Rotherham manager Paul Warne hailed the ruthless finishes from strikers Michael Smith and Freddie Ladapo that secured a 2-1 triumph at fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
Smith emphatically headed the visitors into a half-time lead to end the Millers’ six-and-three-quarter hour wait for a goal.
He was then red carded after an altercation with defender Julian Borner midway through the second period but, after a Matt Olosunde own goal levelled matters, Ladapo curled in a brilliant winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Ladapo’s strike also earned the Millers, now three points from safety, their first-ever league double over their South Yorkshire rivals in a fixture first contested in 1920.
A delighted Warne said: “Our belief has never dwindled and, in the previous five games, we’ve been pretty good. We’ve had 50 attempts at goal, but only scored once and we just needed to be more clinical.
“In this game, we have scored two goals from opportunities that were harder than all those chances we haven’t been taking and Freddie’s showed real bravery and ability. When he hit it, I thought that’s got a chance and I’ve never seen my assistant (Richie Barker) so happy.
“He was never that happy when he scored himself so, for him to behave like that, tells you what a good goal it was. I’ve been told we’ve never done the double over Sheffield Wednesday, so it’s a night we’ll always remember being a part of and it’s given us a real feelgood factor.
“We’re building a positive feeling now because we’ve got six first-teamers coming back by the end of the month so, hopefully, we can give it a good go in the last few weeks of the season.”
New Wednesday manager Darren Moore, meanwhile, saw his side miss a succession of chances to put the game beyond Rotherham with striker Callum Paterson the biggest culprit.
But he only had words of praise for his team’s efforts after leaving Doncaster earlier this week to take the Hillsborough helm, with the Owls now seven points from safety.
He said: “The defeat is tough to take because I saw a performance from the lads that suggested the results won’t be too far away and I don’t want them to be too downhearted because they got on the front foot and that’s how I want us to play.
“We did not get the right contact from our corner that led to their winning goal and they’ve broken away on us and it’s ended up in our net, which happens in football.
“But we have got 13 games to go and plenty of points to play for. We know nobody will give us anything, but we’re still in the mix and we’ve just got to keep working as hard as we did in this game and believing because I think, if we create as many good chances as we did against Rotherham, we will take more than we miss.”
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