Rotherham United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2: Dominic Iorfa’s last-gasp goal breaks the Millers hearts in pulsating South Yorkshire derby

Substitute Dominic Iorfa stepped up off the bench to grab a late equaliser and rescue a point for Sheffield Wednesday in a pulsating South Yorkshire derby with Rotherham United.

Saturday, 16th February 2019, 14:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th February 2019, 14:22 pm
Dom Howson's match report

Iorfa, a late replacement for Jordan Thorniley, bundled the ball home from close range deep into added on time to deny the Millers three valuable points in their battle to avoid relegation.

That was not the end of the drama as Fernando Forestieri collected his second caution of the afternoon after jumping into the away end to celebrate Iorfa's equaliser with Wednesday's 2,600 plus travelling fans.

It was Forestieri who put the Owls ahead in the 35th minute.

But the spirited hosts fought back and appeared on course to claim the bragging rights after goals either side of half-time from Jon Taylor and Richie Towell.

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But Iorfa's dramatic debut goal ensured the Owls stretched their unbeaten run to four matches under manager Steve Bruce.

It was two points dropped for the Millers, who missed a host of opportunities.

After a minute's applause in tribute to England legend and Sheffield-born Gordon Banks, who passed away earlier this week, before kick-off, the Owls controlled the early skirmishes.

George Boyd, preferred to Joey Pelupessy in midfield, beat the offside trap and floated in a delightful cross from the left in the eighth minute but Adam Reach headed over.

It took Rotherham until the 14th minute to create a meaningful opportunity, Anthony Forde rising highest to glance Jon Taylor's inviting centre narrowly wide.

The Millers, scrapping at the wrong end of the table, enjoyed a good spell of pressure. Richie Towell's neat pass slipped Semi Ajayi in down the right and the defensive midfielder's low delivery was turned behind at the near post by Jordan Thorniley with Michael Smith looking to pounce.

Moments later, the hosts had a penalty appeal waved away when Ajayi went down under a challenge with Morgan Fox but referee Darren England was not interested and signalled for a goal kick.

Keiren Westwood spared the Owls' blushes in the 24th minute when he raced off his line to deny to Anthony Forde in a one-on-one situation after the winger had dispossessed Michael Hector inside Wednesday's half.

It was a huge left off and Smith wasted another glorious opportunity to put Rotherham ahead, dragging a shot wide after a lovely cut back by Michael Ihiekwe.

Former Owls defender Joe Mattock received the first booking of the afternoon after a clumsy challenge on Fernando Forestieri, who was selected in attack over Steven Fletcher up front.

Against the run of play, Reach nearly gave Wednesday the lead in the 33th minute. He pounced on a weak back header by Mattock and poked the ball past goalkeeper only for the ball to strike the upright.

Reach was the provider for the 35th minute opener. His surging run and cross was drilled in by Forestieri. It was Forestieri's fourth goal of the season and his first since October.

Wednesday's joy was short-lived with Taylor levelling things up within 86 seconds. He blasted an unstoppable volley past Westwood after Smith outpaced Hector near the byline.

Tempers briefly threatened to boil over in the closing stages of the first half when Smith and Michael Hector clashed off the ball. The players had to be pulled apart and referee Darren England had a quiet word with both Smith and Hector to calm things down.

The Millers were on the front after the restart, with Thorniley and Hutchinson producing a couple of important tackles to prevent Rotherham from forcing Westwood into action. Billy Jones joined teammates Mattock and Ajayi in the book after bringing down Hutchinson near Wednesday's penalty area.

Joso struggled to impose his will up front and was withdrawn just before the half hour mark.

There was a big flashpoint when Forestieri was scythed down by Michael Ihiekwe as Forestieri broke away on halfway. Ihiekwe was yellow carded, leaving Bruce and his coaching staff fuming with the decision as they felt it should have been a red. Bruce stormed on to the pitch to make his feelings known.

Fletcher almost made an instant impact, heading Boyd's cross agonisingly over the top in the 64th minute.

Rotherham should have done better with a four on two breakaway but Hutchinson produced a crucial block to foil Towell.

The Millers piled the pressure on and Reach came to Wednesday's rescue, nodding Ajayi's header at the back post off the line and Ihiekwe fired the follow up wide.

It was one-way traffic as Rotherham continued to threaten, with Reach making a desperate last-ditch clearance after a heavy touch by Towell.

Loan midfielder Towell completed the turnaround in the 74th minute. Lone front man Smith, who worked tirelessly throughout, squared the ball to him and Towell's fierce shot flew went in off the post.

Rotherham could have added to their advantage but Clark Robertson's free header from Will Vaulks' long throw in went straight at Westwood before Smith somehow steered a header wide after a fine cross by substitute Ryan Williams.

To compound the Owls' woes, Thorniley, deputising again for the injured Tom Lees, was forced off late on after an aerial collision.

Iorfa had the final word to stretch their unbeaten league run to five outings.