A valuable point or two lost? Only time will tell: final word on Huddersfield Town's Championship derby draw at Rotherham United

THIS was not the Valentine’s Day love-in of a few years back for Huddersfield Town in these parts.

Who can forget the adulation at Rotherham United in February 2017 when Town, on that rapturous ‘no limits’ ride under Herr Wagner, triumphed 3-2 at the death thanks to Tommy Smith’s late goal in a feted moment for the Terriers nation in that 2016-17 joyride.

There was passion and an emotional outpouring on Saturday, that said.

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"Andre, where the subs” sang the angry Terriers contingent towards the end of this particular exercise in frustration. The chants in support of Danny Ward also became more ferocious. They went unrequited. Tom Edwards came on.

Huddersfield Town winger Sorba Thomas is sent off at Rotherham United. Picture: Jonathan GawthorpeHuddersfield Town winger Sorba Thomas is sent off at Rotherham United. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Huddersfield Town winger Sorba Thomas is sent off at Rotherham United. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

On a day when Town were hankering for three points, they got one. So did Rotherham, who picked up something for the first time since January 20. But that’s another story, with respect.

A game which many observers thought was ‘must win’ from a Terriers perspective flipped around and became must not lose 58 minutes in following Sorba Thomas’ silly dismissal for two quick-fire yellows.

Such is Rotherham’s discernible lack of confidence that the hosts, even with a numerical advantage, lacked the wit and will to captialise.

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This being a side who had scored just two goals on home soil in eight matches since December 9. They played safe, as did Huddersfield.

So Town took a point. It is only by the close of play on May 4 that its value, or otherwise, will become clear.

Should Town stay up by that aforesaid point, then Breitenreiter’s ends will justify the means. Then we will all have a beer, the Terriers chief said afterwards, staying true to his German roots. It remains to be seen if there is something to toast.

Given that Huddersfield were still dominant, despite playing with 10 men, putting on another offensive option did not carry a risk that it might have done.

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For those away supporters, the equation was simple. But ultimately, it is the manager who must actually make the decision and live with it.

Breitenreiter was pragmatic. In his defence, if Huddersfield had lost this fixture, it would have possibly been a mortal wound in their survival fight. He looked at the bigger picture.

The strains of Frank Sinatra are never far away at the New York and the end is near and Rotherham face the final curtain before too long.

Leam Richardson – under the pump as much as Rishi Sunak of late - wanted to see chests out and pride. His charges, after two horrible 5-0 defeats which made him ‘physically sick’ in his words, did it his way in fairness.

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Their first-half show at 11 v 11 was a step in the right direction. With an extra man, when the onus was to be proactive, their failings became apparent.

Huddersfield had the greater threat for sure, but the Millers had the best chance when Andy Rinomhota’s cute curler hit the post.

In the working week, Town had been practising on their shooting. It was not the shooting, but the intelligence of the final ball which was lacking.

Town got in some good positions, for sure. But in the final analysis, they never manufactured one big chance and the saves that Viktor Johansson had to make were perfunctory.

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For once, he did not have that much to do. He made a couple of saves low down to deny Delano Burgzorg, whose pace harassed the hosts.

The visitors were certainly hot and bothered by the display of referee Josh Smith.

A decision to book David Kasumu for simulation when he went down in the box in the first period annoyed them. Some second-half calls incensed them.

As for the dismissal of Thomas? Well, that was daft. A bit of backchat after a shove on Morrison yielded the first booking and he then gave Smith a decision to make after racing back as the hosts countered from a Town corner and going through the back of Oliver Rathbone as he surged clear.

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Rotherham United: Johansson; Kioso (Seriki 80), Morrison, Humphreys, Revan; Rinomhota; Rathbone, Cafu, Clucas (Appiah 76); Nombe, Wyke (Eaves 76). Unused substitutes: Phillips, Bramall, Blackett, Lindsay, Ferguson, Odoffin.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Helik, Balker; Spencer (Edwards 90+3), Hogg, Kasumu (Wiles 45), Headley, Rudoni; Thomas, Burgzorg. Unused substitutes: Maxwell, Koroma, Diarra, Matos, Ward, Jones, Jackson.

Referee: J Smith (Lincs).

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