jamie Lindsay, Richard Wood, Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson, Chiedozie Ogbene and Joe Mattock.

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With only one fit regular centre-half, they ditched their usual three-at-the-back system, going with a flat four.

The Millers were in need of goals after a barren spell and Ladapo paid the price for misses against Reading at the weekend and dropped to the bench.

Winger Jozefzoon had impressed as a substitute in that game and was handed his first start of 2021.

Six minutes after the restart, the visitors needlessly gave up possession and Wednesday's break ended with Adam Reach firing just over from Josh Windass's cross.

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Windass missed the target himself before the flashpoint where Smith received his marching orders for an altercation with Borner.

Johansson preserved the Millers' lead in the 78th-minute with a stunning point-blank save from Paterson and then kept out Liam Shaw's shot soon after.

The keeper could do nothing four minutes later when he blocked Matt Penney's effort only for the ball to hit Matt Olosunde and bounce into the empty net for a freakish own goal.

Paterson headed inches over as full-time approched and Rotherham seemed to be desperately hanging on for a point.

The ten men, heroes one and all, thought differently.

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In the last minute of stoppage time, they broke out, Crooks fed Ladapo and the striker's finish was worthy of settling a contest that will live forever in Millers memories.

Goals: Smith 17, Ladapo 90+6 (Rotherham); Olosunde og 82 (Wednesday).

Wednesday (4-2-3-1): Joe Wildsmith; Liam Palmer (Jack Marriott 85), Tom Lees, Julian Borner, Matt Penney; Sam Hutchinson (Izzy Brown 80), Liam Shaw; Adam Reach (Kadeem Harris 73), Barry Bannan (Jordan Rhodes 85), Josh Windass; Callum Paterson. Subs not used: Luke Jackson, Osaze Urhoghide, Chey Dunkley, Joey Pelupessy, Elias Kachunga.

Rotherham (4-4-1-1): Viktor Johansson; Matt Olosunde, Wes Harding, Angus MacDonald, Ben Wiles; Florian Jozefzoon (Freddie Ladapo 69), Dan Barlaser (Kieran Sadlier 90+3), Lewis Wing, Ryan Giles (Trevor Clarke 75); Matt Crooks; Michael Smith. Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Shaun MacDonald, George Hirst.

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).