Rotherham United 1 Norwich City 2: Tears for proud Paul Warne as Millers show battle against league leaders
In a game that meant so much to Paul Warne, the Rotherham United boss was left in tears at the effort his side put in against Norwich - even though they lost.
Warne is a boyhood Canaries fan and the fixture is an emotional one for him as his dad, who used to take him to Carrow Road, is currently gravely ill.
The Millers matched the league leaders but came up just short as they went down to a 2-1 defeat tat leaves them in the relegation zone.
Norwich will be in the Premier League next season and Rotherham might very likely be in League One, but for 90 minutes at a windswept AESSEAL New York Stadium there was not a lot to choose between the two sides.
The visitors opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time as Kenny McLean poked home but Semi Ajayi's tremendous run of form in front of goal continued when he levelled after the break, expertly turning and shooting into the bottom corner for his sixth goal in the last five games.
Norwich hit back just five minutes later, though, as Ben Godfrey headed home and that proved to be the winner.
In the dressing room afterwards, Warne thanked his side for performing so well in a game that was so important to him and the tears flowed.
Warne said: “You know the history of this game and my life at the moment so when you speak to a group of men, and we are all emotional, me especially and I am not afraid to be open with them, they know how much this game means to me.
“I asked them to perform for people I love and they did me proud.”
Mind you, it could quite easily have been the refereeing of Oliver Langford that brought on the waterworks.
The Millers have it tough enough at this level without referees being as inconsistent, weak and easily manipulated as Oliver Langford.
Langford, who was diabolical in the draw with Wigan recently, was not the reason Rotherham lost this game, but he certainly did not help their chances.
He allowed himself to be swayed by the gamesmanship of Norwich players, the likes Emi Buendia and Onel Hernandez constantly telling him how bad innocuous Rotherham fouls were while letting clear Norwich dives go unpunished.
Whether that filtered into his consciousness when he decided not to award the hosts a penalty for a clear foul on Richard Wood or even chose to play an 'advantage' when the ball ended up back with Marek Rodak when the Millers could have put a free-kick into the box only he knows.
Either way Warne's men were hard done to.
“People have good days and bad days at the office,” a dignified Warne said. “And I just don't think it was a good day for him.”??????????????