Sheff Utd 0-1 Rotherham: Wiles goal earns Millers historic win
Ben Wiles’ goal gave Rotherham a first win at Sheffield United since 1980 and stopped their South Yorkshire rivals going top of the Sky Bet Championship.
The Millers, missing six first-team players due to injury, have had a miserable time at Bramall Lane since last winning 42 years ago, but they rewrote the record books with a 1-0 victory thanks to Wiles’ accomplished finish.
They felt unlucky not to get a penalty on the stroke of half-time and there would have been a sense of foreboding at what was to come in the second half, but they repelled a United fightback to earn a first win in five games.
This was another twist in the Blades’ undulating season, where they have been unable to sustain a consistent run of form and this will be a disappointing result on the back of their statement win over Burnley at the weekend.
They came into the game as heavy favourites, but the Millers ticked off their first objective of holding off the Blades in the first 20 minutes as although there was plenty of home possession there was little in the way of chances.
In fact it was the visitors who threatened first as Cohen Bramall chased down a lost cause and sent in a cross which Peter Kioso got to first, forcing Wes Foderingham into a stretching save.
The Blades began to take control and forced a few half-chances as Lee Peltier blocked an effort from Oli McBurnie, who also headed over.
But Rotherham stayed in the game and took the lead in the 38th minute.
Jack Robinson, error prone in Saturday’s win over Burnley, had another moment to forget as he missed his clearance, Chiedozie Ogbene snuck in and teed up Wiles, who picked out the bottom corner after finding himself in acres of space in the penalty area.
The Millers gained in confidence and finished the first half stronger with Wiles shooting over from the edge of the area before a big moment of drama deep into first-half injury time.
Ollie Rathbone played the dangerous Wiles in and as he was preparing to shoot he appeared to be bundled over by Enda Stevens but referee Keith Stroud waved away protests.
Rotherham were furious, with manager Matt Taylor encroaching on the pitch and the players surrounding Stroud at half-time.
The hosts came out firing after the break and almost levelled immediately as John Egan found space at the far post and fizzed an effort which Viktor Johansson did well to tip over.
The Blades’ push began in earnest in the final 30 minutes and a big chance came in the 68th minute when Robinson hurled in a long throw and McBurnie met it with a glancing header but Johansson was able to clutch on to the ball at the second attempt.
Rotherham were defending resolutely, but their hosts kept coming and Billy Sharp glanced a header inches wide while McBurnie’s rasping drive in the 90th minute was palmed away by the busy Johansson.
However, some handy game management allowed them to see the result out for a famous victory.