Norwich City 3 Rotherham United 1: No happy homecoming for Millers boss Warne at Carrow Road

Paul Warne manager of Rotherham United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Paul Warne manager of Rotherham United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Paul Warne knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and for 45 minutes it looked like his Rotherham team were going to deliver.

Norfolk-born Warne took the Millers to Norwich, the club he and his family all support and many of them were at Carrow Road to watch a match the hosts ultimately won 3-1.

One man wasn't, though, as Warne's dad is gravely ill and could not make it, but intended to watch on an internet stream.

Warne knows that nothing would have made his old man prouder than winning at the home of the Canaries and a dominant first-half performance saw them lead through Richie Towell's 11th-minute goal, the dream seemed possible.

But Norwich are a force to be reckoned with this season and hit back strongly after the break, winning it thanks to goals from Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki.

Regardless of the result, Warne conceded it was a special afternoon for him and his family.

“I didn’t come here to lose, that’s for sure, but it meant a lot to me to manage here,” he said.

“It was a surreal moment when I walked out through the tunnel at Carrow Road.

“My mum and dad were following the match at home because dad hasn’t been too well but a lot of my family were here to see the game.

“It is probably the last time my dad sees me here managing at Carrow Road. It was special.”

Warne might not have been able to believe what was happening as Towell put his side in front when poking home from close range after Will Vaulks' effort was saved by Tim Krul.

Maybe the afternoon might have had a happy ending had Ryan Williams' shot hit the inside of the post and gone in, rather than flying across the goalline because the second half was a different story.

Cantwell levelled up with his first senior goal in the 55th minute after a sweet team move, before Aarons gave Norwich the lead by nodding home.

Pukki made the game safe after Semi Ajayi was criminally robbed of possession, sliding home past Marek Rodak.

It ended a seven-game unbeaten run in the Championship for the Millers, whose winless away run at this level extends to 37 games.

The Warne clan would still have been a proud bunch.

Norwich: Krul, Arrons, Zimmermann, Klose, Lewis (Rhodes 87), Tettey, Vrancic (Trybull 89), Emi, Stiepermann, Cantwell, Pukki (Godfrey 90)

Subs not used: McGovern, Marshall, Passlack, Srbeny

Rotherham: Rodak, Vyner, Ajayi, Robertson (Wood 46), Mattock, Vaulks, Williams, Towell, Newell (Taylor 42), Forde (Proctor 73), Smith

Subs not used: Price, Manning, Wiles, Jones

Referee: Stephen Martin