Rotherham United: Dean ‘Deano’ Hall gives his fan’s view of the South Yorkshire derby

Dean Hall
Dean Hall
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They say it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings, and she’s far from in full voice just yet as Rotherham United finally showed some much-needed bottle in the scrap for Championship survival on Saturday.

I arrived at Hillsborough without much hope of taking anything, but keen to see us show some resolve and mettle that have been sadly lacking this season on the road.

Lee Camp celebrates victory

Lee Camp celebrates victory

As it panned out, the 94 minutes were a far cry from my despair as I glumly arrived back from defeat at Reading at 2am a couple of weeks ago.

Matt Derbyshire’s first-half goal was enough to earn us three precious points, but that second-half defensive rearguard was as nervy to watch as the extra time in the 2014 play-off final at Wembley, after having the better of the early exchanges and playing some tidy stuff.

Regardless of the opposition, it was super to see the Millers dig so deep to keep out a Wednesday side that huffed and puffed before dominating the second half.

The Owls’ first-half goal was disallowed for an offside infringement missed by the linesman. It looked as though the correct decision was made, but replays do suggest it may have been a tighter call than first thought. I don’t think many Millers fans will disagree that we’re due the rub of the green, though.

The atmosphere was tense around the stadium, but that nervous tension from the away end was channelled into vocal encouragement to will the lads over the line, with huge relief and an outpouring of joy at the full-time whistle.

With MK Dons and Charlton winning, it was crucial we held out for the three points as we have two very tough home games to come this week against Middlesbrough and Derby.

I expect Neil Warnock to make changes to freshen up the starting 11, with Leon Best and Jerome Thomas possibly returning to the fold.

For now, though, we’ll just enjoy this success, as games like this for little Rotherham don’t come around too often.

The beer tastes that bit sweeter after a win over local rivals, and if any Wednesday fan claims they aren’t bothered they’re telling porkies, right?

We’re unbeaten in S6 since 1981, and personally for me in five visits.

Not too shabby for a bus-stop in Sheffield.

Click here for Star Millers man Paul Davis’s derby feature