Comment: Taking fate to last day is something Rotherham United deserve

THE VERY least that Paul Warne and his Rotherham United braves have deserved is to take their Championship fates to a final day.

Rotherham United loanee Lewis Wing fired home a precious equaliser against Blackburn. Picture: Simon Hulme.

That is what will now transpire courtesy of events at the AESSEAL New York Stadium and the Liberty Stadium. It was one of those days, alright.

With just over five minutes to go, the tale of the afternoon was likely to be the tale of the season. Rotherham United losing out by a single goal margin for a 20th time this season.

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Thankfully, just for once, something went for the Millers. Well, a couple of things.

Just over an hour in, they were down and out. Losing 1-0 and second best to a Blackburn side who were in control by and large, while salt rubbed into sore wounds by virtue of news of Derby’s lead at Swansea.

Two quick-fire home goals for Swansea made things interesting again. Suddenly, there was more intensity, desperation and frenzy in Warne’s shouts to his players. ‘Come on’, he regularly bellowed.

Psychologically, perhaps his players started to latch onto the fact that something was afoot elsewhere. Now it was Rotherham’s turn to do their own job.

It was left to Lewis Wing to provide the final twist in what is proving to be an absorbing fight to avoid the drop with his 86th-minute equaliser.

Blackburn were not particularly happy with referee Tony Harrington’s decision to give the Millers the free-kick opportunity following captain Darragh Lenihan’s challenge on Richard Wood.

Beaten in the 97th minute in the reverse fixture at Ewood Park, the clock went around a bit for Rotherham, who avoided a fifth successive narrow defeat and showed their fighters’ heart.

Given what has been thrown at them this season - two Covid outbreaks, some hugely controversial refereeing decisions and a plethora of single-goal defeats - 19 in total - and an exhaustive schedule of ten matches in 30 days - it would have been hard to begrudge Rotherham for managing to keep their season alive until their final match at Cardiff next Saturday.

No sides are mathematically as yet relegated from the Championship and the only thing to deduce now is that Wycombe, due to their vastly inferior goal difference, are certain to be one of the three.

As for what is in store next, who knows?. All roads lead to Luton, with a key Millers player in Matt Crooks available again after suspension.

It may just help Michael Smith, who looked a bit lost without his mate.

That said, good contributions from the bench from George Hirst and Ben Wiles might just have given Warne something to think about.

Rotherham secured a huge win at Kenilworth Road in their penultimate away game of the 2000-01 season en route to promotion to the Championship.

Another could go some way towards perhaps maintaining their second-tier status two decades on.