Rotherham United 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday: Millers enjoy derby dominance
Rotherham United's players celebrate Dan Barlaser's first-half penalty against Sheffield Wednesday. Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images.

Jamie Lindsay scored twice as Rotherham United earned a comfortable 3-0 derby day win over 10-man neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.

Lindsay struck at both ends of the first half, his second goal all but making the win safe by half-time after Tom Lees’s red card and Dan Barlaser’s conversion of the resulting penalty.

Aside from the Millers’ joy and the continued misery for Wednesday, the match was notable for a 12-minute suspension shortly after kick-off due to an unauthorised drone flying over the New York Stadium.

Story of the match

It was one of the more bizarre openings to a game that you are likely to see. After just a couple of minutes, play was first halted as referee Jared Gillett was called over to the sidelines to speak with officials, but after restarting it was soon paused again and this time the players were led off the pitch.

Reports of a drone over the stadium had caused the action to be taken, and the teams went back to the changing rooms. Soon they were back out though, and after quick warm-ups the game resumed with a delay of around a dozen minutes in total.

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Rotherham needed less than 45 seconds to take the lead after the restart. A deflected effort from Freddie Ladapo hung in the air in front of goalkeeper Cameron Dawson and Lindsay spotted the potential, swooping in to nod it into the net.

Wednesday did look good for most of the time they had a full complement, fashioning a host of chances soon after going behind as Jack Marriott and Kadeem Harris blasted efforts over the bar and Joey Pelupessy’s clean strike from distance flew just wide.

Marriott would also force a save from Jamal Blackman with a header, but six minutes from the break the game took a decisive twist. A long Millers ball in behind caused all kinds of trouble as Dawson came for it but saw Florian Josefzoon get his head in first. With the forward facing an empty net, Lees took drastic action to pull him down, and both a penalty and a red card were inevitable.

Barlaser smashed the spot-kick home, and there was time for more Millers joy before the break as they took the game by the jugular. Barlaser’s long-range strike was parried by Dawson back out in front of him, where Lindsay gratefully tapped in his second for a 3-0 half-time score.

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After three goals, a red card and a very unexpected stoppage of play, the second half was understandably rather less eventful. The Owls looked at real risk of a serious hammering as they were swamped in the closing stages of the first period, but they came back out more organised and managed to stem the flow.

The best chances still came to the side at full strength though, with the offside flag denying Richard Wood a headed goal. Dawson inadvertently diverted a Michael Smith header onto the rood of his net with his arm, and more convincingly beat away an effort from George Hirst.

Takeaways 

Millers find their groove

Rotherham have put in some impressive performances in the opening weeks of the season without taking the spoils, with their display away at Championship leaders Reading last weekend a fine example.

This time they would have no such regrets about failing to take their chances; they created a bundle of them, with two scored by a highly unlikely source in Lindsay.

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Neither side really had control of the game when the numbers were even, but after the red card the hosts pressed their advantage with Lindsay alongside Barlaser, who oozed quality with some of his passing.

But it was the performances of the front three that will be most pleasing. Both wingers were very lively, despite it being just a second start for Josefzoon – whose quick-thinking earned the penalty – and a fourth game for Mickel Miller, while Ladapo led the line with real confidence.

Defensive woes for Monk 

Wednesday have been struggling for weeks with the availability of defenders, and just as things seemed to be getting better Garry Monk has been handed more problems with Aden Flint going off injured in the first-half and Lees’ sending-off ruling him out for the next three matches.

Lees joins Joost van Aken, dismissed in the defeat to Luton Town last Saturday, while if Flint’s hamstring trouble proves serious he could join a growing injury list. Dominic Iorfa and Liam Shaw are at least nearing returns, but Massimo Luongo and Chey Dunkley remain sidelined.

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The versatility of Liam Palmer and Moses Odubajo gives them some flexibility but the lack of fit bodies is not ideal at a time when individual mistakes keep on costing them, giving Monk little room to change things around.

That said, this time the player with the most questions to answer will be keeper Dawson, who was caught off his line after being in two minds whether to go for the ball or not for the first goal, made a heinous mistake in failing to deal with the danger for the second, and poorly parried a long shot back in front of him for the third.

Man of the match - Jamie Lindsay (Rotherham)

The Scottish midfielder took two well-deserved goals, having scored only once in his time at the club before tonight, but also impressed throughout with the quality of his link-up play and his tireless defensive work to keep Owls danger man Barry Bannan out of the game.

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