Ladapo

Freddie Ladapo has written his name in Rotherham United folklore with a stoppage-time winner against arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Rotherham fans have come to expect that in the Championship, very little seems to go their way. This has especially been the case this season, whether that be with injuries or late goals.

The Millers always seem to have some back luck on the horizon in this division. This South Yorkshire derby looked to be heading in a similar direction…


READ MORE: Barker snatches Rotherham a vital last-min victory against Sheff Weds


Paul Warne’s side went ahead in the first half. A superb cross from Florian Jozefzoon was emphatically headed home by Michael Smith.

The visitors had chances to extend their lead and Lewis Wing came closest as he hit the post. But they remained one goal ahead as we headed into the final stretch of the game.

The derby was turned on its head in the 67th-minute. Smith was sent off after an altercation with Julian Borner. The Millers striker was adjudged to have headbutted the defender, but the dismissal was soft to say the very least.

With over 20 minutes still to go, it would have been fair for Millers fans to fear the worst. But their team held firm as they had done all night as Sheffield Wednesday struggled to find a way through.

It took an extremely unfortunate own-goal from Matt Olosunde in the 82nd-minute for the Owls to equalise. Again, the theme of bad luck comes up and you just feel that it is just going to be one of those nights.

Despite being down to 10-men with an already depleted squad, Rotherham fought valiantly to keep the game level as it headed into stoppage time.

Six minutes were added on and Sheff Weds earned a corner in the final seconds of the game. Former Miller Izzy Brown took it but his dire attempt at a cross was cleared out wide to Matt Crooks.

As he often does, Crooksy showed great power and pace as he sprinted past two opponents. Many players in his situation would have kept going and looked for the corner. But he had more on his mind…

Instead, he found Ladapo on the opposite wing with an exquisite cross-field ball. The forward advanced towards goal before cutting in onto his right foot.

On the edge of the area, Ladapo unleashed the sweetest of strikes that found the bottom corner past Joe Wildsmith. Enough explaining, just take a look for yourself…

 

It is such a shame that a jam-packed away end were not in attendance tonight. From Darren Garner to Richie Barker, Ladapo is now right up there with Rotherham’s other derby heroes. Regardless of what he does now, he will always be regarded as a Millers legend.

Season-turning moments come around every so often and this certainly feels like one of them. Warne and his staff have received criticism from some fans of late given the club’s poor run of form.

But the commitment of the players can never be questioned, and this has been shown again in spades tonight. Every player to a man was superb. They wore their hearts on their sleeves and gave it their all, which is all we can ever ask for.

You just have to look at Olosunde breaking down after the game to see how much a result of this magnitude means to the players. These are the nights that make us fans proud to support Rotherham United.

We may be handed a lot of awful luck along the way, but games like this more than make up for all of those bad moments. Rotherham can now go into the next few weeks high on confidence knowing that despite all the injuries and setbacks, they are still in the fight to stay in this division.

Staying up is a massive possibility this season and what an achievement it would be. If we do stay up, nights like this can be looked back on as massive turning points.

Whatever happens in the run-in, Rotherham fans can rest easy knowing that their team will give it everything and we love them for that. In the meantime, I need a beer…

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