2017/18 English League One, Final
  • Richard Wood (32', 103')
  • Alex Rodman (58')

Wood double sees Rotherham promoted

Richard Wood proved to be captain marvel as he scored twice to give Rotherham a 2-1 victory in the League One play-off final against Shrewsbury and send them back to the Championship.
Wood, whose first-half goal was cancelled out by Alex Rodman, bundled home his second in the first half of extra time to give the Millers a deserved win at Wembley.
And it also gives them a chance at immediate second-tier redemption after they came down last season with a record low points tally.
They were the better side over the course of the 120 minutes, missing a first-half penalty, and boss Paul Warne has now been involved in five promotions at the club following his two as a player and two as a coach.
Warne's glory was Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst's agony and the two embraced at the end of the match, having featured in the same Millers team 211 times during their playing career.
It is particularly gut-wrenching for the Shrews as they spent over 200 days of the regular season in the top two after an unlikely automatic promotion campaign, but they will be back in League One next term.
The Millers were far better from the first whistle and could not have wished for a better opportunity to take the lead as they were awarded a ninth-minute penalty after Omar Beckles wrestled Wood to the ground from a corner.
David Ball, recalled to the team, stepped up to take the penalty but his effort was a poor one and easily beaten away by Dean Henderson, who also saved a spot-kick against the Millers in a regular league game in November.
Warne's men were proving a constant threat from corners and Wood could have earned two more penalties for similar-looking challenges by Beckles before they eventually took a 32nd-minute lead.
It was from another corner and this time Wood stole a march on Beckles and planted a free header past a helpless Henderson.
Shrewsbury will have been glad half-time came as they were second best and they regrouped after the restart, clawing their way back into the game just before the hour mark.
And it was a fine goal as a well-rehearsed free-kick saw Shaun Whalley roll the ball to Mat Sadler, who found Rodman around the corner to tuck home from close range.
That knocked Rotherham for a while but they regained their composure and had enough chances in the remaining time to get the job done.
Caolan Lavery had arguably the best of them when he went through on goal but curled wide, while Michael Smith got the ball stuck under his feet after rounding Henderson.
And it was Henderson who came to the Shrews' rescue one more time in the final minute of time added when he produced a brilliant one-handed save to keep out Ryan Williams' fierce drive.
The Millers were not to be denied, though, and Wood secured his hero status with his second of the game in the first half of extra time.
Joe Newell swung in an inviting free-kick, Wood lost his marker and bundled home at the far post.
That killed Shrewsbury's spirit and the Millers saw it out to seal a return to the Championship.

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