Huddersfield improve survival hopes with defeat over fellow strugglers Rotherham
Huddersfield lifted themselves off the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table thanks to a well-deserved 2-0 victory over Yorkshire rivals Rotherham.
Last season’s play-off finalists have laboured through most of this term so far, but this second successive win will offer renewed hope.
Rotherham, meanwhile, have now won just once in their last 11 games and were booed off by their fans.
Amid a rather subdued atmosphere inside the John Smith’s Stadium, both of these struggling sides produced a rather nervy opening spell.
The Millers, backed by their sold-out travelling support, carved out the first half-chance.
Oli Rathbone delayed well before releasing Tom Eaves, but the big striker fired disappointingly straight at goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
The hosts were trying hard to create a bit of rhythm in their approach play, but there was little end product from them in the opening 20 minutes.
David Kasumu found some space on the edge of the Rotherham box, but his shot was blocked.
Midway through the first half, the Terriers came close when an unmarked Duane Holmes met Jack Rudoni’s cross, only to head well over the top.
Huddersfield broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark with a super individual strike from Holmes, who pounced on a loose Millers pass before taking the ball on and lashing home an angled shot in off the far post.
Holmes’ first goal of the season was almost followed by the hosts’ second a minute later, but Will Boyle glanced a header narrowly wide.
In first-half added time, the Terriers went close again when both Jordan Rhodes and Josh Ruffels somehow managed to just miss getting a touch to Rudoni’s measured cross to the far post.
Both teams made a much livelier start to the second period.
Within minutes the impressive Rudoni produced another smart cross which Rhodes could not quite stretch enough to meet and guide an effort on target.
In the 53rd minute Rhodes met Holmes’ cutback, only to then produce a weak close-range strike which Viktor Johansson saved easily.
Rhodes made no mistake in doubling the hosts’ lead three minutes later, however, when he took a pass from Kaine Kesler-Hayden before curling home superbly from 20 yards.
The Millers appeared finally stung into action after the second goal, but both Chiedozie Ogbene and Jamie Lindsay missed gilt-edged opportunities to swiftly halve the deficit.
Sub Hakeem Odoffin also disappointed when he headed wildly over late on as the Millers slid to a worrying seventh defeat in their last 11 games.
Huddersfield’s win moved them to within just two points of tonight’s opponents, with a game in hand.