One Freddie Ladapo, one Michael Smith, one nine-point gap ... on-the-whistle derby report: Sheffield Wednesday 0 Rotherham United 2

Chiedozie Ogbene makes a first-half break for Rotherham. Picture by Jim BrailsfordChiedozie Ogbene makes a first-half break for Rotherham. Picture by Jim Brailsford
Chiedozie Ogbene makes a first-half break for Rotherham. Picture by Jim Brailsford
FREDDIE Ladapo made the most of his recall as he teamed up with strike partner Michael Smith to win the Hillsborough derby for Rotherham United and send them nine points clear at the top of League One again.

Both scored in the second half to see off in-form Sheffield Wednesday on their own turf for the second year in a row.

Ladapo bagged a close-range tap-in and Smith followed up with a lovely finish as the Millers made up for a poor first half in style

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Both goals came in front of the away end, sending more than 3,500 Millers fans into raptures as Paul Warne's men racked up a sixth successive league triumph.

Ladapo loves Hillsborough, having snatched a 97th-minute there last March.

Both teams started full of energy and there were few sights of goal early on as the teams battled for control.

Sam Hutchinson headed on the roof of the net for the home side from a Barry Bannan corner but it wasn't even a half-chance.

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Wednesday were enjoying more territory and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing brought the first save of the contest from Josh Vickers in the 13th minute with a low effort from the edge of the box.

Three minutes later the Rotherham goalkeeper was called into action again, comfortably holding on to Jack Hunt's long-range shot.

The rain was lashing down in S6, soaking an already-heavy pitch, but both sides were trying to play football in front of a big crowd.

Vickers made his third easy stop before the half-hour mark, scooping up another Mendez-Laing attempt lacking full power.

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Little was being seen of the Millers in attack, although they were resolute in defence. Bannan swept an effort wide as half-time approached but it was another shot from outside the area as the visitors protected their goal.

The Owls were on top and Liam Palmer was the next to try his luck, again from distance and again Vickers had little trouble making the save.

Rotherham went in at the break happy only with the goalless scoreline, having failed to muster a single real attempt on goal.

Ladapo was making only his second league start since going public with his desire to leave the Millers in early January.

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Jamie Lindsay had played well enough in the midweek win at AFC Wimbledon to keep his place in midfield, meaning Ollie Rathbone, fit again after a back issue, had to settle for a place on the bench.

Centre-half Richard Wood returned after a one-match ban to captain the side against the club where he began his career while loan flyer Jordi Osei-Tutu was in the squad for the first time following his arrival from Arsenal.

Six minutes after the break, Callum Paterson raced down the left after a slip from Wood and it needed a superb recovery tackle on the striker from Wes Harding to snuff out the danger as Mendez-Laing waited to be given an open net.

On 58 minutes came the breakthrough, and it was the Millers, making the most of their first opportunity, who took the lead.

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Dan Barlaser's corner was deep, Ben Wiles' back-post header strong and there was 'Right Place, Right Time' Ladapo to clip the ball over the line from a yard.

Vickers saved superbly to keep out Bannan's free-kick before Jack Hunt skied a Wednesday chance, then the keeper was the one-on-one hero as Mendez-Laing raced in on goal.

Six minutes from the end, Smith ended the contest as he stroked the ball into the top corner for his 21st goal of his prolific campaign.

The Owls had come into the clash on the back of five wins in their last six outings but had no answer to the Millers after the break.

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Second-placed Wigan Athletic had closed the margin at the top to six points yesterday but now it's almost in double figures once more.

Wednesday (3-5-2): Bailey Peacock-Farrell; Jordan Storey, Sam Hutchinson, Liam Palmer; Jack Hunt (Sylla Sow 78), George Byers, Barry Bannan, Massimo Luongo, Marvin Johnson; Callum Paterson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Florian Kamberi 83). Subs not used: Joe Wildsmith, Jaden Brown, Ciaran Brennan, Liam Waldock, Saido Berahino.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Josh Vickers; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Wes Harding; Chiedozie Ogbene, Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Jamie Lindsay (Ollie Rathbone H-T), Shane Ferguson (Jordi Osei-Tutu 78); Michael Smith, Freddie Ladapo (Joe Mattock 86). Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Angus MacDonald, Hakeem Odoffin, Josh Kayode.

Goals: Ladapo 58, Smith 84 (Rotherham).

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 26,418.