Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United: Championship review

Sheffield Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson (left) is challenged by Brighton's Shamir Fenelon.
Sheffield Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson (left) is challenged by Brighton's Shamir Fenelon.
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Brighton had Andrew Crofts sent off as they nosedived 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday, with a terrific Giles Coke strike securing all three points for the Owls.

Wednesday boss Stuart Gray praised an “overall team performance.”

Sheffield Wednesday Manager Stuart Gray (left) during the Sky Bet Championship match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton.

Sheffield Wednesday Manager Stuart Gray (left) during the Sky Bet Championship match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton.

He said: “It’s good to get that monkey off our back straight away.

“It was an overall team performance and every player put in a eight or nine out of 10 display.

“(Brighton manager) Sami (Hyypia) will be disappointed, but we controlled the game and deserved the three points.”

Gray felt the dismissal of Crofts was the correct decision based on the amount on contact there was on defender Hutchinson.

He explained: “The referee did a very good job and took his time. If Sam stays down, it was the right decision.”

Gray, who has boosted his threadbare strike force by bringing in St Johnstone striker Stevie May for about £800,000, was full of praise for the 2,500 travelling fans and is eager for his men to build on their good start.

He added: “We had unbelievable backing and we won the game with a stunning goal.

“The division will be wide open and I’m delighted with my team; it shows what team spirit and determination can do.”

Derby did just enough to justify their position as Sky Bet Championship favourites, grinding out a 1-0 win over Rotherham at Pride Park.

The visitors put up a stubborn resistance for much of the match but Jeff Hendrick finally broke the deadlock after 82 minutes as the Rams showed they are ready to push for a place in the Premier League again after last-season’s play-off final loss to QPR at Wembley.

Rotherham manager Steve Evans thought his team was worth a point on their return to the Championship.

“I think Derby supporters will go away and know their team was in a tough game today,” he said.

“They will have a lot of easier games at the iPro, that’s for sure. I think we deserved a point and I think the whole ground knows we deserved a point but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.

“Many people around the country thought when they saw we were away at Derby it would be lambs to the slaughter but we aren’t going to be lambs to the slaughter for anyone.

“We were well organised and after they scored, we had two great chances to equalise we would normally take so we are disappointed we didn’t take them but we’re learning.”

tuart Pearce hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after a midweek spat with Nottingham Forest’s owner over the sale of Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles to Newcastle, before both players were loaned back to the club.

However, there was no hangover from that episode at the City Ground as new signings Michail Antonio and Chris Burke gave Forest a 2-0 win against a beleaguered Blackpool outfit still recovering from a summer exodus.

Middlesbrough began their sixth straight season in the Championship in fine style as big-money summer signing Kike scored on his debut in a 2-0 defeat of Birmingham, with Daniel Ayala also netting.

Wigan are again fancied to make the play-offs but had to rely on a James McArthur strike three minutes into stoppage time to secure a point at home to Reading.

Callum McManaman was on target as the Latics got off to a bright start, but Shaun Cummings and Sean Morrison replied for the Royals in quick succession on 71 and 77 minutes before the thrilling 2-2 finish.

Troy Deeney showed why a number of Premier League clubs are keen to capture his signature when hitting the back of the net as Watford beat Bolton 3-0, with Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri also getting on the scoresheet for the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

Marc Pugh scored the division’s first goal of the day when putting Bournemouth ahead at Huddersfield inside the opening minute and the Cherries went on to record an emphatic 4-0 victory as Callum Wilson added a brace and Yann Kermorgant also struck.

Igor Vetokele put Charlton ahead at Brentford but Tommy Smith equalised late on for the hosts in a 1-1 stalemate, while Mark Beevers and Shaun Williams netted in a 2-0 triumph for Millwall over Leeds, the second goal coming from the penalty spot.

ends

In the evening kick-off, relegated Fulham began life back in the Championship with a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich at Portman Road.

Goals either side of the break from Daryl Murphy and substitute David McGoldrick put Town 2-0 ahead, but they endured a nervy finale after Tim Hoogland pulled a goal back four minutes from time.