Kelly goal gives Rotherham boss Taylor first win
Matt Taylor got his first win as Rotherham manager as they edged out Huddersfield 2-1 in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Yorkshire derby pitted fairly new managers Taylor and Mark Fotheringham against one another and it was the former who got his first three points on the board after seeing substitute Georgie Kelly strike the winner moments after entering the fray.
The result ensured Rotherham’s strong home form continued and put a seven-point buffer between the two sides as Taylor looks to put his stamp on the squad built over six years under previous boss Paul Warne.
It was the visitors who threatened first with the predatory Jordan Rhodes heading straight at Millers’ goalkeeper Viktor Johansson in only the second minute.
Danny Ward then sparked a swift counter-attack for Huddersfield by setting Sorba Thomas free down the right. His cross found Rhodes but he could not sort out his feet in time to trouble Johansson.
The game’s first bit of real quality saw the Millers take the lead on 25 minutes. It came from a clinical curling finish from Conor Washington, who had been played in down the left by Dan Barlaser, before picking out the top corner.
Huddersfield levelled on 29 minutes with ex-Miller Ward striking through a host of bodies at the near post from Thomas’s low pass.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead early in the second half when Ben Jackson’s stinging shot was palmed out by Johansson for Rhodes to bundle in. The celebrations were cut short with the assistant referee signalling for offside.
Huddersfield threatened again down the right hand side and a partially cleared cross fell kindly to Duane Holmes but Johansson got down well to save his effort.
Kelly’s introduction for the ineffective Tom Eaves proved to be a masterstroke with the Irishman putting Rotherham back ahead on 61 minutes.
A long ball to the back post from Barlaser found its way to Kelly who bundled beyond Lee Nicholls.
Rotherham went in search of a clincher and they almost got it when Richard Wood got a touch onto Kelly’s header from Washington’s cross.
The lively Kelly forced Nicholls into another save at the near post with a powerful effort from a tight angle.
Huddersfield then had a penalty appeal turned down after Jack Rudoni had slipped by Cohen Bramall and gone down before he could get his shot away.
Rotherham still looked keen to make the points secure and it took a block from Tom Lees on the goal-line to deny Wes Harding who had done brilliantly down the right flank.
They then saw out five added minutes to secure victory.