Derby fall to Rotherham in Wayne Rooney’s first game in full charge

Wayne Rooney made no excuses after his first game as permanent Derby manager ended in a poor home defeat to Rotherham. Jamie Lindsay fired home four minutes from time as Rotherham clinched a vital win over one of their Championship relegation rivals. The Scot’s strike meant Derby dropped down to second bottom, behind their opponents on goal difference.

It was far from an ideal start to his reign for Rooney, who pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s underwhelming performance. “Today Rotherham outfought us,” said the former England captain. “Our quality on the ball and our concentration levels weren’t where they should be. That’s the disappointing thing and, if I’m being honest, I don’t think we deserved anything from this game.

“Obviously, the preparations over the last few weeks have been hampered because of Covid but that’s not an excuse for today’s result. The lads looked good and sharp in training the last few days.

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Bournemouth charge halted by loss at Luton


Bournemouth missed the chance to move second in the Championship after a bruising 1-0 home defeat to Luton. The hosts’ task was made harder when Jefferson Lerma was sent off after 26 minutes for leading with an arm in an aerial challenge with Tom Lockyer – the Luton defender sustaining a cut that required heavy bandaging. 

Luton’s winner came on 67 minutes when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall curled a fine shot into the corner from 15 yards.

Watford returned to the play‑off places with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield. Tom Cleverley gave them a 54th-minute lead by capitalising on some indecisive defending and João Pedro made sure of the points 10 minutes later, tapping in at the far post from Kiko Femenia’s cross.

Sammy Ameobi struck twice as Nottingham Forest secured back-to-back wins with a 3-1 victory against Millwall. Forest, who pulled six points clear of the bottom three, took the lead after 34 minutes as Ameobi’s long-range strike found the bottom corner and he doubled their advantage 20 minutes from time with a superb strike from 25 yards. Ryan Yates made it 3-0 with seven minutes remaining, before Ben Thompson hit a consolation.

Aitor Karanka called Birmingham’s 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough “a real sign for the future”. The Spaniard, back at the Riverside where he spent four years in charge, enjoyed a first win in seven games thanks to Scott Hogan’s 26th-minute strike. “We played well for 45 minutes then had to defend,” he said. “We’ve shown we’re a good team with the ball and a good team without the ball: we hope this is a sign of what is to come.”

Stoke held on to draw 1-1 at Blackburn. Nick Powell’s 38th-minute header from Jordan Thompson’s corner put them in front at Ewood Park, but John Buckley fired in from close range on 76 minutes, and James Chester was sent off three minutes later. 

Goals from Famara Diedhiou and Zak Vyner gave Bristol City a 2-0 win over Preston. It was Vyner’s first for City and helped ensure his side’s play-off bid remains on track. Second-placed Swansea, meanwhile, travelled to Barnsley in the day’s late kick-off. 

“We knew Rotherham press well and would be a tough game, but we didn’t seem to have that quality on the ball. We seemed to lack edge and let ourselves down when in possession and under pressure.

“We know we can play better than we did today, but I don’t think we even deserved a point. We gave silly free-kicks away in dangerous areas and that’s what Rotherham were looking for as it’s a big part of their game.

“But those free-kicks allowed them to send defenders up and cause issues. You understand players making mistakes. But hopefully it’s a one-off and we can respond properly.”

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League One and Two roundup


League One

A hat-trick from Charlie Wyke fired Sunderland to a convincing 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon. The visitors went ahead within seven minutes when Wyke bundled the ball in from close range. Wyke flicked home at the near post from Grant Leadbitter’s corner in the 87th minute before grabbing his third in stoppage time.

Fejiri Okenabirhie struck twice as Doncaster eased to a 2-1 victory at Swindon. Peterborough made light work of MK Dons as Jonson Clarke-Harris set them on their way to a 3-0 win, with Sammie Szmodics grabbing the other two goals.

Second-placed Hull did not make the most of leaders Lincoln having their match called off, only drawing 1-1 against Blackpool. Mallik Wilks gave the Tigers the lead but the Tangerines equalised soon after Reece Burke was dismissed for a professional foul through Jerry Yates.

In their previous two fixtures, Rochdale had drawn 3-3 and 4-4, making them the division’s entertainers, a reputation they lived up to in another 3-3 draw, this time against Wigan. Despite going down to 10 men before the break, Dale battled to a point thanks to a dramatic equaliser from Stephen Humphrys in the 95th minute.

One-nil away victories were in fashion on Saturday as Gillingham downed Accrington, Charlton edged past Bristol Rovers, Ipswich beat Burton and Portsmouth held off Fleetwood. An Oli Finney strike earned Crewe a point at Plymouth, who had taken the lead through a Luke Jephcott penalty. 

League Two

There were only two victories in the fourth tier. Barrow leapfrogged Scunthorpe to move up to 20th in the table thanks to Josh Kay’s strike.

Leyton Orient left it late to down Morecambe 2-0; Nathaniel Knight-Percival put the ball into his own net in the 88th minute, before Lee Angol sealed the points in injury-time. 

There were four 1-1 draws out of the 10 completed fixtures. Eoin Doyle’s equaliser earned a late point for Bolton against Cheltenham. Colchester and Cambridge ended even after Greg Taylor’s own goal cancelled out Harvey Knibbs’ opener. Forest Green and Port Vale shared the spoils, as did Walsall and Oldham.

The bottom two, Grimsby and Southend, played out a goalless draw, with 22nd placed Stevenage being held 0-0 at home by Tranmere

Rooney’s side have a chance to bounce back when they welcome Bournemouth to Pride Park in three days’ time. “The only positive from today is we play again Tuesday,” he added. The lads know they can perform better than that today, so I expect better when we play again on Tuesday.”

Derby’s best chance came when Martyn Waghorn fluffed a rare opportunity after 70 minutes, firing wide of goal from just a couple of yards out. The Millers then snatched victory against the run of play. Shortly after having a goal‑bound effort hacked away by a back-tracking defender, Lindsay knocked home the winner from a few yards after Daniel Barlaser’s free-kick had crashed against a post.

Rotherham’s victory was their first at Derby since 1965 and Paul Warne said he was “really proud” of his team. “I’m really pleased and I thought we played really well,” the manager said. “We put some dangerous balls in in the first half but it didn’t quite drop for us. I expected Derby to come out stronger in the second half and raise their game and they did have a little spell.

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“It looked as though it was going to fizz out into a 0-0 draw but we were determined to come here and get a win. They changed their system a couple of times and fortunately for us Jamie had two bites at the cherry. He should have scored the first, but thankfully we managed to get the goal. We’ve been on the wrong end of a few results lately, so it’s nice for it to go our way today.”