Huddersfield Town 2 Rotherham United 0: Classic Neil Warnock performance from Terriers downs poor Millers

Huddersfield Town v Rotherham United. Town's Josh Koroma celebrates his opening goal. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Huddersfield Town v Rotherham United. Town's Josh Koroma celebrates his opening goal. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The traits of a quintessential Neil Warnock side were on show at the John Smith’s Stadium against one of his former clubs and it yielded three welcome points on home soil - the first in these parts since May 8.

You have to go back to November 8 for the Millers’ last Championship away success - and playing like they did on Saturday, they will have to wait a good while for their next one.

It was Huddersfield’s day and Warnock’s, amid speculation on the social media grapevine over his future. This was what he brings to the table. The chants of ‘One Neil Warnock’ filled the air at the final whistle. A press conference clarifying his future will take place on Monday.

The pre-match build-up was full of talk of Ben Wiles facing his former club just over three weeks after joining. In the end, it was another ex-Miller in one-time loanee Josh Koroma who provided the breakthrough on 18 minutes.

The hosts - including Wiles - spurned several opportunities to double their advantage against a susceptible Millers backline before the excellent Sorba Thomas, who set up the opener, turned scorer on 70 minutes with Koroma being the assist-maker.

Under brooding skies, it was no classic in the first half. But there was still nourishment from Huddersfield, whose players showed a level of competence in doing their jobs, while some of the Millers’ efforts were not so satisfactory.

The visitors’ defensive coherence, as a unit, was particularly unconvincing and enthused the likes of Delano Burgzorg, Koroma and Thomas.

Burgzorg’s physicality and presence caused issues, even if he was a touch unorthodox at times. But it was Thomas and Koroma, who combined for the breakthrough.

It came when Cohen Bramall was on the deck after appearing to twist something. The Terriers played to the whistle and space down Bramall’s side enabled Thomas to swing over a dangerous cross, which was swept home confidently at the back stick by Koroma.

On the balance of first-half play, an interval advantage was something Town merited, although they really should have been savouring a two-goal advantage.

On reunion day with his old club, just 22 days after leaving, Wiles was provided with a juicy chance in front of goal from Burgzorg’s cross in a strong finish to the half from the hosts. He steered his shot wastefully wide in a let-off for the visitors.

Soon after, Kian Harratt, under pressure from Tyler Blackett in his first home league start, just failed to get a clean connection on a cross from the left by Koroma, who also tested Viktor Johansson with a low shot.

At the other end, despite the probing of Oli Rathbone, the Millers offered little and missed the presence of the injured Cafu.

A Rathbone free-kick swung in from the left was tipped over in the nick of time by Lee Nicholls. Jordan Hugill, who slugged it out with Helik all half, headed over, while two timely interventions from Matty Pearson nipped a couple of dangerous situations in the bud.

Rotherham’s start to the second half was much more forceful and they went mighty close to a leveller with Fred Onyedinma showing his penchant in the air, with Nicholls showing fine reaction to tip away his excellent header from Rathbone’s cross.

More disruption of the untimely variety then arrived for the Terriers when Jonathan Hogg had to make way shortly after going down hurt in a challenge, with former Millers loanee Rarmani Edmonds-Green taking his place while Arvin Appiah replaced Hakeem Odoffin for the visitors.

Despite showing more purpose on the restart, the Millers survived a big scare to keep themselves in the game,

Rathbone lost out to Wiles, who played in Burgzorg, only for the Rotherham captain to impressively redeem himself by making a last-ditch challenge which any centre-half would be proud of in the box to block the Dutch striker’s goalbound strike.

Huddersfield shrugged off a quiet start to the second half and the Millers’ lamentable backline on the day provided plenty of hope.

Burgzorg dragged a low shot wide after good work by Harratt, Koroma and Rudoni before Warnock’s head was in his hands after Harratt volleyed over with the goal at his mercy following a fine Thomas centre.

Soon after, Huddersfield were feeling a bit better about themselves.

Koroma got away down the left and his pinpoint low cross from the left was dispatched clinically by Thomas.

Rotherham rang the chances and substitute Tom Eaves spurned a great chance to pull one back, heading straight at Nicholls after being picked out by debutant Sam Clucas.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Helik, Ruffles; Thomas (Kasumu 90), Hogg (Edmonds-Green 55), Rudoni, Wiles, Koroma (Diarra 76); Harratt (Hudlin 77), Burgzorg (Headley 77). Unused substitutes: Maxwell, Jones, Jackson, Nakayama.

Rotherham United: Johansson; Lembikisa, Humphreys, Blackett, Bramall; Odoffin (Appiah 56), Tiehi; Green (Nombe 75), Rathbone (Clucas 75), Onyedinma; Hugill (Eaves 75). Unused substitutes: Phillips, Kelly, Revan, McGuckin, Douglas.

Referee: J Simpson (Lancashire).

Attendance: 19,050 (1,937 Rotherham United supporters).