Sheff Wed beat Rotherham to claim first win of season

29 October 2023 0 By Total Football News

Michael Smith scored twice against his former club to give Sheffield Wednesday a 2-0 victory over South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United - their first win of the season.

In a derby encounter dominated by the home side, both goals came during the first 45 minutes. Rotherham never threatened to mount a comeback, only carving out a couple of decent chances.

It was new manager Danny Rohl's first home game since taking charge at Hillsborough and he restored Reece James, Di'Shon Bernard and Callum Paterson to the starting line-up. Rotherham boss Matt Taylor named an unchanged side.

The opening goal came when Anthony Musaba got on the end of a great ball from Barry Bannan and had a shot saved by Viktor Johansson before picking up the rebound and squaring to Smith (12), who fired into the net. That was Wednesday's first goal in over 10 hours.

The home side continued to apply pressure with George Byers shooting over, Musaba having a low shot saved and Josh Windass putting a great chance off-target after being set-up by Musaba.

Smith made it 2-0 in the 36th minute, applying the finish after the lively Musaba caused problems for the Rotherham defenders, who failed to clear.

Another great chance came Wednesday's way before the break when Callum Paterson's cross was met by Musaba, but his downward header from a good position bounced over the bar.

Buoyed by their two-goal lead, Wednesday continued to hold the upper hand after the restart.

A Windass shot from distance threatened to catch out Johansson, with the keeper relieved to see the ball go wide.

The visitors had a chance to pull a goal back when the ball fell to Sebastian Revan following a goal-mouth scramble but he fired over.

That apart, is was virtually all Wednesday from an attacking point of view.

Dominic Iorfa saw his shot deflected off-target and Smith put a low shot just wide. Musaba then had a shot blocked and Will Vaulks put an effort wide.

Musaba, who put in an excellent performance, was forced to go off in the 74th minute after picking up a knock with John Buckley taking his place.

A rare Rotherham attack in time added on saw Revan fire in a shot which flashed just wide of Cameron Dawson's right-hand post.

The result leaves Wednesday eight points from safety at the foot of the Championship table.

The managers

Sheffield Wednesday's Danny Rohl:

"It's amazing to be a part of this club. It's amazing to be in the stadium, to see all the fans that are so great.

"The performance on the pitch was just what we need. We trained hard for the last 10 days and now you see the direction of how we want to play.

"A clean sheet, two goals and a great performance of high intensity against a difficult opponent.

"Everybody was ready on the pitch, but also a good signal for me was to see how ready the guys are off the pitch. We have a big squad and we need all the players.

"We spoke about our plan today. It's about creating a winning mindset and enjoying playing football.

"We spoke about how we want to play and you always need to first win to create the belief and conviction for the direction.

"I see a team that is ready for a hunt to win balls and it is fantastic."

Rotherham's Matt Taylor:

"Bitterly disappointed, frustrated, upset and angry in so many ways that we were so poor in so many departments today.

"In possession and out of possession, we were second best in both departments.

"In local derbies, you certainly can't afford to do that. For 10 minutes, the game was relatively balanced and then one midfield giveaway and a breakaway goal, and the whole atmosphere changed.

"We just weren't bright enough in our moments of the game. Get to the ball first, come out on top. If you win the ball, use the ball better. We were too poor in too many departments.

"I just didn't see enough individually in terms of what it meant as a game today.

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